*Trigger warning: sexual abuse, domestic violence.
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.
A sexual abuse survivor/advocate/public speaker,
A free woman and free spirit,
A college graduate,
The little girl you abused,
National Sexual Assault Hotline, available 24 hours: