You were right to tell me that 17 year old boys don’t truly understand what love is. I wish I had listened to you when you told me he was bad news, that I should find someone without severe anxiety issues. I wish I had been honest about me dating him for two years, and hadn’t gone behind your back about it. Maybe then I could tell you about all the abuse he put me through.
Deares Mom, if I had been honest with you from the start, then you would’ve known about how he’s the reason I became so isolated in May last year. You would’ve known about how he manipulated me into ignoring all my friends when they called, how he would forbid me from speaking to any male out in the world. If only I’d been brave enough, you would’ve known about how a man can be aggressive towards you without actually hitting you. Sometimes it’s the walls or his bedroom door that suffers for your mistakes.
I wish I told you about how he belittled me until he was the only thing on my mind. Perhaps, if I’d learned to communicate my emotions better, you would know that I have been crushed so many times by his words that I stopped caring about anything. That’s why I skipped school for three months, Mom. Because he made me believe there was no use anyway. And because he would get angry at me for being around other males.
But mostly, I wish I could tell you that rape isn’t always something violent. You don’t always get drugged or beaten when you’re forced into sex. Sometimes, all it takes is a few key sentences that make you feel obligated to give it up. Sometimes, they’ll cheat and blame it on you until your self respect is broken down into tiny pieces that get lost in the pain and the numbness of his betrayal. Sometimes, they’ll say, “Sex is a huge part of a relationship. If you don’t do it, you don’t love me enough.”
And sometimes, silence is enough for them to rip off your clothes and busy themselves while you force back your tears. But most of all, sometimes, after you’ve heard the words “Does it feel good?” whispered quietly through the dark for what must’ve been the hundreth time while you lay there shaking, it creates a permanent void inside your chest. One that feels impossible to fill up. I wish I didn’t feel disgusting every time I take my clothes off, even just to change or shower, but I do. And I can’t even tell you about it.
Dearest Mom, I’m sorry I let you down. I let you down for two years and you don’t even know about it. I really need you right now, but I can’t let you know anything. At this point, life is just a dream that nevew seems to end. Not reality. I haven’t felt real for a very long time now. And I’m just so sorry you’ll never know any of this. I love you.