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I hope you remember me because I will never forget you. The events that play over and over in my head, as if I'm forced to watch a never-ending horror movie. You took so many things from me. My security, my best friend, and how easily you took my strength. Being alone with men began to scare me in ways I never thought it would. From a man coming over to set up my internet to being alone in the bakery aisle at the supermarket, I fear that they might do what you did to me.
I avoid places I think you might be in, hoping that you don't come to my part of town. Hoping you never find out where I work or live. How could you do this to me? You have a daughter who is just like me. We held hands on the playground, obsessed over boybands, planned our lives together. That's all over now. Oh, no was this my fault? Did I willingly befriend a person whose father is capable of this?
I hope you remember the terrified look in my eyes when you shut the door. Unable to speak or move as you trapped me inside the bedroom with you. Who knew evil could be in the form of a man that portrayed himself as a loving father? Who knew evil could be in the form of someone that cried when their grandchild was born? Who knew that evil was you?
How I have to explain to my book club that I can't read anything with a rape scene because it's all too real for me? How if I read this, I won't be able to sleep at night? Or how I'll constantly look over my shoulder to see if he's there. Even then, sometimes I still can't keep the bad dreams away. You took so much from me! Not being able to love, thinking everyone was like you. How I can't date or be friends with anyone that has the same name as you do. Why did this happen to me?
I thought this only happened to girls that wanted attention or wore revealing clothes. Did I give the wrong impression? Did I wear the wrong thing? But everyone says I dress like a librarian. Now I am a statistic. I'm someone that cries myself to sleep. Someone who still struggles to tear down the wall you built. I'm one of the eight of ten women who are sexually assaulted by someone they know.
You caught me at my lowest point in life. I had no one. I had no family, and not many friends to confide in. Sometimes I didn't know where my next meal would come from, or where I'd be sleeping at night. You took advantage of me. I remember everything about that night. I was wearing black baggy sweatpants that I had taken from my sister before she left for college. I wore a grey t-shirt that I had gotten when my family toured potential colleges for siblings. The t-shirt had a greyish blue stain on it, from when I painted my bedroom as a kid. I even remember the socks I wore. Your daughter and I bought socks with our favorite band members on them. We exchanged them so that we'd both have one of each. I remember when you came in the room stood behind me, unzipping your pants like this was something you did often. I remember staring at my stupid socks. Do you remember that night?
I used to think that if someone was sexually assaulted or raped, they would immediately go to the police. It didn't make sense to me why women would wait years to speak up and out their assailant. I am one of those women and I now understand you. I felt ashamed. My parents always told me, that if something like this were to ever happen, to tell them. I was invaded and defiled but also felt helpless and at the mercy of another person. I blamed myself and thought that this was my fault. I couldn't help but to hang my head and want to hide. I feared the repercussions coming forward would cause. I feared that I'd lose my credibility and that people would no longer trust me. I remember when I finally told my mom she said to me, "See, this is why you shouldn't have moved out of the house. I tried to tell you but you never fu..." I tuned her out. So it was my fault. After speaking to my mom, I never came forward.
Do you remember me because I will never forget you? I'll always remember the way you smelled of beer and cheap cologne. The way your rough dry skin felt against mine. I'll forever remember after it happened, you told your daughter to never speak to me again. The worst part is that such a wicked and evil person became a part of me and my story.