"Why didn't you do something about it then?"
Those words ring in my head. Not once, not twice, but on more times than I can count on one hand do those words spill out from someone's mouth. Word vomit.
Why didn't I do something about it? Like what? Like surviving it isn't hard enough?
They just don't get it. To wake up every morning for the next five days reliving what happened, to try and fight off every mental repercussion it brought for the following year, to stop fighting what happened and to finally accept it — that's me doing something about it.
Sure, going to court is an option. Say that all you want. As if trying to fight him off that night wasn't hard enough, you think I really have the mental strength to do it in front of a court? I mean, none of my friends believe me. None of his friends believe me. He doesn't even believe it. So why would a jury believe it?
I don't need a jury to tell me if he did what he did. I know what he did.
I know he did it — because I was there. I had to fight the tears every morning after. I had to relive that night every time I would drown myself in a bottle for the months following, I had to fight the thought that guys only ever wanted me anymore for sex. I had to fight.
I had to fight. I have to fight. Not in front of a court — a harder one. I have to fight the fight within myself, by myself, for myself.
I remember the time I told my friend, she didn't really believe me. I had one, maybe two friends who did. One who laughed every time it was brought up because he thought it was funny, especially because of who did it to me, and one who would let me crawl into his bed and scream in anger with tears dripping down my face as I would repeat, "It isn't my fault. It isn't my fault, right? I said no. I said no." Words that I still find myself questioning and repeating to this day.
But when I told my best friend, she really didn't believe me. She, along with many others, didn't believe me until more friends of theirs came out about what the same boy had done to them. Suddenly, my story had validation. Yet, they have the nerve, after only believing me when somebody else fessed up, to tell me to fight it in court? If I can't even get my friends to believe me, why should a jury believe me?
Why would I want to listen to even more people telling me, "He's a good guy. He wouldn't."
The night it happened, I couldn't fight. I tried. I tried for some time. Fighting him off, trying to think of every way to get him to stop, saying anything I could for him to get it through his head that this is not what I wanted. But, vividly, I remember that I stopped fighting. I had no fight left in me. My body just froze. Nothing was working and it was like it all left my body. So I just laid there, cold and still, letting him do what he wanted, as my mind kept repeating the same things that he wouldn't listen to when I said them out loud: "Just stop. I don't want to. Please, I really don't want to. I said no."
If I couldn't even fight hard enough that night, what makes you think I could fight now? What makes you think that I want to relive that?
The fight won't be over until he finally understands what he has done. But he won't ever because, in his mind, he did nothing wrong.
Until he can face the facts, my facts are useless, just like what my voice was that day.
When you ask why I didn't do something about this, know I did. I did everything I could and it wasn't enough, hence I was laying there cold and still and this all happened.
When you ask why I don't take it to court, know that a jury can't heal me, a jury can't take back what he's done, a jury can't fight the repercussions for me.
When you ask why I don't fight it, please know that I'm tired of fighting. I fought the night of. I fought every day after that. I fought and failed, for society to believe so I didn't have to feel so alone in this. And I'll fight off the memory for the rest of my life.
I don't need a jury to tell me if he did what he did. I was there. I already know.
And now, it's time to move forward. Put down my armor and live a the newfound life that I fought to get back.