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What Survival Really Entails

A Letter to the Attackers, and the Victims

Do you recognize the girl standing before you? The one you effortlessly destroyed.

Do you recognize the humility emitting from her eyes, when you act as if it's okay to threaten her the way you did?

Do you remember the naive girl who felt safe walking on to your property? Smiling alongside your family, oblivious to the destruction you would eventually lay on her path?

Do you remember the anger which consumed the entire essence of her being?

Do you remember how desperate she was to escape your grasp?

How dare you act as if she was the monster when she publicly fought back?

How dare you act like an angel, when you're the soul reason she believes there's only a devil?

How dare you act like a decent human being while torturing a young girl's mentality?

It's your fault she wakes up screaming for your hands to stay away. It's your fault her body surges with constant disgust after your touch was long gone. It's your fault she was in desperate need to forget how your hands roamed her body without consent. It's your fault she launched herself into arms of those she thought would make her forget.

You stole her control. You stole her safety. You stole her sanity.

Yet you don't seem to realize how traumatic your actions were in the young girl's mind.

For so long she walked around you, praying you're wandering hands wouldn't break through her barriers once again. She locked every door behind her, remembering how you liked to corner her in a small room. She slept worrying she would wake up to a disoriented figure of a man I could no longer trust. She hated having her guard up at every moment of the day; but she knew, as soon as she relaxed, your hands will act as if they accidentally grabbed the body parts she wished could never be touched. Act as if they accidentally forced themselves on her, creating a disgust filled pain settling in deep inside her bones.

That girl standing before you. Is fighting for change. She is tired of being scared and fragile. Damaged and tainted. She is tired of being under your control. She is tired of feeling like a reject. Tired of living in a state where she feels numb.

I was 11-years-old when I unknowingly gave your twisted mind permission to assault me whenever you felt the need to do so. I remember you asking if I'd be more comfortable sleeping next to you. I remember feeling sick at how creepy your voice sounded. Light snoring created by your daughter caught my attention as I hope you'd fall asleep soon. You insisted the floor was a bad idea. No young girl should have to be uncomfortable throughout the night.

You walked over to me. Kneeling down half way placing your hands on my hips. I remember my bones digging into the dark green carpet as you asked if you could show me where it would hurt in the morning.

I didn't answer. Why didn't I answer?

You placed your hands in between my inner thigh. Using force to pry my legs open.

My face was frozen. Giving off an emotionless stare. My mind was blank. I could only see darkness when I tried to think.

I could've fought back. I could've said, "No", but in that moment, you knew I was yours. My control was in your hands.

In that moment you destroyed one of the best personalities a young girl could possess. I used to be outgoing, fun, and talkative. I wasn't afraid of speaking up. Being the center of attention was no big deal.

In that moment, I became shy. I became afraid. Afraid of being alone with my thoughts. Afraid of being alone with you.

"Can they tell what he's done to me? Do they notice the fear in my eyes? Are they repulsed by the creature that stands before them?"

Slowly my body became a pulsing temple of anxiety. I felt my sanity crumble along with every element of my being. I lost my self completely while falling into a void of dismay and despair. I walked around broken, lost, and dazed.

One week after you forced yourself on me. In one week, I had fallen onto the cold hard ground and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to pick myself up. I felt a monstrous creature evading my every thought, disconnected from the world, and the world disconnected from me.

I drifted away from my old friends. I stayed out of everyone's way and I became the school's introvert. As I grew more and more distant, everyone seemed to grow closer to each other. I thought the first initial week after your attack was Hell on Earth. I had no idea what the storm entailed.

Two weeks passed by and I had lost everyone I was ever close too. I had lost the want to ever be close to anyone again. I was only 11-years-old and I felt myself disappear.

The world may call me a "survivor". Hollywood may have episodes where girls like me overcome their trauma. Television devotes a 45-minute episode to trauma. The survivors are viewed as brave and inspirational for speaking out against their assault. The truth? Assaults should not be dramatized. Survivors are not brave, and trauma isn't some 45-minute episode with a happy ending.

I am a victim. Along with every other victim, I should not have had to go through that traumatic experience. Trauma never goes away, and the slightest trigger can and will shove me two steps backward. However, as time goes on, no matter how slow the clock ticks by, with every step I take, I liberate myself and am able to find freedom from his actions. Freedom from my thoughts and memories.

Hollywood wants us to have the sunshine filled day with a big grin spread across our faces. That day may come, but it won't be your happy ending. It'll just be another happy moment in your life. One to think about when dark thoughts start to creep in. 

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