I hate Texas. I hate Texas with a burning, flaming passion. Someday I should get over hating Texas; it is stupid to hate a whole state for what happened to me. Bad things can happen anywhere, but for some reason a lot of horrible things happened in the six months I happened to be in Texas.
I was seven and my mom and I shared a trailer with my sister and her husband. My mom spent most of her time on the phone with my dad trying to talk him into allowing my brothers to come join her in Texas. My parents have always played against one another to get custody of my brothers. Neither of them seemed to ever care where I was though. The boys were the significant ones. Even if my mom had managed to get my brothers that time, where would they have slept, on the living room floor? We didn’t even have a couch; mom and I shared a bed. I hated my life and I hated just about everyone in it.
The son of the trailer park manager was named Michael. I had an enormous crush on him. He was cute, in that skuzzy “The Outsiders” sort of way. I was angry at the world and rebellious boys appealed to me. He was mean to me; I think I wanted him to pay attention to me so much because he treated me so badly and everyone in my family that I wanted attention from treated me badly. I wanted to make him like me; make him want to be nice to me. Maybe if I could get some kid to like me I would be able to make my mother like me and be satisfied with having me and not want the boys so much. I would go over to Michael’s house and spend the afternoon waiting on him and whatever buddy was with him. I was willing to do just about anything for attention.
One day he and his cousin were playing video games and they started talking about sex. Michael was 11 and I’m pretty sure he was exaggerating his experience. His cousin was 14 and probably did already have some experience. The cousin turned and looked at me, he asked Michael if I was a decent lay. Michael said he didn’t know. The cousin asked if I at least gave good head. Michael said he didn’t know. The cousin started mocking Michael at this point. He told Michael that the only reason to let me stick around was if I was any good. I knew what they were talking about and I was scared. I was afraid to leave though. This was probably the most attention Michael had ever really paid to me. Most of the time he just ordered me to get something for him as I sat quietly in the corner. In some sick way it was almost nice having him know I was in the room. The cousin called me over and told me to kneel in front of him. He pulled his dick out and told me to suck on it. He didn’t even stop playing the video game. I felt dirty and humiliated and I started crying, but I did it.
I cried the whole time and I felt disgusting. I thought I would throw up when he came in my mouth. The cousin told Michael that now I was ready to be fucked. So Michael put the game on pause and pulled me over to the bed. He pulled my dress up and took my underwear off. He didn’t touch me anymore than he had to. Before he penetrated me I started begging him to not do it. I was still crying and I started crying harder. He told me to stop crying because I looked like a disgusting snot-nosed kid and I should be grateful he was going to do me; I just kept crying and begging him not to. The first thrust hurt so bad I screamed. He reached over and grabbed a handful of the sheet and shoved it in my mouth. His mom walked in at about this time. She looked at what we were doing, shook her head, and walked out. I couldn’t breathe because I was choking on the sheet and crying so hard I couldn’t catch my breath. When he was done I rolled off the bed and stumbled out the door. I cried as I walked home and the whole lower part of my body hurt so bad I thought it would never stop hurting again.
Michael and his cousin followed me home on their bikes. They rode in circles around me taunting me. They said I wasn’t a very good lay so they weren’t going to let me hang out with them anymore. I didn’t know how to respond; I was so angry. Finally I screamed, “Fuck you! You fucking assholes!” and I ran the last way into my home. My mother had been standing at the window and saw me scream at them. She got really angry. She yelled at me for swearing. She picked up a flip-flop from the floor and started hitting me with it. She yelled that she was not going to put up with that kind of language from me. If I ever did it again I would get it even worse. Her hitting me hurt, but not nearly as bad as the rape had hurt. How could I tell her what had just happened though? Was I supposed to tell her to please not beat me for swearing minutes after I had been raped? Should I have told her that it was ok for me to cuss out those boys because they had just violated me? I couldn’t say anything. I lay there and took the beating. She wouldn’t have understood, maybe she wouldn’t even have believed me. I didn’t have the words yet to properly explain what had happened to me.
I felt like I was on complete meltdown for days afterwards. I didn’t want to move around or do anything. Between the beating and the rape my entire body hurt and ached. My sister got angry with me and yelled at me for being so lazy. I didn’t want to go to school because I would have to see Michael on the bus. He told people that I asked him to fuck me. He was patted on the back and told what a stud he was. I was told that I was a complete whore and girls like me go to hell. I didn’t know what to say. How could I defend myself? He was popular and I didn’t have any real friends.
Not long after I started to recover from the rape I had a horrible dream. I saw my brother in California get hit by a car in my dream. I saw him go to the hospital. I saw him lying in a bed for a long time with my mother sitting next to him in a chair reading. I saw him in a wheel chair. I saw him using a walker. I heard him talking in this strange voice. He sounded different than he ever had before. His speech was slow and garbled and I could barely understand him. People who are really drunk sometimes sound a little bit like he did—the really slow and careful speech. When I woke up I felt really scared. I told my mom about the dream. She called my dad’s house and no one answered the phone. For the next few days she couldn’t get a hold of anyone in California. She finally managed to talk to my dad’s girlfriend and she found out that there had been an accident. My brother was in a coma. Things started happening very fast. My mom got on a plane to go back to California. She left me with my sister and her husband.
My sister tried to explain to me what happened to my brother. She said that everyone’s brain is like a tape recorder. It records all the thoughts you have, all the experiences you have, and all the abilities you have and when you need these things your brain plays them back to you. Our brother’s brain was erased. He won’t remember things and he won’t be able to do anything—not even eat or go to the bathroom by himself. I was really scared. She said that it is like he is a baby again and has to start over doing everything from the very beginning. Now I have a big brother who is like a little brother. I didn’t want a little brother though; he was bad enough when he was older than me.