When I was a child I had one friend, a boy. I know now that we were both autistic. At the time none of us was diagnosed yet, but we already knew that we were both awkward and nerdy. When we were 14, we went on a holiday trip together. Of course there was nothing sexual about it. It was all about the architecture of medieval churches. But I was not prepared for the barrage of verbal sexual abuse that followed. My stepfather and male friends of my mother's made incredibly rude comments about what we allegedly had done on that trip - for decades. It was so bad that I could no longer stand being in touch with him, and after my mother had passed away, I made myself unavailable for my stepfather, too. Only days after my mother had passed away, my stepfather told me his fantasies about how my childhood friend had pissed into my hand, then claimed the nickname he and my mother had had for him had been "hand pisser".
I was neurodivergent in more than one way (ASD and ADD) but the only thing my parents and their friends ever noticed about me was that I was not interested in boys. (I wasn't diagnosed until years after my mother's death.) My mother and father both were physicians, yet the only thing that mattered to them was when I was going to be laid, by a guy, of course. Other girls have parents who lock them in for fear that they might fool around with boys. My parents and stepfather pestered me because I had no intention to fool around with boys. My father is from a country where unmarried women traditionally don't get to exist, and he told me it was time for me to find a husband when I was 21. After my mother had passed away, I read her journal from when she was 15, and I understood why she was so obsessed with my sexuality when I was the same age. She had been a brilliant girl in a small town, but because she was brilliant and not conventionally pretty, the boys in that small town ignored her. It caused her a lot of pain which she never forgot. Therefore, she assumed that my inner turmoil must have the same cause, although she read my journal and knew full well that it wasn't. I was not conventionally pretty, either, but I didn't mind. On the contrary, I was happy for every attention the guys spared me. Especially since a cousin of my mother's, with whom she was very close, subjected me to relentless verbal sexual harassment, to the amusement of her and his family. The other circumstances were very different, too. I did not live in a small town but in a city. I did not have a lack of opportunity to go out and party, but an overabundance of it, and I annoyed everyone, teachers included, by staying at home and spending my nights with my books instead. (Unfortunately for me, my special interest didn't exactly match the school curriculum.) Unlike my mother, I was not brilliant, at least not outwardly. I was emotionally dependent on a teacher of mine, a woman who had been the first person to appreciate my mind. I was terrified that she might change her opinion. The other feelings I had for her I did not dare to put into words, not even in my journal. My mother decided that it was not love. It brought me close to mental breakdown.
While I spent my life with books, my parents and stepfather continued counting "the men in my life". Especially the fathers. While my mother eventually accepted that I was a lesbian except that she hoped that I eventually would "lapse", as she put it, and give her a grandchild (a favour I couldn't do her), the fathers brought up every guy
I had ever met whenever we met and wanted to know if I there had been a follow-up.
I haven't been in touch with them for more than ten years. I don't even know if they are still alive. But the memory still haunts me.
I beg your indulgence for having written this on my cell phone without much editing. I don't have a computer at my disposal right now, and I couldn't wait.