Having feelings for someone can be very confusing especially at a very young age. Teenagers who have a crush on someone can easily mistake it for feeling in love. Because teens are vulnerable, they would easily believe anything a person says. A woman shared her experience with one of her teachers when she was just an innocent teenager.
Hayley McGregor used to have a crush on her high school teacher, Mr. Wilson. When she was just a teen, Mr. Wilson would offer to drop her off at her house and gain the trust of her parents.
Eventually, Mr. Wilson admitted to having feelings for her which Hayley was glad to hear.
However, the teacher asked Hayley to keep their “relationship” a secret until she reached the age of 18.
One day, her teacher, who was also her lover, did something unspeakable to her. The man took Hayley’s virginity. At first, Hayley thought that they would finally be together and that Mr. Wilson would fulfill his promise of leaving his wife. The next few days though, the man whom Hayley loved started becoming colder and more distant.
Hayley became depressed and needed counseling because of the incident. When she was 21, she saw the man again but instead of love, she felt anger. Finally, Hayley was able to accept what happened to her. She had the strength to share her experience in order to warn other young girls to be careful with their feelings.
Read her full story below:
Even now I’m not sure I’ve ever felt as special as I did the first time I climbed into my drama teacher’s car after a school play rehearsal.
I wasn’t the only girl with a crush on Mr Willson. Tall and slim with sparkly eyes, he was nothing like other teachers at our secondary school in Bacup, Lancashire. And here he was offering me a lift home.
Who wouldn’t have gloated? I knew other girls were watching. I knew they’d feel so jealous. For a shy, chubby 13-year-old, terribly self-conscious about her looks, it was a moment of silent triumph.
Now, of course, I realise it was anything but. For it was that night, after pulling up outside my house, that Mr Willson leant over and kissed me for the first time.
A kiss, which to a naive, self-conscious, teenager felt so special. But which I now see marked the start of a destructive relationship which exploited my girlish naivety — and then tore it from me, leaving me depressed and deeply disillusioned with men.
Back then, of course, I thought he was falling in love with me. And in my childish imaginings, I fantasised that one day we would be together, even though he was married with a young son.
It was only years later, in August 2013, after struggling with depression, with a trail of broken relationships behind me, that I finally faced up to the painful truth in a series of counselling sessions.
It was the first time I articulated the doubts I had buried for so long
As I recalled the start of our relationship, the counsellor observed: ‘This happens all the time, Hayley . . . this is what all perpetrators do. It’s typical grooming.’
When I heard the word ‘grooming’ I felt like I’d been punched. The demon on my shoulder was shouting: ‘No! You weren’t groomed, you were wooed!’ But deep down I knew the counsellor was right.
‘I cannot stress enough, Hayley,’ he said, ‘how wrong what your teacher did was.’
Even my parents were taken in. They thought he was my mentor, the one responsible for my passion and flair for drama. But in fact, he stole my innocence by worming his way into my affections.
When I first saw Mr Willson, he reminded me of Mark Owen, the boyish-faced singer from Take That, my favourite band (this was 1994).
A good-looking teacher can take on almost celebrity like status, so the first time Willson complimented me, telling me I had lovely eyes, I was so ridiculously flattered rather than wary. It made me feel that at least here was one person who didn’t think I was ugly. It drew me to him.
His other masterstroke was to win the trust of my parents, befriending my father through a shared love of football. That’s why my parents didn’t mind when he offered to take me home. I literally walked into his web without any resistance.
The day after our first kiss, Mr Willson took me aside in class. ‘You know I’m married?’ he said. I nodded glumly. But he was quick to reassure me.
‘Well this is still like a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship to me,’ he said, words which were, of course, to an impressionable teenage, music to my ears.
It felt like a fairytale. This was my Prince Charming.
We started sharing secret little looks in class and found excuses to brush past each other.
When my parents’ schedule my father was a firefighter and worked shifts — meant they were unable to collect me after rehearsals, Mr Willson would drop me off. Over the next month or so he drove me home two or three times and we’d kiss each other good night.
This graduated to me staying late on Wednesdays under the guise of a longer dance class, telling my parents that I’d catch a slightly later bus home when in fact we were together.
We’d meet in a nearby car park and he’d drive us to a secluded country lane so we could spend half an hour together talking, kissing and fondling.
It didn’t feel scary at the time. I trusted him and he was constantly reassuring me that he’d go public about our relationship when I was 18 and that he’d leave his wife.
If it sounds incredibly naïve, that’s because it was. But at the time I was utterly convinced we would be together. Of course, I didn’t want his wife to get hurt, but to a teenager wrapped up in a fantasy worthy of a Hollywood romance her feelings didn’t seem relevant.
The fact that all this had to be kept secret only seemed to heighten its importance.
‘You do understand how much trouble you’d be in if this came out, don’t you, Hayley?’ he’d say. His tone always light and conversational, never threatening. Obviously I’d be in trouble as well, because I’m your teacher, but I just can’t help my feelings for you.’ Over time, our fumblings became more sexual. I preferred it when he was kissing me and whispering wonderful romantic things, but I wanted to make him happy so I agreed to carry out sex acts on him.
At the time, I was a little confused about his reticence not to go ‘the whole way’. It made me feel a little rejected.
I understand it clearly now, though. It had nothing to do with ‘waiting until the time was right’ or protecting me — but everything to do with protecting himself from being charged with statutory rape. For a long time, he skirted the issue by saying we should wait until I was 16.
It meant everything to me the first time he told me he loved me. I was 14.
It felt like a fairytale: Hayley lost her virginity to her teacher when she was just 15 years old
I lost my virginity to him the following year after he’d left to work at another school. A move which devastated me. I spent weeks sobbing my heart out without my parents or my younger brother ever suspecting a thing. By now I was adept at keeping secrets.
So when, in March 1995, Dad bought tickets to see Leeds United play at Wembley. He added, almost as an afterthought, ‘and Andrew Willson’s offered to have us to stay to break up the journey, so we’ll be stopping overnight with them.’
I wanted to shout: ‘I’M GOING TO SEE HIM!’ Instead I casually nodded my head and said, ‘All right.’
It was that night, as I lay in my pyjamas on the spare bed downstairs and my parents and the Willson family slept upstairs — that it happened. I heard footsteps and before I knew it Mr Willson was in my bed and I felt the weight of him above me.
It wasn’t how I’d expected to lose my virginity. Mainly, I was terrified my parents would discover us. The one crystal-clear thought I had, over and over, was: ‘Why? Why now? I’m only 15.’
Afterwards, there were no cuddles or endearments. Confusingly, he was more concerned with dealing with the soiled sheets than me.
The next morning, I felt confused — but also proud. Now I am a proper woman. Soon, we will be together.
In fact, the opposite happened. Weeks passed — Willson made no attempt to contact me. One month turned into another. Still no word. I was distraught, confiding only in my friend Nicola who tried to console me but didn’t really know how. Over the next few months, as his silence continued, I spiralled downwards. I was heartbroken. My grades suffered. When the teachers asked what was wrong I claimed simply to be tired.
And I tried to put it behind me, reassuring myself that at least I’d lost my virginity to a man I loved. Even at this point, it still didn’t occur to me that he had done anything wrong.
I tried my best to put it behind me. I even started dating a lovely boy and after school, I got a job teaching drama. But Mr Willson’s shadow was always there.
The mask finally fell when I turned 21. My parents threw a party for family and friends, but there was one guest I hadn’t known they were planning to invite. As I entered the function room I saw Mr Willson, wearing a dark suit and a smart shirt.
For the first time I saw a man so much older than me. He’d started to go grey and his hairline had receded.
As he stood there, looking utterly at home among my family and friends, on this birthday that marked my transition into adulthood, a totally unexpected emotion rose up inside me: hate. I’d been a child, he’d been an adult. What we shared was not love.
Two of those charges, relating to another girl, were dropped. He pleaded guilty to five of the remaining nine charges that related to me.
The police had hoped for a prison sentence of around four to five years but thanks to his guilty plea, he was given 20 months.
I felt bitterly disappointed. But at least he was ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for ten years so he would never be able to teach again. In coming forward, I had managed to protect other girls.
I’m 36 now. For more than 20 years, I was shamed into silence by feelings of guilt and worthlessness. I’ve left a trail of broken relationships. Even now I find it hard to trust that Leroy, my lovely boyfriend of three years, won’t leave me, though I still hope to be a mum.
But I won’t be a silent victim any more. I’m telling my story in the hope that it will help others; perhaps encourage other women — and men — to come forward to share their own dark secrets, or cause the blinkers to fall from the eyes of youngsters who are as besotted with their teacher as I once was."
Share this story with your friends and loved ones in order to warn them of the dangers around them. Don’t forget to leave a comment as well.