Statement begins. 3/21/23
My favorite part about Perks of Being a Wallflower is the way you can see the way trauma is passed from person to person, leaving them unable to recognize that they're even doing it.
Let's start from the top.
We know that Charlie's aunt was abused.
Charlie's aunt would go on to abuse Charlie. Because so often, trauma like that can blind you to what's normal, what's accepted., what something is going to do to someone else.
We know Sam was abused and assaulted.
Listen. I'm sorry to say it. The Charlie/Sam thing is fucking weird. It's a bad age gap. And they can't recognize it-or, they do, but they don't care enough-because they were both abused. It's too normal to them.
This isn't entirely about the perks of being a wallflower.
My improv teacher from highschool has been banned from my highschool campus due to him creeping on the teenage girls he taught. I never would have fucking guessed. He got too emotionally close to students, we knew that, but I never saw him as creepy. It only adds up in hindsight.
When I was no older than 7, a family friend brought me into my room and showed me porn and footage of car crashes on my computer. Not entirely aware of what was going on, or what I was looking at, I showed the porn website to friends (primarily older than me-but only slightly.). This fact makes me want to kill myself and doing the math on how old I was (based on where I was living at the time) caused my first major manic episode.
When I was in elementary school I made friends with a group of people that would send eachother nudes, self harm threats, and porn to eachother, ranging from ages 11-16. I was, I think, 11 or 12. I dated the 16 year old (long-distance.). They broke up with me the day they turned 18. It was about time, anyway. I know about Wyoming's specific age of consent laws because of them. I discovered their old contact in my phone the other day.
When I was in middle school-I believe sophomore year, I was part of a role play group with people ages ranging from around 14-24. I would end up getting close to the 24 year old. They saw no problem with doing nsfw roleplay online with a 14 year old. We never dated, nothing like that. They would get incredibly attached to me. I still know their tumblr username. I found out that I still have them on snapchat the other day. Their birthday is on my phone calender. March 20th. Yestderday. God, I'm so fucking glad I didn't notice that until just now, the day later. That date has been in the back of my head for years now. Is it because of them? Sometimes I still think about shit they said. I was in the state I know they used to (still might) live in for no more than 2 days and I was just a little on edge about it, even though they wouldn't recognize me. I don't know why, but I think I'd recognize them.
I would like to think that my repeated experience in being preyed upon would make more able to recognize predators. Sometimes I fear it's only made me more desperate to believe that for once in my life, it's just a fucking sheep. This one's just sheep. God, please let this one just be a sheep.