Thursday, December 12, 2013

Dear Whitney: You're not his first victim...Speak up.

Dear Whitney At Age 16,
Don't take it personally - I know you think you're hot stuff right now. And you're right. This is the last big summer you have before you leave high school. But
I am telling you right now, you're worth more than you give yourself credit for.

This guy? He's bad news. He's not a bad guy, but he's got his own issues. It's not a bad thing to explore your sexuality, but this guy right here? 40+, balding, still living with his parents even though he's a CEO of a rather well known company?
Honey, where are your red flags and why are you IGNORING them?

I could tell you not to talk to him, I could tell you not to go out with him. I could tell you not to fool around with him. I could even tell you not to get in the car. But you won't listen - you're stubborn. And I know that all too well.

One of these nights he's going to do all the right things - take you out for a night on the town, get you all the alcohol you want, and then when you're just slowed down enough, he's going to ask for something you don't wanna give up. I'm not telling you who to sleep with or not sleep with, but when he starts begging you to forego condoms? Get out of the car and run. Because he's bad news from head to toe.

And then, instead of worrying about getting in trouble for what happened? For being somewhere you weren't supposed to be, for doing things you weren't supposed to be doing? Tell someone. Speak up. Because you're probably not the first girl he did this to, and you're almost definitely not the last. Get over the intimidation, get over the shame and say something to someone. Anyone.

Otherwise, it'll eat you alive for years, wondering which young thing he's got his paws on tonight and if you could have done anything to stop it. You'll never know if people would have listened or believed you - and you'll keep wondering that forever - because you didn't even try.

You'll have your share of experiences over the years - some you regret, some you wish you'd done differently. You'll explore your sexuality and some things you'll still be proud of later - some, not so much. But this is one instance where you need to understand: What he'll do is not your fault. You'll say no. He won't listen. What is your responsibility is to speak up. Maybe then you'll avoid the whole mess of mistrusting guys and that little drinking problem you have in college.

Like I said, I'm not trying to tell you how to run your life, Whit. I'm just trying to give you some advice from someone who has been there and done that and just now, almost 10 years later, is finally speaking up. To you.

I love you sweetie. Stay strong.
Whit - age 25

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