The Impact of Childhood Crushes
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The Impact of Childhood Crushes

sexual exploration of young children

As a counselor, I used the therapy of personal stories to illustrate life situations, many clients respond to therapy when they feel that their counselors can relate to their fears and frustrations on a person level.

This particular story centers around sexual exploration in children, and the concept of first crushes and how they impact upon a young person’s mind.


Coming from a background of seclusion it is hard for me to fathom that I actually was able to have a crush on a boy. Until I was five years old I was not let out of my grandmother's sight. To go out unaccompanied meant to sit on the back porch alone with my dogs. I used to watch the children play downstairs, but I was not allowed to join in. After I turned five, I was allowed in the backyard with my guardian dog Laddie; or I was permitted to go downstairs with Johnny the boy next door.

Johnny and Jackie, his sister, were twins. They were exactly one year older than me. In the early days, I was much closer to Johnny. Johnny was warm and playful while Jackie was independent and aloof. When it was time for me to start school, Johnny would walk me to school and pick me up every day after school. He had to pass my school on his way to and from his own.

I don't think it was much of a bother for him because he got the chance to play "big brother." In his house the twins were the babies of the family. Johnny and I would play together constantly and my grandmother never understood why we were the closer ones rather than Jackie and I. After all, she was a girl.

Still, my grandmother always thought Jackie was too sophisticated for me. She was a worldly girl, hanging out with older kids. In a way, my grandmother thought that it was a blessing in disguise that I was closer to the innocent twin brother.

Well this innocent twin brother was not so innocent after all. As we grew, we did have our share of childhood sexual exploration. We played doctor in the back shed. I have to admit I was the instigator but never did it amount to anything really serious.

Claire, who was Johnny and Jackie's niece (a daughter of a much older sister), and the same age as the twins, played doctor as well, with her boyfriends. Theirs was not so innocent a game, for at the age of 14, Claire became pregnant. At the insistence of my grandmother, the sheds were boarded up after that. I was so shocked by this pregnancy that I never wanted to play doctor again, and in fact, I was tormented by my guilt of being a bad girl for many years to come.

At that tender age I still did not have a clue about what sex was all about. The only thing that Johnny and I had done was visually explore each other's anatomy, with brief periods of touching. Yet I still carried that sin around with me for years.

You would think that I would have had a crush on Johnny, but I never did. In my mind, we played doctor and that was it. It was a game of sexual exploration, not love. My first love was Brian Nichols. He and I were in the second grade together. He was the smartest kid in the class and in the whole school for that matter; well, I thought so anyway. Brian had red hair, green eyes, and freckles. Not only did he stand out from the rest of the kids in the school who were primarily black (Afro-Canadian) or white, none of whom had red hair, he was also from a different socio-economic class.

This boy was cultured. He had definitely come from a middle-class background. He knew more, saw more, and read more than all of us ghetto kids put together. Lord only knows what circumstances befell his family that caused him to move down to our area and forced him to go to our school.

Brain took it in stride though. If he was aware that he descended the socioeconomic ladder, he certainly didn't show it. He was the class valedictorian, the ever pleasant, and ever-eager-to-help-out teacher's pet! He was also the boy I was in love with, though I loved him from afar.

I would do my best to be picked for projects that he spearheaded. Whenever I could, I sat beside him. Yet, Brian never saw me. I guess I can't blame him for I was invisible to most girls and all the boys.

In the beginning, like any other boy in the second grade, Brian hated girls. Well, you know they were okay from a distance, but to have a girlfriend-no way! Later though he still was not in the true girl-liking stage yet, he did fancy the prettiest girl in the classroom: Linda Joseph. Maybe it was because she was as pretty as he was or maybe it was because it was obvious that she was different from the rest of us as well. She too did not have the ghetto mentality. It was apparent that she came from a middle-class background, judging by her demeanor.

There you have it, the two "different kids" bonding together, leaving me out and breaking my heart. Brian left the school at the end of the third grade. All we were told was that his family had moved and he would not be coming back. I imagine the family got back on their feet again and moved back to where they belonged.

As for me, I carried this love in my heart for him all through my elementary school years. I placed him on a pedestal. He was almost a demigod to me. No other boy could measure up. I thought it was love making me feel this way but what I did not know at the time because of my youth and innocence was that I was holding on to an ideal.

I was holding on to the ideal of being different. Not different in a bad way as I was used to being, but different in a good way. I was holding on to the ideal that some day I too could rise above my circumstances and move out of that ghetto. I was holding on to the ideal that one day I too could be somebody.

One day I could live in an environment where 14-year-old-girls did not get pregnant in back sheds or where the only known form of reading was comic books. I could live in a world where life did not include living in poverty. Brian Nichols, wherever you are, I wish you the best. You will never know how much you impacted my life.

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Comments (11)

Great article Carol!

Very interesting article!

thank you bailey

thank you Janet and bailey

Well, you just made me tear up. This is sweet, I'm glad there is a Brian Nichols and a Carol Roach out there somewhere... *sniff*

a thanks hon, I am sorry I can not share more of these stories since the policy change here at factoidz

Awesome article!

I am glad that you liked it, thank you Ngozi

Respected carol, while reading your self-experienced factoid, I recall my friends Charles, Rachael and so many others as did my research work on growing up-how memories or childhood influence our life at Muirden Matriculation College, Adelaide, South Australia interviewing more than 65 people all telling me the same thing as you have said. How close to life you are is a lesson that inspires us all. Thanks for sharing your personal and real experiences-a rare daring to share!

thanks harmander, it is funny and wonderful how people from all over the world can share stories

Well, as Sara Valor says, when I requested more than 65 people to recall their childhood in Australia either they or I had tears (not shed though) because we all need to save our childhood and how helpless a child is best understood when we grow up. I must share what a child within says-O God Make me a Child again just for a DAY. Just imagine how this prayer makes us feel. Thanks!