To my rapist,
I wonder how many other girls could begin a letter to you with that opening. Here I am saying my rapist, as if I own you. It took me an entire year to even allow that word to escape my lips. It was you who owned me. My body that night, and my mind for so long after.
Do you remember that night? I’ll admit, there was a time I couldn’t recall every little detail. It’s amazing what the human brain is capable of, what it will do to try and retain a smidge of sanity. I spent months attempting to numb myself, to drink away your memory. God, I wanted to forget so badly.
I couldn’t forget though. Sure my brain originally spared me the harsh details of your depravity, but you can’t keep secrets from yourself-not for long. The rest of the world however; they could never find out. This was, after all, my fault. Wasn’t it?
I wonder what you would say if I told you about the night I overdosed on sleeping pills. How I had driven myself mad with self-blame, with racing thoughts and vivid nightmares; that I no longer wanted to live. Would you care? Would you feel remorse? Would you feel anything at all?
The good thing about a failed suicide attempt (you know, besides the fact that it failed) is that it forces you to make a decision. Up or down, sink or swim, live or die. I knew if I was going to remain on this planet, the band aids I had used to cover my scars would need to be ripped open; the wounds cut deeper with every submission to my memory. I would have to see your face, be back in that room. Smell the alcohol on your breath and feel your hands on my thighs. First gentle, then forceful as I resisted your touch. I would need to hear the moans from the porno playing on the TV in the background, my phone ringing across the room out of reach, your voice. That tone in your voice as you said, “Don’t be shy” right before you held me down.
That was three years ago.
They say time heals all wounds but I disagree; eventually as time passes you just accept them. You stop trying to hide them. You realize living with scars is better than not living at all.
And while you took a lot from me that night, it is my spirit that will remain untouched by your execrable hands.
I choose to believe there is good in the world, despite people like you who try to prove otherwise.
Your victim no more