It’s been more than three years but I still think of you every day. I heard a while back that you told your friends you had sex with me. You had sex with me, and that is not a reciprocal statement.
You were always the popular one and I was the new kid, one who never really found her place at the new school I moved to. At graduation, I thought things were finally good. I had great memories and friendships from high school and I was ecstatic to be moving on to Penn State. Then a week later, you had sex with me.
I told one of my friends what happened. She asked me, “Are you sure? He’s not that kind of guy. You’ll ruin his life if you say that,” and I knew then that they believed you. They were always going to believe you.
Eventually my mom found out. She took me to the hospital. I got a rape kit done. Do you even know what that is? I shouldn’t have to, but I do now. But, by then it was grossly too late. I wasn’t on birth control. I was terrified this was going to happen again. So, they inserted an IUD into my uterus. When they measured my cervix to make sure it fit, it was the second worst pain I’ve felt in my entire life. The worst? When you told me you didn’t even remember what happened that night. You get to forget and I have to remember every single day.
I don’t talk to anyone from high school anymore. I haven’t since that summer. They believed you. I can’t even go back to visit because, even though the freshman class when we graduated are now graduates themselves, I’m terrified that someone will recognize me as the girl who “tried to ruin your life.” It’s been more than three years and you probably don’t even think about me at all, but to this day you have not stopped ruining my life.
I see people like Brock Turner on the news and how the judge didn’t want to destroy his life, so he only sentenced him to six months in jail. I remember that they asked me three years ago if I wanted to report this. I knew it was going to come down to your word against mine. So, I said no. But every time someone shouts “Joe Knew” at me, referencing the sexual abuse by Jerry Sandusky here at Penn State, I freeze up, thinking of you standing over me that night. Every time I get a PSU Text Alert that there has been a sexual assault on campus, it feels like my stomach falls out beneath me, I get dizzy, I can’t breathe. Those were people just like me. They will be hurting for the rest of their lives for something that people like you don’t even remember.
For the longest time I wanted an apology. An acknowledgement that you severely impacted my life. That you knew it was wrong. So I could get back the friends and memories that you took with you the day you had sex with me. Then for the longest time, I thought I should forgive you so that I could get over what happened.
Today I know that you had sex with me. You raped me. That is a crime. It’s unforgivable. I just sincerely hope that one day when you look back on your life, you’ll see me. And you’ll remember what I’ve never been able to forget.