Last year, you passed me in a grocery store. You looked me dead in the eyes and just kept walking. I froze. I couldn’t feel my legs and everything was spinning. That’s when it all came back. Your voice echoed in my mind. I ran.
It was March 2015, but it still feels like yesterday. You told me how you “really felt”. You said you thought of me as more than just a student. You told me you loved me. A man in his twenties. You wanted me more than anything. I said i did too. But really, I don’t know what i was feeling. I was terrified. You could hurt me. But there was this small part of me that wanted it too. A small part of me you were taking over. Little did i know, it would get much less innocent. That’s not where it started though.
You were in my class from the time I was about eight. When I was ten, you became one of my trainers. I realized you started to treat me differently than most of the other students. You always paid special attention to me. You would always help me after class. But one night, you pulled me aside. You noticed I was different than i used to be. Not as happy. You weren’t wrong. You gave me your number and to text you if i needed anything. There were so many red flags, but i was blinded by the fact that someone cared. One night it was all too much. I called you crying. I hesitated, but eventually told you what was wrong. I told you how i hated myself and couldn’t take anymore. You were calm. Sweet. We stayed on the phone all night. You made me feel loved. And that’s where it started.
That night you were beginning to gain my trust. God, it was like you knew just what to say. But you did, didn’t you? You’ve done this before. You knew just how to make me feel like you were all i needed. You pulled me from my friends and family. I was so isolated, but you made me feel like i didn’t really need anyone else.
After that, we started talking every day. I told you everything. I told you about my dad, being bullied, that i was suicidal, that i was losing my mind. You saw your chance and you took it. When you looked at me, you saw a little girl with a matured body. You saw a broken girl to take advantage of. Not once did you see me.
I felt loved by you. I really, truly thought you were telling the truth. I loved hearing my name come from your mouth. I loved the way you made me feel. I didn’t love you. I loved the idea of you. But isn’t that enough?
And we’re back to that night. The night you told me you loved me. From then on, you’d tell me how cute i was. How beautiful i was. How sexy I was. Even though I was only twelve, you said how you wanted to do things to me. Things i can’t bring myself to say. Violent, terrifying things. You didn’t want to love me, you wanted to hurt me. But again, i was blinded. You’d give me looks in class. You sent me photos and videos, and once i sent them back.
Finally, my family found out. They told me how much of a monster you were. How you never actually gave a shit about me. Wow, that hurt. I just couldn’t believe that. I wanted to scream and cry and give up. But I was silent. They didn’t want to hear what I had to say.
Two years of therapy. Bottles and bottles of pills. Police nit-picking through my life, even though they weren’t actually going to help me. And one day, i realized. I finally realized the people who said you were a monster were right. You got in my head. You made me feel good for just a minute, and then you destroyed me. And you’re going to do again. And again.
In January 2016, i wrote my suicide note. And the very last part was to you. I knew you probably wouldn’t see it, but it was worth a shot. I told you it was your fault. You did this. I wondered if you’d actually care. And that’s when i stopped. I didn’t want to give you that power. I didn’t want you to win. I decided I’d be strong.
Now if you see me, you won’t see the broken little girl. You won’t see an opportunity. You will see me. You will see bravery and strength. You will see battle scars and stains from tears. But you will see that I’m stronger. I won’t freeze or run away. I am no longer afraid.
I’d like to thank you. You showed me that some people don’t deserve me.