In the wake of what seems to be endless cases of sexual abuse, the one that hurt the most was that of Brand New singer Jesse Lacey. Upon initially hearing that he had manipulated two different underage girls online and solicited nude photos from them, I found myself in a state of disbelief.
I felt betrayed as I deleted their albums from my Spotify account. Along with their t-shirts and CDs, I threw away a huge part of my youth. The parts of it that I used to call nostalgic now leave the bitter taste of regret in my mouth.
After the news sunk in, I started to feel a deep sense of familiarity. Though I don’t know those girls, I do know what they were feeling.
They believed him when he said he cared about them.
I did too.
At fifteen, it’s easy to believe every ruthless lie they tell you. And I fell for every line, sitting half naked in front of a Skype screen. Every time that call ended, I hated myself a bit more. I spent nights crying, hopelessly wondering what I did wrong.
Our stories are so similar, and I bet there are plenty of other young girls with a story just like it.
To Jesse Lacey, and every man just like him: Your apology will never be enough.