“I look forward to the day when you’ve never touched an inch of me.”

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TW: Rape / Assault / Trauma.

For me it didn’t happen like I’d seen in my nightmares, or seen in movies. For me it was turning up to my mums house one morning, in clothes I don’t remember putting on, all my stuff missing and no shoes on and with the most horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach, bruises on my body I knew nothing about and the realisation that most of my memory from the night before had been erased. It was the feeling of knowing something wasn’t right but not being able to pinpoint what. It was the humiliation of looking in the mirror and asking myself “were you raped?” It was the subconscious feeling of knowing you were but the conscious feeling of denying it could have happened to you. It was feeling helpless phoning the police to say I don’t remember last night but I think something sinister has happened. And the feeling of sheer embarrassment knowing some people would taunt you because they didn’t believe it. It was being hung out to dry on social media by the people that didn’t believe you, and being told they were allowed to do that and I just had to deal with it. It was finding out there was two suspects and not just one. It was the desire to rip every inch of my skin off so that I could grow it again and this time know who had touched it. It was itching and scratching my brain in a desperate attempt to remember everything in exact detail, whilst also never wanting to know. It was watching the person walk free and continue with their life, whilst mine burned to ashes around me. It was going deeper than rock bottom without the enthusiasm to even think about climbing up. It was waking up every morning to remember that I can’t remember. It was answering the same questions over and over because people needed as much validation as they could take before they allowed themselves to fully immerse themselves in belief. It was looking at my mum and seeing the sadness glinting in all corners of her eyes, it was putting all the blame on myself no matter how many times I was told I didn’t ask for this, then it was cracking under the self guilt I had inflicted on myself. It was wanting to be dead but not wanting to cause anymore pain to my family. It was cutting my skin to make sure I still bled the same. Then that became the only reminder I had that I was still real and still deserved to be alive. It was dressing like a slob because I wanted to be as least attractive as I could be. It was not hearing from people I thought were my friends and realising I was quite alone. It was looking at my daughter and imagining it being her in my shoes even though I didn’t want to imagine that. It was crying in the bathroom because I didn’t feel like I was worthy of being her mum anymore. It was the police saying “if you take anything away from this, maybe don’t get as drunk in future” even though you could remember everything until you couldn’t and knew you didn’t drink enough to lose 6 hours of your life. It was saying the words “I was raped” out loud without feeling like I was playing in a make believe world. It was letting those words sink in, whilst also not allowing myself to listen to them, because the thought turned my stomach. It was writing these words and for the first time not feeling ashamed because no one can see me or question me. It was releasing all the emotion on a page whilst not talking about my emotion much at all. It was saying aloud – I was raped, I was raped, I was raped, I was raped.

So to my rapist – You took the last little bit of myself I knew away. And I don’t know where you put her, but now I have decided because of what you did, even if you never admit it to yourself I wouldn’t want to be her ever again. I’ll rebuild a new me and put the pieces back differently so you can never say you know me. I learned that all the molecules in your body reform every seven years, so I look forward to the day when you’ve never touched an inch of me. I can’t face you when this goes to court simply because I don’t want to stare into the face of a person I trusted and liked as a friend and know you took that trust in your hands just to ruin everything I was. I crashed, and tumbled, but I refused to crumble. “You will leave this convinced you chose the wrong girl to have sex with, I will leave constantly looking over my shoulder for monsters dressed as friends.” Rape is an act of violence and most men do it for power, well you didn’t break me, you don’t own that power.

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