My mom told my sister and I when we started middle school that not all boys are so nice
She told us that when she was in high school a boy she trusted took her right to consent who touches her body
She told us that was how she lost her virginity
I carried that story with me
I always watched my drink at parties
I never hung out with boys alone
My mom was right when she said you can’t always trust your friends
When I was 19 I learned that boys don’t always listen when you say no
I learned how my mom felt
I was no longer a stranger to being touched when I asked not to be
I don’t live life the way I used to
I don’t see men the way I used to
When men try to talk to me I can feel a weight sitting on my lungs
When I hear a man’s voice raise I freeze with fear
When I’m left alone with a boy I have 911 on speed dial
I never reported the boy that stole my right to feel safe
My friends were his friends and told me that it wasn’t worth ruining his life over and that I should “move on”
But do they know that I can rarely have sex anymore without having a panic attack?
Did they know that I can still remember him looking into my eyes and smirking when I told him no for the 5th time?
Do they know that I hope I never have a daughter because I don’t want her to go through what I have?
Do they know that someone I love was raped and almost murdered but was too afraid to report it because she didn’t think anyone would believe her?
Do they know that I now experience crippling anxiety every time a strange man looks at me?
Do they know that my rapist goes around telling people how he fucked me and that I was a screamer?
How can I move on when I can barely even live my day to day life without one panic attack.
How can I move on when I can’t go a day without thinking about that night?
But I guess this is just what it feels like to be a girl.