The Morning After I Was Sexually Assaulted I Kissed My Rapist Goodbye

Cecil Vedemil
Cecil Vedemil

If you’re sexually assaulted by someone you know, there’s a weird feeling that comes afterward.

All the trust you have for yourself dies and you feel betrayed by your own body and mind.

You feel like your instincts, judgments, and body have failed you – because nothing that existed inside of you had ever warned you there was danger.

Your ideas of friend, trust, sex, and sexuality – everything is left scattered around the room in the same pile of clothes that leave you bare.

Who you thought was a friend has suddenly become the most dangerous thing that’s ever happened to you, and not only do you realize this friend can’t be trusted but there’s a part of you that realizes it’s hard to even trust yourself,

because,
well,
how could this happen?

It almost feels like you’re hollow and none of you exists. You feel taken, and stupid, and exposed, and alone; yet you’re in a room with yourself and a friend, but neither of you are each other anymore.

The morning after I was sexually assaulted I actually kissed my rapist goodbye. I would later regret this for the years to come.

You know the video that uses tea as a metaphor for consent? My sexual assault was a combination of the tea brewer forcing tea down an inebriated and sleeping person’s throat. I remember saying no, I remember crying, but I also remember just wanting to go to sleep – and when I woke up, I didn’t know who I was.

It almost feels like you’re hollow and none of you exists. You feel taken, and stupid, and exposed, and alone; yet you’re in a room with yourself and a friend, but neither of you are each other anymore.

I realize now that I kissed him goodbye because I was confused, and scared, and I had woken up to a reality I hadn’t yet comprehended. I was also hung over, and embarrassed, and ashamed.

I kissed my rapist goodbye because he took something from me and I wanted to get it back and it was probably the most natural, vulnerable, primitive act I’d ever expressed – like a baby who cries to find comfort, or like a feral animal who stays loyal for food.

The power structure had showed itself and I embodied the smallest, weakest prey in the room. I kissed him because he had something and I wanted it back so badly.

All the talk about victims’ actions in the media and why they do what they do after a sexual assault is really quite triggering. Victims sometimes do weird shit because sexual violence is weird shit to deal with.

You grow up trusting yourself, making relationships with people, sharing yourself with others, and out of nowhere sexual violence throws everything back in your face. Power dynamics emerge, you become a piece of meat, and your idea of self is displaced as realities and boundaries are shifted.

I wish someone talked to my rapist and asked him why he did what he did in the same way they questioned why I did what I did.

I wish he had to struggle to find words for stupid questions in the same way that I’ve sometimes had to do.

I also wish he had to internalize the fact that he’s a rapist in the same way I’ve had to digest the fact that I’m a survivor.

I kissed my rapist goodbye because he took something from me and I wanted to get it back and it was probably the most natural, vulnerable, primitive act I’d ever expressed.

When someone does something really fucking weird to you and your body, it takes a lot of fucking weirdness to try and figure out how to deal with that.

Next time someone wants to analyze a survivor’s actions and figure out whether or not they’re logical – they need to do us all a favor and ask themselves how logical it is to deal with sexual violence at all.

I’m healthy enough to recognize what happened to me now, but it takes awhile for your mind to catch up. After getting sexually assaulted by a friend, it’s like a part of your life is born and disappears on the same day.

But where there’s weakness there’s strength, where there’s silence there’s a voice, and where there’s hard shit to deal with we find our ways to deal with it. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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