When Silence is not golden …a tale of cuisines, cars and movies.3 min read
“I think the French make better sausages than the English and France is definitely a much interesting place to visit than England. For my eighteenth birthday, I would like a bug for a car – I really wish I would get that.” And so for the next one and half hour, she told me about her cuisine choices, holiday locations, movie interests and anything else that came along the way.
I must confess that this was not my intention. It was the penultimate day of this teen camp and I had just met her in last one week. Everyone had great reviews on who she used to be – a model Christian girl. Now she was sleeping around and everyone else made it a point of duty to tell her that she was doing the wrong thing. All this must stop, they all said. I agree but remembering the Jesus story with Samaritan woman I decided to go a different approach.
Back to our discussion, after over one hour of small talk I asked her in a straight give-to-me tone ‘have you had sex before?’ Yes she replied. “How many times?” I asked. “I’m not sure but it’s just with seven guys”. We went through the history of the different guys, the things she easily falls for and the very first time. The first time was not a sweet experience, she was raped.
After it happened, she ran to a friend’s house and that’s where she had to be picked home from. When she got home, neither of her parents was willing to talk about it. How she really wanted to talk about it. She had been saving her virginity all this while and it had been fiercely taken from her. To her, it meant they did not think it was worth keeping in the first place so she decided to freely share it with more people.
One of the challenges of parenting is that your teens think you should know the right thing to do at all time. Most times parenting is by trial and error. But one thing never to forget is that after experiencing hurt, most teens need someone to talk to. They tend to be quite cathartic. Don’t aim to get it right the first time but do it.
The story I just shared had its own happy ending. After we spoke, she made a decision not to do it again. To help her decision, we made a plan to talk at least 3 times a week for next couple of months. Over a year later, she called me up one night saying she felt the strong urge to do it. Guess what, I told her I was not afraid she would do it. By calling me, I told her I knew she wouldn’t go ahead. She didn’t and she’s a better person. It all started when someone spoke with her.
Make that choice to talk with the teenager around you; you never know it might save a life. If you have been touched this, do take time to leave a comment below