To My Assaulter, You Have Changed How I View The World, But You Haven’t Broken Me

Maybe I was too trusting. Perhaps it was my fault that it happened. Perhaps if I had said no to hanging out, it wouldn't have happened. Perhaps it wouldn't have happened if I never met you. I think about all the things that if changed slightly would have changed the course of events entirely.

Then I think about other things. If it weren't me, it would have been someone else. If I hadn't gone to the cops, it could have happened to more people. Maybe other girls have been hurt by you. I don't know their stories, but I know my own.

This is my story, my truth.

I had heard the rumors about you at school. They were nothing worse than the usual, "He's a player," and "He dated this one girl and it didn't end well." The high school gossip mill works wonders for someone's image. I had heard all of these and accepted them for what they were. Rumors.

That was my fault for not listening to what people were saying. It was my fault for believing that even though people said those things, that is not what you were; that you were a good person. I was bored at night and was looking to make plans with someone to get out of the house. I messaged you. You messaged back and offered that we watch a movie at your house. I agreed.

You picked me up around 7:00. It was December, and I had just gotten my letterman jacket. I was excited to wear it. I wore my jacket, jeans, and a tank top. You pulled up in your red car, and I got in. This is where I went wrong.

We drove to the apartments that sat next to the high school and walked up three flights of stairs. We went inside, and I took off my shoes and took off my jacket. We sat on the couch, and you put your arm around me.

That was fine. I was okay with that. The movie kept on playing, and then you kissed me. I was okay with that. It was when it started progressing further that I insisted you stop.

You would not stop. I tried moving away from you. You followed. Finally, I managed to get you to give up and take me home.

I rode with you in that car in silence unsure of what had just happened. I watched the lights outside my window, then we pulled up to my house and I got out. I went inside, and I put on four pairs of pants and sat on the floor of my room rocking back and forth on the phone with my friend.

She told me I had to tell the cops — both of my friends told me to tell the cops. I was still unsure. I barely slept that night tossing and turning. We had class together that day, and I ditched. I sat on the benches on the first floor crying to my friend about what had happened.

She took me to the resource officer and waited while I made my report. Later that week I would talk to a detective. Since there was no physical evidence, they would have to question you. You agreed and then changed your mind. You knew what you had done. You knew how it would sound.

I never got closure.

I sat in that class day in and day out for a school year hoping you wouldn't be there. I sat in the same class with you for a year after the assault. You often would try and make a point to partner with me or get into my group.

I was helpless. I was alone.

I no longer believe in the good of people. I now listen to what people say. I now second guess my choices. I now find it hard to get close to the people I love.

When I try to date someone new, I question everything. It takes a while before I get comfortable now. I find it hard to go past those apartments. I find it hard to look at my letterman jacket now. I find it hard to be okay.

It has been three years now, and I am still feeling the aftershocks. You are out there living your life without a second thought, and that is the most tragic part of this whole thing.

I will get through it. I will be happy again. I will find love in someone who can see past my scars. I will be able to live a normal life one day again. I will be able to love again. I will be to trust again.

I will be whole again.

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