It took me two years to write this letter, I’ve read the poems, I’ve read the quotes, I’ve read the stories of those we label as survivors, and heard first hand experiences. But there’s something about being told that no one will believe you, that there is no reason to ruin peoples lives over it that really sticks with you. I let you make me afraid, and if there’s anything I regret it’s that I never saved your future victims. For a long time I stayed quiet, I avoided the conversation, I kept it inside until it drove me mad. But over the last couple months it has been eating at me begging to be heard. So why don’t we start from the beginning?
January 20, 2017:
—— went home for 2 weeks, you and —- invited me over to hang out. At first I was hesitant but we were friends right? You were a virgin right? The nicest, most harmless guy on the base… right? Ha. —- and his girl were drinking miller lite, I had 1 but you claimed you didn’t drink. Everything was fine, we sat around the table playing cards, —- and his girl on one side, you and I on the other. You asked me to walk back to your room to grab something; it was only a few rooms down so I agreed. We got their, and Dope was on the TV you walked to the bathroom while I waited by the door. When you came out is when it all began. You walked out smiling, you came over picked me up under my arms and started kissing me, holding me so hard it hurt.
Do you know I had bruises from each of your five fingers on my ribs from where you held me? No.
I pulled away and said what are you doing! Get off of me. I guess that made you angry because you slammed me against the wall and held me tighter, you told me to stop squirming you’d take care of me. But, I didn’t want you to. I told you that, it didn’t matter to you. You threw me on the bed and ripped my clothes off.
Do you know I threw them away because I couldn’t look at them? No.
I couldn’t move, I tried. I. Wasn’t. Strong. Enough. And I shouldn’t have had to be. Your 6ft. 200 something pound body crushed me while you kissed me all over and shoved your fingers into me , so hard it physically hurt. But that wasn’t it, the more I struggled the more turned on you got. You grabbed me by my hair and forced me to go down on you.
Do you know I had a bald spot where you yanked it out? Probably not.
I screamed inside wishing it would end but it only got so much worse. You picked me up and threw me against the white concrete wall where I smacked my head while you sat me on your desk so you could rape me.
I’ve never said that word before, but I guess that’s what happened right?
You penetrated me so hard I bled not just from my vagina but from my hands, my knees, my back from hitting the light on your desk. You tossed me around like a rag doll, you made me feel worthless. After the desk you held me up in the air and continued until you migrated me, us to the bed again where you beat the shit out of me.
Did it feel good slapping me while I cred?
Did it feel good when you gave me a black eye?
Did it feel good to see the immediate bruises I had? I bet it did.
You knew what you were doing. As if hitting my head on the concrete wall from the front and behind already wasn’t enough the headboard was a nice touch.
But, the best part of the night? When your condom broke and I had a second of relief to fucking run. I ran out naked, I did not care. You tried to catch me but you didn’t. I told —- and he believed me until the next day when you got to him. How could you look me in the eyes the next day and ask me to talk? My heart felt like it was beating a million times per minute and I wanted to puke. Later I received a text “No need to tell anyone you could ruin a lot of lives” OH. So the only persons ruin is mine. I felt so low, so broken I almost crashed my car on the way home hoping I would die. This strong person everyone so honorably looked up to was b r o k e n. And it didn’t go away for a long time. I had bruises all over my body, a black eye, bleeding cuts, but nothing hurt more than my broken heart and my pride. There were a few times over the next year I contemplated suicide, and wished you would’ve just killed me that day.
Do you know I still wake up hysterically crying in the middle of the night, curled in a ball?
But now, despite all you have done I forgive you. You did not break me. You did not damage me. You made me stronger. I proudly tell my story to help those around me never experience this. I found the strength to overcome and achieve peace. And I don’t forgive you because you deserve it but because I deserve peace.
Living with scars is better than not living at all and I’ve chosen to believe there are so many good people in this world, and I hope one day you choose to be one of them. I thought I would never trust a black man, never trust a man in uniform again but I’ve found one who deserves to wear it unlike a boy like you.
And so I thank you, thank you for choosing a girl who it didn’t break, who will use this to help others, who will begin to set this world on fire by sharing her story because you never know who needs your warmth.
Your not victim anymore.