I’m trying so hard to erase that moment from my memory, to stop it from existing. You were one of my favorite camp counselors. We always got along so well. Now I’m older, so we counsel together, at the camp your son attends. You had no place asking about my love life. You toed the line of sexual harassment. And the worst part is that you stole my first “I love you.” When you said it in that note you stole what is supposed to be one of the most beautiful, purest things in life. Every girl dreams of hearing those words, and returning them with her whole heart. And you desecrated that moment. Now I look back on all of your words of encouragement and wonder if there was an inappropriate subtext the entire time. I try so hard to remind myself that I can choose to make it not count, but I struggle to do so, to push it from my mind, to decide that you are not worth wasting thoughts and feelings on, to take back what you’ve taken from me. It’s not even just about the “I love you,” I no longer feel safe at camp. Not like I used to. I refuse to let you scare me away from that place entirely, but I also refuse to work with you. No one should be made to feel that uncomfortable in such a sacred place, especially not because of those who have promised to lead.
I will never forgive you, but I will do my best to forget you.