The Crime That Took My Life But Kept Me On Earth

The Crime That Took My Life But Kept Me On Earth

Yes, I was sexually assaulted. No, I wasn't asking for it.
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Skin tight and exposed

I was the only one lingering in a man infested cave

I wondered innocently throughout the shop

The thought of a man watching me with impurity never crossed my mind.

I was clean.

Filth was all around me but I was clean.

Untouched

I was sure that wasn't going to change, but I didn't have a choice.

Skin tight and exposed

I was the only girl lingering in the cold wet winter

Too happy to care.

After all, I had just turned 15 the day before.

Skin tight and exposed

That was my first mistake.

People might scold my feeling of guilt that still seems to creep up. To that, I say that all mistakes are unfortunate, and they can't be changed by others saying otherwise.

Skin tight and exposed

I stood and walked towards the bathroom without stopping

My second mistake.

But I was clean and that wasn't going to change

He put his hands on me anyway

He touched every inch of me

every inch of my body was being stripped of its innocence.

My ankles when I was dragged.

My wrists when they were gripped in his fingers and pressed against the ground.

It was the darkness

The darkness shielded me from the scene I couldn't bear to see and feel.

So I just felt.

I felt my shirt rip, my bra pulled down to reveal nothing but mere satisfaction to him he needed more. I felt my leggings at my thighs, my knees, then feet.

Making it all the more difficult to fight with my legs

My face was against his neck.

His tongue traveled to my mouth, my cheeks.

I wanted to know what he gained from this but all I could think of was what I was losing.

I had never felt such a surge of strength when I felt his hand going lower than anyone has ever touched me

I was free for what must have been 3 seconds.

The screech that came from soul and tired out my lungs held all my will in it, all my hope someone could hear me. All it took was his fist to my ribs and it was silenced.

The silence was so loud he stopped it with the sound of his belt unbuckling and him against me.

He was finally ripped off of me but I felt no relief.

I felt nothing

I was finished.

Skin and exposed

I had nothing left.

Skin and exposed

there was nothing else that could have been done to me to make me feel less attached to happiness.

I was convinced it was never going to be felt again

I can't remember the first thing I thought of

But I can guarantee it had something to do with how much I wanted to abandon this body

To rip off my skin and throw myself away with it.

How much I wanted to end myself and how nothing about myself mattered

This has defined me and my life

It determined everything.

He took it all with him

He took me all with him

And he left himself with me.

When something bad happens you can just avoid the memories the place, the people.

But the place was my body and the person was me.

I'm disgusting and dirty.

I can look at my stomach and think this is where he punched my screech away.

I can look at my neck and think this was where he fed off my sweet 15-year-old youth.

The memories are all over me.

This person was just a few weeks away from the hearing that will determine the punishment for the crime that took my life but kept me on earth.

What about my crime?

The one where I put myself on display with no care of what others could see without expecting them to do what they wanted.

I never paid for it, but I decided I had to

And I will.

But I think God has decided as well because my families lives seem to be hanging by a string and nothing seems to be going right.

I'm defenseless.

I'm hopeless.

And those are the words I think when someone asks me to describe myself and it will never change because I am defenselessness I am weakness

I am anything but good.
Cover Image Credit: media.defense.gov

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An Open Letter To The Judgmental People In My Hometown

Imperfections are what gives a diamond its value.
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Dear judgemental, simple minded people from my hometown,

I am sorry that I have never met your level of perfection.

Coming from a small town, everyone settles to the norm of the people around them. Unlike you all, I have always been a little bit different.

I've never understood why everyone always seems to feel the need to talk down to the next person. People love to gossip about a situation as long as the situation has nothing to do with them. For every move I made, someone was always there to bring out the negativity in the situation. You all are always sweeping around somebody else's doorstep when I know your doorstep is not clean. Maybe it is time to buy a new broom. I know that I cannot please everybody and that I will also not be liked by everybody. However, I deserve respect just as the next person.

SEE ALSO: Forgiving Someone Who Didn't Ask For It

I hope for the sake of the future generations of our small town, you all can learn to be more accepting to change.

I hope that no one judges your children like some of you all have judged me. I hope that the people that you love and care about are welcomed and accepted for who they are.

If we put as much time into being better people or helping others like you put into judging others, the world would be a much better place.

Imperfections are what gives a diamond its value. Pebbles are perfectly round. I'd much rather be a diamond, one in a million, than a pebble that fits in.

Sincerely,

The one whose every move you criticize

Cover Image Credit: Haley Williamson

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If Hashbrowns Were Heroin, I'd Be Dead

I hit rock bottom with binge-eating on a Tuesday morning before class. I am proof that it can happen anywhere and any time.

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I loved hashbrowns.

My Mom used to make them by cutting up chunks of potatoes and frying them to a crisp in a pot. I never really went crazy on them but they were always my favorite part of a homemade breakfast. Eggs were always a little too soft to be my favorite.

When mornings were really busy before elementary school we would go through the McDonald's drive through and order hash browns and egg McMuffins. Eventually, I started not wanting the sandwich. I just wanted hash browns. I could eat 2, 4, 5? I was only 7? 8?

Hot, salty, soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. I remember why I loved them.

I also remember holding the bag in my lap until we got to before-school care and seeing that the oil from the food had leaked out onto the bag, and onto my pants, and hoping it would dry. I didn't care. I still couldn't wait.

I managed to stay away for a long time after learning that these kinds of fried foods are just plain bad for you. Like cancer-causing, heart attack-causing bad. Not "bad" like I would be a bad person for eating them, although eventually, I felt that way too.

When my commute to school became over an hour, and I had 8 a.m. classes, I struggled. I struggled with the change, the demands of full-time school and work, and the growing compulsion to eat that came with it. I wonder if when you read this you will realize that this was only a year ago, and that I am still trying to heal from this. I wonder if you will be surprised that even though I am nutrition student, and I've lost a lot of weight, and I've created a life of love and intention, that I found myself in the McDonald's drive-through.

The first time I was starving. It was 7:30 a.m and I hadn't had a lot of dinner the night before. I was stressed, and sad. I was dieting on Whole 30. I felt the intensity of my own shortcomings. I told myself, "Just this one time." If it hadn't been a decision, it would have been an accident.

I wasn't a regular. I just went occasionally. I lied to myself a lot about how often I found myself showing up for hash browns.

I would tell myself the entire drive to school that I would NOT stop. I would go straight to school and find something healthy at the grocery store later. I could manage my hunger for the morning until after class. I stopped. I swear sometimes that my steering wheel turned of its own accord. To this day, I can't really explain it.

McDonald's enters their orders of hash brown in a very tricky way. One "order" of hash browns is two hash browns. The first time I realized that there were four hash browns in my bag, I thought it was an accident. I looked at my receipt and realized I had gotten what I paid for, and wondered why I wasn't even paying attention to what I was paying for. I decided I didn't care. I ate them.

Another time after that, I decided to see what I could get away with. I ordered three hash browns. I wanted to see if I would get three or six. It was like a mental game. I wasn't ordering six hash browns, if I got six it would be a mistake. I had a problem. I was disappointed when I received three. The next time, I ordered four.

That day, I received 8 hash browns. I remembered feeling like if I stretched myself any further across my schedule, I would just rip. I would fray. Shred. My seams would come undone and I would just float away. I think that day it finally happened.

I wasn't there.

I wasn't there when I ate them. It must have taken me all the way from the time I received them, until after I parked on campus, maybe 15 minutes to eat them all. I can't remember. It wasn't me.

I was the one watching the wrappers pile up.

I was the one watching the grease stain spread on the brown bag.

I was the one who was late to class. I was the one screaming to stop and get my ass out of the car.

I was the one who woke up in my car an hour later, ready for class, with a neat plastic bag of trash that included a hidden and tiny crumpled McDonald's bag.

I felt sick. Dangerously ill. I had a headache, a stomachache, a soul-ache. I felt low. Lower than any other time.

I felt like an absolute failure. Every mean thing anyone ever said about me, every mean thing I ever thought about myself, it was all true. I had made it true.

I was alone, ashamed, and sick.

If hash browns were heroin, I'd be dead.

Binge-eating wasn't a big part of my history, but it created a landmark in my life that I will not soon forget.

I think it's important to say that this event was not about the food. It happened because I was not emotionally well. I was not talking about my feelings. I was lonely. I was feeling sad. I was dieting. I was trying to control every aspect of my life to keep it from hurting me. I was hanging on so tightly to everything else, that I ended up losing control and hurting myself.

I was ignoring my mental health and it demanded my attention through disordered eating.

If you take anything from this story, please be reminded that your mental health comes first.

Get help with the heavy stuff. Get help, period.

You can chat with someone from the National Eating Disorder Association online to ask for help.

You can text NEDA to 741741 for help in a crisis.

You can call NEDA at (800)-931-2237.

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