Anonymous’ Story: Reminders of an Untold Story

Anonymous’ Story: Reminders of an Untold Story

I caught a whiff of cigarette breath and a flash of a memory from what seems like ages ago. It’s gotten to a point where I accept it. As soon as I think it’s finally gone I hear a familiar voice, see a face in the crowd, a specific look, I know the look now. I had a thought the other day that I’m strong enough to handle it if it were to happen again, but that the strongest motivation behind retaliation would be how fucking long it has taken to feel okay. I can’t start at the beginning again. It’s been really hard putting myself back together after all of it. Everything really.

In a way I want people to know.. but It sickens me to think of telling anyone. I guess.. I just want someone to care that it happened. Someone to care that it happened to me. Because I’m a person and I matter. I’m a strong person and I matter. I’m a beautiful person and I matter. I matter. God, I matter. Maybe that’s the worst destroyer of it all. The idea that, to someone, I matter less than wild animal urges. That my wellbeing matters less than the explosion of endorphins a person’s brain would receive if he just pushed harder and faster. If despite the tearful objections of a 15 year old girl he could just.. go.. a .. little… longer. Maybe, he thinks, if he assures her that he will make it better it would be better. If he uses words to deny the actions they both have a blatant awareness of, that it means they don’t mean what he knows they mean. But despite the churning of thoughts… I’ve analyzed the thought process he must have had. Not unlike frustration is temptation. I have felt his expression upon attempting some difficult task when there’s an irritating sound in the background. A task that requires utter focus. Not, however, a task that elicits a high reward. That’s another crushing piece of detail. It was the expression of a face attempting to finish a task they didn’t want to do but had to do, like it wasn’t even something he enjoyed doing but needed to do. And ya know, in a sick way I get it. The relationship was just a reassurance for him that what he was doing was okay. An alleviation of guilt. But, deeply, under the haze of weed and cigarette smoke that clouded his perception I know he knows. I saw that knowing watch me stumble onto a dilapidated trailer floor. I saw that sickness creep over his face like a shadow. It is not like a shroud he wears but more like the color of his skin. More like a thing that’s just always there, a permanent defining pigment of his whole self, you just don’t always notice it. It’s like finding out someone you know is a different nationality than you thought. You never thought of it really and now that you know, you can see it, but it wasn’t something you expected. He’s a monster.

I should have done something, reported him. I just couldn’t handle telling my family that a man fucked me when I was 15. That I let him, that I let a man finger me in front of a room full of sick people. That I let a man keep doing it for months. That I loved a man who gave me infections and threatened me and coerced me into mental and physical submission. That I cried a lot when he broke up with me and then sunk into subconscious. That half a year later I began remembering when I started a normal high school romance, where holding hands is a big deal. God, how could I have let it happen?

Well I am in my twenties and I rarely think of it now. I’m here to tell you that it gets better with time and work. Is it fair? No. It’s not fair at all and it’s not okay, but you get over it, you get stronger, and you can do great wonderful things with your life. Even if you feel like dwelling in the darkness. Believe me, I’ve been there. You grow. You find things in life that make you happy beyond measure and you move on to better things. It’ll always be there in the back of your mind, a warning to be careful who you trust. But I’m here to tell you that life will still be full and rich and happy if you choose it.

 

Author

WYR

WYR

When You're Ready.org is a community for survivors of sexual violence to share their stories.

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