Now, being a Mom, I obviously have strong feelings about things of this nature - Potential predators taking advantage of young teens. I mean, how would you feel if it was your child? Well, how about you ask my Mother.
I was a stupid teenager. Honestly, you have no idea. I was a Mom's worst nightmare.
Smoked cigarettes regularly
Smoked pot regularly
Tried other drugs (not regularly)
Hung out with strangers
Said terrible, disgusting and very rude things to my Mother
|Kinda like this, but with less money|
My poor Mother didn't know what to do with me. She tried so hard to keep a close eye on me, hoping to keep me from harm. Unfortunately, I only saw her trying to keep me from 'having a good time'. Things look very different from that side - the side of a naive, defiant teenager. Let's talk about one of the first times my Mother saved me from danger.
When I was 13, I was a church going child. I had the opportunity to go on a trip with two other girls from my church (One was an adult, the other my age) to some type of a churchy gathering in Victoria, BC (About 10 hours away from where we lived). It would be the first time that I was away from the watchful eye of my Mother. I was already very much into boys, but due to the less than esthetically pleasing placement of my teeth, I had very little confidence. Until I met Kyle*.
Kyle was 21, a Youth Pastor and gorgeous - and I do mean gorgeous. Oldest of three children, he came across as big brotherly, smart and confident. We became 'friends' and got to know each other over the few days that I was there. He ended up telling me that he was not the confident man that I perceived him as. Oh no, he thought he was ugly, and girls didn't like him. He had 'never had a girlfriend' because they always told him he was 'a nerd'. Of course, I fell for it - and him. We went for 'walks' alone, with him telling the others at the gathering that it was to talk about God and such things. In actuality, we spoke about love, loneliness and being together one day. Before I went home, he gave me his email address to keep in touch with him. I went home and we began chatting online almost every day. He told me that he missed me, that he wanted to hold me, love me. I was obsessed with him. Not only that, but this guy - this man - was in love with me! With me! It was a secret affair, and I felt special. We called each other a few nights a week. I was madly in love.
Yeah, then Mom found out about all this.
The phone bill tipped her off (It was probably horrendous). She called around and found out about Kyle. She was livid. She told me that it was inappropriate and that 'he should know better'. She refused to let me near the computer or the phone. I hated her. She was taking away the 'only great thing in my life' and she was doing it because she was a 'terrible Mother'.
Mom, thank you. THANK YOU.
Unfortunately, my memory is hazy, but this example will have to do. He told me once that I reminded him of a girl from a TV show that he watched in the mid 90's. All I remember is that she had red hair (mine was dyed red at the time) and massive boobs. I don't even think I wore a bra yet. Anyway, it was kind of like this.
|Me, twelve. Christina Hendricks, 38-DDD|
Of course, I took it as a compliment. My Mother, on the other hand, saw it for what it really was - saw him for what he really was. A disgusting pervert that was preying on a young girl. HER young girl.
I'm not sure exactly what she did, but I do know that he lost his job - and the right to have any job that let him have 'alone' time with children.
I hated my Mother... I remember being so upset with her... and she took it. She took the blame, the hate, the rage - She let me take it all out on her. I will never, ever forget that.
It's so hard for me to see some of the young girls that I know go through the same thing. Unfortunately, I'm not close enough to them to have chat logs or proof of any inappropriate behaviour. All I can do is tell them my story, and hope that they see it for themselves. One day, my kids will have access to the internet... and I'm hoping I can be as strong as my Mother and monitor the shit out of them.
*Name has been changed to protect the sicko's identity.
Check out this website to keep your kids safe! It was promoted on NBC's Dateline to help you keep tabs on your child - and keep them safe from potential predators.