To My Abuser

To My Abuser

I survived my trauma, unlike you
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*Trigger warning: sexual abuse, domestic violence.

Explicit language.

To My Abuser,

This letter has been a long time coming, nine years. Nine years of healing, nine years of rebuilding, nine years of anger, nine years of forgiveness.

I still haven't forgiven you, and I imagine it'll take me a long time before I finally feel ready to do that. I'm no longer angry, as the past can't be changed and I've accepted that. Whether you choose to accept what you did and try to make something better out of it is up to you.

This letter is not meant to give you any kind of satisfaction, or for you to "win", I already won this fight and we both know this. I spoke up, I put you in jail, I put your name on the sex offender registry. But the funny thing is, YOU put yourself in jail, YOU put your name on the sex offender registry, I was the one that simply pointed you out to the authorities. You did a bad thing and I did the right thing in telling someone. Your actions caused you to end up where you are now.

I trusted you. You were supposed to protect me, take care of me when my parents were at each others' throats. You abused my trust as if I owed you something. You groomed me to become your little sex slave; I will forever feel dirty because of it. You taught me how to give hand jobs, what porn was, what the male genitalia looked like, how to masturbate, what the word "pussy" meant. You would reward me with Barbies, stuffed animals, my kitty, movies. You bought my silence.

I was a child. How could you possibly be sexually aroused by me? Was it my innocence? My compliance? I didn't even know what sex was, I just thought it was mommies and daddies laying in bed together. You would jerk off to me; I was just a pleasure piece for you; an object. You showed me a darker world that no child should ever be exposed to.

You were abused as a child. If you knew what it felt like, why would you repeat the cycle and do it to someone else? Your heart hardens after that, I'm convinced you have no soul. I used to feel bad that happened to you, but you're the one who made the choice to abuse others, only heartless people hurt others if they know what it feels like. Empathy? I don't think you have any. I never lost mine, and you didn't take that from me.

You treated my mother like shit. Calling her names, gaslighting her, making her cry, cheating on her, and god knows what else. My mother is a saint, and you took advantage of her in a weak moment. You knew she was vulnerable after splitting up with my dad and she was the perfect victim in your eyes. I began to hate you as I got older because I saw how terribly you treated her before she knew it. I don't know what a normal family dynamic is other than what I've seen on television, you made me afraid in my house. You made my mom insecure, jealous and made her think she was crazy. She wasn't crazy, she just knew you weren't faithful. You manipulated her into thinking she deserved all these things. She deserved way better than you.

My family was torn apart by you. A wedge between me and my father, my brother self-medicating. I became the strong one, I had to keep my family together. That's a big responsibility for a 15-year-old. You gave me anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, and depression. I don't like having mental health issues, but I will take these scars you gave me and do something worthwhile with them. You won't break me again.

When I stopped you from touching me, the one time I resisted, I was 15. I was no longer the defenseless little six-year-old girl, I finally realized what was happening wasn't right, wasn't normal. I swatted your hand away, you laughed, and walked away. That's when a different kind of abuse began. You punished me by emotionally abusing me. Making fun of my clothes, my makeup, my singing, my dreams of stardom. You knew I was being bullied in school, you became a bully in my own home. You knew I was changing, maturing into a woman, becoming sexually awakened, and it probably enraged you that I was slipping out of your control, especially if I was becoming sexier (ew). My blood runs cold thinking about what you would've done to me if you were still around.

Dating and intimacy will always be difficult for me, but I'm determined to find someone who will give me a normal, loving relationship, accepts me and my baggage. Together we'll end the cycle of abuse.

You stole my childhood, my teen years. But you're not stealing anything else from me, I refuse to give you any more power. While my life has improved and I'm going to be successful, your life is in shambles. Everyone in our small county knows what you did, your face and shame forever on the sex offender list. I wish you were still in prison, but it's only a matter of time before you mess up again and land back in there. I don't wish ill things, but the day you finally die, I won't feel anything but relief, knowing you won't be harming anyone else again.

I used to be scared of you and that small part of me always will be, but I've become cold towards you. You didn't kill me, you killed who I could've been. I didn't ask for my abuse, these scars, the nightmares, the aftermath. You killed your future, who you could've been. You'll get the ultimate punishment in the afterlife, and then maybe you'll see what you did.

I survived, I speak out, I sing, I wear my stupid clothes, my clown makeup. You no longer decide what I do. Your life is now being monitored and restricted, while I can do whatever my damaged heart desires.

My abuser, I don't wish you well. I wish you a lonely life where you have to look yourself in the mirror, sit up at night and are forced to dwell on what you've done to me and any other victims (god forbid if there are more victims than me). You could've had a great life with me and my family, but instead, you tried to break us. One day you'll finally get what you deserve.

I survived my trauma, unlike you. Abuser, I'm now more powerful than you.


Signed,

A sexual abuse survivor/advocate/public speaker,

A free woman and free spirit,

A college graduate,

The little girl you abused,

Lindsey


National Sexual Assault Hotline, available 24 hours:

1-800-656-4673

Cover Image Credit: Laura Warren

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.
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You won't see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won't laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won't go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They'll miss you. They'll cry.

You won't fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won't get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won't be there to wipe away your mother's tears when she finds out that you're gone.

You won't be able to hug the ones that love you while they're waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won't be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won't find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won't celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won't turn another year older.

You will never see the places you've always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You'll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges, and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it's not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don't let today be the end.

You don't have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It's not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I'm sure you're no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won't do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you'll be fine." Because when they aren't, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

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

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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To The Person Who Doesn't Think They Are Good Enough

I am here to tell you that you are not alone.

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To whoever is reading this,

You're probably reading this because you feel like you are not anyone's favorite person, or you feel like you're the DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) of your group, or something of that nature. I am here to tell you that you are not alone. You are not the only one who feels that way, and you are not the DUFF of your friend group.

We all go through times when we are really down on ourselves, or just feel like we are not good enough. Sometimes we cannot stop comparing ourselves to the people around us. Whether it's the person in front of you in line at Starbucks, your siblings, your friends, or anyone else, we are constantly comparing ourselves to the people around us.

Most of the time when we are comparing ourselves, we are picking out the positives about someone else and the negatives about ourselves, which makes us feel worse. I can think of multiple times that I've looked at my friend and thought, "She's really pretty. I don't look like she does." This is toxic thinking because we fail to realize that we are different. Everyone is a different person, with their own unique traits and characteristics.

Sometimes, you just feel like you aren't good enough or you feel bad about yourself without comparing yourself to others. The truth is, you ARE good enough. The negative thoughts you are telling yourself are not true.

Often, we are too hard on ourselves and too self-critical. We see the light in others, but we only see the darkness in ourselves. Move past that mindset. Start to see the good in yourself. There are things that are good about you, and things you are good at. Everyone is beautiful in their own way. You have to realize that there are people out there who think you have it all or wish they could be as good as you are at something.

We don't see this because we are so good at picking the negatives out when we look in the mirror. Usually, we pick out negatives that other people can't even see. This is something that is difficult to change, but tries to find at least one positive about yourself every day, whether it's your physical appearance or a talent or skill you have.

At the end of the day, you ARE good enough. You are not the DUFF of your friend group, and you are not the ugly duckling in your family. You are the only one telling yourself these negative things. It's all in your head. Above all, you are NOT alone, and you never will be.

There is always someone who feels the same way you do. Just know that you are your hardest critic. Find something positive about yourself every day, and stop thinking about it all so much.

In the event of an emergency, never hesitate to call the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

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