I still love you. I know, that’s weird, and I’m sure you don’t really believe me. Our relationship wasn’t anything earth shattering, it wasn’t even that special, really, but you are and I love you for it.
I’m sorry for hurting you, but I want to make something eminently clear: contrary to what I said, I knew what I was doing the whole time. I had convinced myself it was all okay. I will spend the rest of my life trying to deal with the way that I touched you, for the way that I forced myself on you.
I don’t think you see it that way, I don’t think you ever thought of me as a rapist. I also know that a lot of the time it was consensual. The time when I couldn’t stand because I was sobbing so hard and you kissed me and held me until life felt good again, that was both of us, the time I spent hours dragging my fingers lightly across your skin before we even took our clothes off, that was love.
But there were those other times too. On your room mates bed when we were first together. The times when you were sleeping or trying to sleep or the times when you just weren’t in the mood but I pushed and pushed and pushed until you gave in.
When you told me to stop, I did. But then I begged and pleaded and blackmailed you with tears. I never held you down, I never hit you, I never ignored you when you said “No”, I never threatened you, but I never asked permission either. I left it to you to tell me to stop every time and so I know, in my heart of hearts, there were times that you let me touch you not to express how you cared for me or to feel good or even to make me feel good. There were times when you agreed to touch me just to make it easier, or to make it go by faster, or so you wouldn’t have to admit to how I was treating you.
But all of that aside, I really do… I really do love you and, no matter how much time passes, when I see you it feels the same as the day you told me we were done. Back then I only understood that you and I were breaking up, now I know so much more.
I am sure it will never stop hurting for me, but over time I will learn to deal with it better and better. I know my friends are tired of hearing about it too, so I won’t talk about it anymore.
But that, that was all for me, this is supposed to be for you. So, R-, this is a promise to you, a promise I make to you as the person I love the more than anything or anyone in this world.
R-, I will never treat someone the way I treated you.
From now I my lovers, when I take them, will be treated with all the respect and love and honesty they deserve, and not out of some twisted desire to make it up to you or to prove that I’m not a rapist or to atone for my sins, that I have to do on my own time. No, my lovers will be treated with the respect they deserve because they deserve it. You showed me that, whether you meant to or not.
Knowing you has made me a better person.