Before starting this letter, I want to put a disclaimer here. This is... not an easy read for some people. Some of you may have experienced sexual trauma yourself and this story may bring back unwanted feelings and memories. If you start to have trouble, I encourage you to put the story away and reach out to a safe person to talk to. Myself included. I have my Instagram profiles up in my bio on Vocal. So you can always reach out to me if you feel like you can’t speak to anyone else.
I also want to take a moment to address the people reading this that may know me in person, friends and family. There are some of you… most of you… that have not heard this. The experience was still fresh and I was processing everything that happened. This guy is no longer in my life and hasn’t been for some time now. He was in my life briefly, and is not anyone of importance. For those of you that have heard this, thank you for your support. For those of you that have not, I am sorry this is the moment you find out.
An Open Letter to My Rapist
It had been years since we talked. Thank god for social media, right? When you reached out to me, I'll be honest, I was... hesitant. Hyper-aware. I was just out of a relationship. My heart was hurting and I was wary of nice guys who "just wanted to reconnect." But you convinced me. Maybe it was fate. Maybe it was your charisma. Maybe you smelled my vulnerability. How I wanted to feel loved and wanted. Or maybe it was all a coincidence.
When we hung out for the first time I could barely look you in the eye. I was nervous. I was still trying to figure out what your intentions were. I tried my best to stay distant but something about you drew me in. We talked for hours and stayed up until the sun rose. We talked about what we feared and what we loved and how both of those things hurt. And I felt safe. I felt trust. And that's when you had me.
Then all of a sudden, we were a thing. For lack of a better word, dating. At least, that's what it felt like that to me. If you felt differently, you should have said something instead of using me. But my question is: If you already had me, why did you do what you did? We were already sleeping together. But it wasn't about the sex, was it? It never was. It was about the power you held over me. Your strength overpowered my body and your charm overpowered my mind.
I still can't sleep sometimes. My thoughts get caught up in the details. The way the lights were dimmed in your room. How dark and red the walls were. How incredibly hot and humid the air was. It felt heavy. You held me down. I couldn't breathe, much less speak up and tell you to stop. I cried and started to panic. And then nothing. My memory goes blank. I have no recollection between that moment and the moment I wake up to you telling me how perfect I am. I didn't even remember that night until a month after we stopped talking. Up until the day I remembered, that night did not exist in my head.
For the longest time I thought you must not have been aware of what happened. That you didn't hear me crying or see my face. I mean, it WAS dark. How could you have known that I didn't want it? But the thing is, you did know. You knew the whole time. Because I remember your words. I remember you saying that I was fine. That I was okay. You shushed me like you were trying to quiet a child.
Well, guess what? I'm no longer quiet. I'm speaking out. Loud. Screaming at the top of my lungs so no one can ignore me when I say that what you did was wrong. I don't care that we "dated." I don't care what you wanted or what you think happened. I don't care how others will look at me when I say the words, "I was raped." I will call it what it is. And I will call you what you are: a rapist. You took things from me that I have struggled to get back and I will be damned if I am shushed again and told to keep quiet. I am angry and I am loud.
And you? You can burn in hell.
The Girl You Raped