“If you really loved me, you’d want me the same way I want you,” he said.
Kissing, cuddling, making out— all that was fine, I loved it. It made me feel special. Surely he could tell I did want him the same way; just not yet. I wasn’t stupid. Weren’t you supposed to both want to do it before you had sex with someone? Just because I was afraid to go further, he belittled me. He said I didn’t love him. I thought he would get over it in a day or two. I was wrong.
Then came the party. The soul- slaughtering party.
Benji Stevens was a gifted child. Intellectually advanced and artistically inclined, she was 14 years old when her world fell apart. Betrayed, bullied, and battered emotionally, physically, and spiritually, her life spiraled out of control. There was nowhere to turn, no one to turn to, and nothing to live for. Who could blame her for believing she had nothing to live for.
Yet even in the midst of the darkness there is a lifeline of hope. With the help of her crazy, black sheep Uncle Aidan, her mom, a couple of caring police officers, a psychiatrist, the Yeah, But I Didn’t therapy group, and prayer, Benji learns to grapple with her hidden pain and begins to embrace her own self-worth.