I was always a shy young girl in my teens and didn’t really think about boys that often. I remember my father always telling me and my four elder sisters not to talk to boys so this followed throughout my younger years. In the back of my head I could always hear those bullies telling me that I would never have boyfriends or get married. This stuck! I couldn’t even possibly think about it. When I was 13, there was a boy who swam at the same club as me and he had bright blond hair and piercing blue eyes. I think he was the first boy I had a crush on. At the end of the year we always celebrated our achievements in swimming and had a club disco. I was looking forward to seeing him there and hoping he would’ve noticed me. When he arrived he caught my eye but never took time to look back at me. I watched him all night until he walked out the door. I got up to use the toilet and as I walked down the corridor there he was … kissing my sister. I was so horrified I ran into the toilet quietly crying. I knew from that day there was no possibility any boy would even bother to look at me yet alone date me.

When I turned 15, my best friend told me her cousin liked me and I didn’t believe her. Why should I? I was lacking so much self esteem and confidence that I remember workmen shouting out to me on many occasions, ‘smile sweetheart’. I honestly walked around with my shoulder drooped and my face watching every step I took.

One day I visited my friend after school and her very good looking cousin was there. He always bantered with me and kept hitting me in a playful way. I was actually a bit scared of him. My friend pulled me aside and told me he was going to ask me out. No way! Not me surely! When it was time for me to go home, he said he would walk me across the park. We entered the lift as my friend lived in the very top floor flat and he began asking me questions I didn’t like. They were kind of invasive and later on I was to find out that he only dated ‘easy girls’. Before the lift hit the ground, he put his hand up over my shoulder and I quickly ran out of the lift. I felt very uneasy. We walked across the park together but I tried to keep in front of him so he didn’t touch me again. I wasn’t even thinking that he might feel my burns but more worried that he would hate me and call me names when he found out. That night he asked me to be his girlfriend. I don’t know why I said yes but I did and our relationship wouldn’t last longer than a week.

I think it was the pressure of keeping a secret under my clothes and then upsetting him when he found out. One day he told me he loved me and went to kiss me. I pushed him away and ran off shouting. Don’t Touch Me! It was much easier ending things this way at least I didn’t need to worry what anyone thought of me.

Have you ever had an instance like this?