I know you may not remember me. I don’t blame you, I barely knew myself when I met you.
I had my body taken from me about 12 hours before sitting before you. I had just come from the hospital, where I was wrapped in white linen sheets, beaten and bruised. I had been swabbed with cotton balls in all the parts of me that I didn’t want anymore. The bruises on my wrists, neck and ankles still lingered. I had been photographed in private places to show the damage of what a monster of a man can do to a woman.
This was the third man to steal my body this year.
I left the hospital with my blood splattered clothes left behind, sealed in a plastic bag for evidence. I was dressed in an oversized sweatshirt and sweatpants and just wanted to shower.
The nurses who nurtured me encouraged me to come speak to you. I refused it the last two times I was raped, so I knew I needed to. Not knowing who you were, I believed you were my protection.
When I met you, I was still traumatized, terrified, and broken. Even though my body had been taken that night, what you did was worse. I was the victim, but you made me think I was the perpetrator.
You asked me to tell my story and I did. You interrupted “but that’s physically impossible for someone to hold your arms like that.” I looked down at the blue skin around my wrists and continued. You asked me if I actually said the word “no”. You asked me if I was on drugs, and what I was wearing.
You told me I needed to “get my story straight” when I was not even finished.
I started to beg you to listen to me. You took my phone from my bag and started to read through my messages. As I asked if I could please have my phone back, you turned the screen to me and held up a naked picture of myself that I sent to my boyfriend a week earlier. “Do you really think girls who get raped send pictures like this?”
I asked you again for my phone and you continued to look at my naked body in a message that was meant for my boyfriend only.
I started to cry as you told me my story just wasn’t adding up. This was followed by a lecture on girls who lie about rape and you suggested I could call you if I really wanted to make a statement.
You told me that I wasted your time and I started to scream, but then I believed you. I walked through the parking lot next to you and I believed you. I wasted your time.
I went home and showered the filth of another man off of me and put myself to bed and shook until my swollen eyes shut. I lived the next years as if this never happened.
I forgot about you for a long time. But it’s about damn time I’ve shared this story.