*Content Warning: Sexual Assault*

You destroyed me.

You took away my innocence.

You were able to take away my dreams and aspirations.

You were able to shut me down in ways I didn't know to be possible.

In 30 minutes you turned my life around.

Broken trust, that is what you left me with. A broken sense of stability and love. Sometimes I sit and wonder why you thought it was okay to take advantage of me? Why it was okay to hit, and belittle me? You had me left feeling foreign to my own body.

But then I realize it is not my fault, it is yours. This is not a cry for help or an avenue to get attention this is me raising awareness that not only did you hurt me but others are experiencing the same thing you put me through.

My innocence was taken by you without consent. I sat in my room for hours after that night thinking of ways to end the life I was given. I spent countless nights waking up screaming with tears rushing down my face. I spent the majority of my future relationships scared of ever letting myself feel again. I was forced to take avenues of help like therapy appointments and trying different depression medicines. All of this resulted from the 30 minutes you could not control yourself.

Yes, you destroyed me. But now I'm stronger than ever, you will never be able to hurt me again.

With all of the pain and endless nights of contemplating my reason to live, I found strength, I found a way to share my voice and help others experiencing this pain. I am stronger now than I ever thought possible.

I wake up every day now appreciating the things in life that matter most to me, like the love my boyfriend has for me, the amazing family I am blessed with, and the amazing friends that helped me through this experience. I have learned that fighting for my life was worth it and I was not going to let you take that away from me.

I will not stop sharing my story, I have learned that sharing my experiences of sexual assault has let others feel less alone in the scary process that you, unfortunately, put me through. What you did to me was not okay. But through this, I have understood and realized my worth in this crazy rollercoaster we call life.

I found strength in the moments you made me the weakest, and I'm no longer looking back.

I have hope that other survivors will understand that their life is just as valuable. There is a bigger fight for happiness and finding it is not always the easiest but the journey getting there is worth it.

You ARE strong.

You ARE worth it.

It's NOT your fault.

You're NOT alone.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255