An Open Letter To My Rapist, I Choose To Live

aschmidt00073
aschmidt00073

I was an innocent, happy-go-lucky, 16 year old girl, who thought she was just going to have fun with her friends. I wasn’t expecting to leave feeling completely numb. I didn’t know I would wake up the next morning with bruises on my arms shaped like your hands. I didn’t know I would spend the next two and a half years replaying the events of that night over and over again in my head. I didn’t know I would spend 2 hours in the shower the next morning trying to rid myself of all traces of you.

I didn’t think that this one, single night would impact so many of the nights in my future.

You took away two and a half years of my life. You plagued them with a constant state of anxiety and fear. You made it so I never felt safe. You led me to a spot where I starved myself in hopes that the flashbacks would end. You made me hate myself so much, that I sliced my arms to try and diminish the internal pain I was feeling. You made me feel ashamed, so much so that I hid this secret from my parents for 2 years.

You made me feel empty.
You made me feel alone.
You made me feel worthless.

The good thing about all of this is that I made it through. I survived my attempts to kill myself, to starve until I disappeared, and to run away from my life. I made it to the other side. I was faced with a decision. Rise or fall, sink or swim, flourish or die. I had to decide between continuing my life and giving you the pleasure of ending mine.

And although it took me a long time to decide, I am choosing to live.

Despite all of the pain you caused, I am learning to breathe again. I am learning to find a place of peace and calm when my mind starts racing with thoughts of you. I am learning that every time somebody gives me a hug, they are not going to rape me.

I am learning that I can go out with friends and be safe, because not everybody is you. I am learning that there are men in this world that are absolutely amazing and can help heal, rather than destroy me.

I spent far too long giving myself a fake sense of control by starving my body because you made me know what it really feels like to have no control. You left me feeling like a prisoner under your command.

But I am nourishing my body so I can claim my life back. I have control now, and with that control, I am choosing to recover.

The circles under my eyes are fading. I am sleeping without constant flashbacks of you. I am rediscovering the power you took from me.

You are a chapter in my story, but you are not the book. The pages continue to move forward, and I continue to live.

I don’t forgive you, I don’t think I will ever forgive you, and I’m not sure that you deserve to be forgiven. But I am thankful that I didn’t end my life in all of the moments where that seemed like the only option.

I am thankful that you lit an inextinguishable fire inside of me that is only going to propel me forward. I am hopeful that someday you will realize how badly you hurt me and the amount of pain and suffering you have caused. I hope that you learn from this and grow to be a better person. I hope the pain I’ve felt and time I’ve lost has not all been in vain. I

Now I am living, and growing, and healing, and you will not get the satisfaction of my suicide. TC mark

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