Gary Rinsem

Puberty: two years in pain
Hell - 1969

It came without warning. It came as surprise. It came with no prior knowledge of it. It came with nobody to ask.

Why does childhood have to hurt? I wasn't shown how to be open by my family, as I'd seen in other homes. Consequently there was nobody for me to confide in. Puberty hit hard and hit young for me. It was 1969, I was not yet eleven years old at the beginning of fifth grade. The first sign of puberty was an erection which happened at the start of the school day. I couldn't believe what I felt, I couldn't know it wasn't some sort of catastrophe taking place in my pants. Lasting three hours, it became painful after one hour. For the third hour it was beyond painful. It went away for lunch, but returned for the afternoon session. That scenario was repeated, day after day, throughout all of fifth and sixth grades. I soon realized that girls were the cause. The problem ended in the beginning of seventh grade, immediately after my first intimate experience with a girl.