My New Blue Coat | Tracey Emin, 2005

My New Blue Coat | Tracey Emin, 2005
Tracey Emin, Growing Pains, 1995

 “He pulled my skirt up. I began to worry. Everyone knew he had broken in girls before and
I didn’t want it to happen to me. I said, ‘No. Get off, please.’ He pulled me down the alley
and pushed me to the ground. As I lay on my back worrying about my new blue coat, he
pushed his fingers up between my legs — and rammed himself into me.

I was crying. His lips were pressed against mine but I was motionless, like a small corpse.
He grunted and I knew it was over. He got up, I just lay there on the ground, my tights
round my ankles. The clock was striking twelve.

As he walked away, he turned and said, ‘I’ve always wanted to do it to you. I like your mouth’.

When I got in, my mum said, ‘Tracey, what’s wrong with you?’ I showed her my coat, the
dirt and the stains, and told her ‘I’m not a virgin any more.’

She didn’t call the police or make any fuss. She just washed my coat and everything carried
on as normal, as though nothing had happened.
But for me, my childhood was over, I had become conscious of my physicality, aware of my
presence and open to the ugly truths of the world. At the age of thirteen, I realised that there
was a danger in innocence and beauty, and I could not live with both.”

Tracey Emin, Strangeland, 2005

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