I was about 12-ish. I standard 5, I think. An early teen. Young. Innocent.
We were on holiday in Rome - our whole family. We were staying in a hotel. We had breakfast downstairs that morning. I think there was some kind of display in the lobby. Easter eggs, or something. My family was spending some time walking through it.
I went back upstairs to the room. I don't remember why. I went alone. As I walked down the passage, a young, attractive Italian guy called me over in broken English. He was standing at the door of some kind of service room. He called me inside. I followed him.
Once inside, he pressed me up against the wall, and started to kiss me. This was my first intimate kiss. He kissed me passionately. I was about 12-ish. An early teen. Young. Innocent. At that moment, I thought it was romance. Fairytale stuff. A dream come true. He was attractive, and he kept telling me I was beautiful. I was enjoying it.
I was flattered. Excited. Confused. Scared. Beautiful. Overwhelmed. Powerful. Powerless.
It felt as if I was in a vortex. The world, at it's edges, had stood still. But on the inside - in my head, in my heart, in my body, there was a rush of colours, sounds, thoughts, feelings. I don't know how much time passed. It felt like hours, weeks. In reality it was probably only a few seconds. It was a rush of emotions. And arousal.
When he stopped kissing me, the spell broke.
He was still murmuring about how beautiful I was. He bent down to feel my breasts, thighs and between my legs. It was then that my mind started working again. I pushed him away. I saw an open elevator, a service lift. I jumped in it, and I banged the buttons. As the doors closed, I looked at him standing there. He didn't try to stop me. He looked rejected. He asked me when I was coming back.
On the ground floor, the lift opened in the kitchen. I ran towards the closest door. All the kitchen staff turned and stared at me. The doors led outside. I ran around the side of the hotel, and back in the main doors, into the lobby. I went into the lobby toilets, slammed the door, closed the toilet cover and sat on it with my legs pulled up. I knew that he hadn't come after me, but I only felt safe when I thought he wouldn't find me. Where nobody could find me.
Only then did I breathe again. I shivered and shook. I don't know if I cried, but it is possible. I sat there for a while, until I had regained outward composure.
I didn't tell anybody for more than 15 years. Nobody.
Today, as an adult, as a parent, I know so many things. I know that I was the victim, and that he was doing something terrible to me. I know that I had no reason to feel guilty, but that the guilt stemmed from the fact that I was enamoured, flattered. And aroused. I know that the young me was caught by surprise, unprepared for my reactions and feelings. I was about 12-ish. An early teen. Young. Innocent. I know that my parents would have been supportive. I fact, my mother is probably hurt and sad that I never told her. I know that I didn't tell anyone, because I was so confused and overwhelmed myself.
And I know it could have been worse. So much worse.
Well, there you have it. An untold story. Well almost. I have told a handful of people in my life. It has affected me on many levels, it still does today. The fact that I can recall so much small detail, while I cannot remember much else from that trip, shows that it made a deep impression on me. It awakened feelings in me at a very young age, when I was not emotionally ready to handle them. But I am fine. I have dealt with it. I have grown.
I am deeply aware that there are many people who have gone through serious abuse, rape, incest. Some over very long periods of time, and by people who they knew, and should be able to trust. I cannot imagine their pain, shame, fear and trauma. My incident pales in comparison. If my relatively benign experience affected me the way it did, how much deeper would their wounds be?
If that is your untold story, please consider telling someone?