You know who you are.
There’s so much I need to say, so I hope you’re ready because this will be one hell of a journey. I’d say “I hope you’re comfortable” but that would be a lie. In reality, I hope you’re rotting from the inside out.
You see, I’ve spent the last six years blaming myself for your actions. I’ve relived that night, every single day. And the truth is, that in March 2012, you raped me. That was your choice, your hate-fuelled decision and it broke me.
Do you know how it feels to go to bed, terrified to sleep in case another stranger repeats that horrific behaviour? Do you know how it feels to fall into a drug-induced sleep, praying that you simply don’t wake up? Do you know how it feels to force a blade across your skin because you’re desperate to feel something and that is your only outlet? Do you know how it feels to starve yourself every single day, because everything feels so out of control and you’ve convinced yourself that your body is so disgustingly diseased?
Because I do. I know EXACTLY how these things feel.
Welcome to my life. This is what you’ve done to me.
You know the most intimate details about me; things that I didn’t choose to share. You know how my naked body looks, feels, smells and tastes. You know the sound of my cries.
For a long time I tried to justify your actions by blaming myself. “I shouldn’t have drank so much”, “I should have physically fought harder” and even “I should have let him *finish* because then the police would have his DNA”. You know that someone else pulled you off me. That person knows you raped me. That person saw what you did to me and he saved me. Or did he? Because the damage was already done. Six years later, I’m still tormented by these thoughts. Every single day. Everything is what I “should” or “shouldn’t” have done, as if I could have somehow controlled your monstrous behaviour.
You’re the one who has caused this. You’re the one who broke me. Yet you get to live your life, free.
I can’t help but wonder what kind of person could actually, physically bring themselves to rape another person. What did it take for you to force yourself upon an unconscious stranger? To completely ignore my cries when I was awaken? To watch the sheer terror forcing the oxygen from my lungs?
You’ve stolen six years. SIX FUCKING YEARS OF MY LIFE. I can’t get those back. But I feel that now is the time to force that blame back onto you. The same way you forced yourself onto me.
You’re the one that removed my underwear whilst I lay unconscious, without a second thought about what’s right or wrong. You’re the one that saw someone who couldn’t consent and therefore wouldn’t fight back. You’re the one who pinned me down with the weight of your body so I could not escape. What kind of “man” does that make you?
You know things about me that you have absolutely no right to know.
But you don’t know me.
You don’t know that despite your attack, I continued my studies at university even though you made me feel like life wasn’t worth living.
You don’t know that I’m now a qualified nurse and that I spend 12+ hours a day taking care of other people and that I care more about my patients than I do myself.
You don’t know the look of my smile or the sound of my laugh, when just for a moment, the thought of what you did, escapes my mind.
You don’t know about my love for dogs, and if I could rescue every single one of them and live happily ever after, I would.
You don’t know that I completed a skydive to raise money for children and young people with cancer just days after my 17th birthday.
And you also don’t know how often that I’ve wished that you had murdered me instead. Because to only survive is not living. You stole my life.
When I was younger, I had dreams that I’d get my happy ending; feeling content, being care-free yet passionate, being in love and learning to love myself. But you reminded me that fairytales are for children. Instead, I live in this prison, where I’m reminded daily of YOUR crimes. YOU DID THIS TO ME.
Six years ago, I went out to to try and forget the troubles I already had, and you raped me without a care in the world. You ruined me. But today, I’m going to try and get my life back. I’m going to have to learn to come to terms with the fact that this was not my fault.
Thank you for making me feel so out of control that my eating disorder spiralled.
Thank you for making me feel so dirty, I have routinely scrubbed my skin off with bleach.
Thank you for terrifying me so much, that I can now only sleep if I’m under the influence of heavy duty prescription drugs.
I hope you’re just as tormented by your actions as I am, but realistically I know you probably don’t give a fuck. You probably haven’t given me a second thought in all these years.
I truly hope that nobody you genuinely care about has to go through what you put me through. Your children, your siblings, your parents, your friends… because nobody should ever have to live this way.
People say I’m strong for what I’ve been through, and 99% of the time I disagree because you made me feel so unbelievably weak. But do you know what? I am strong. Why? BECAUSE I HAVE SURVIVED.
And I will continue to survive… Only I’m hoping the next six years will be a little easier. No thanks to you.