Open Letter To The Guy Who Molested Me

Trigger warning: This post refers to very difficult subject matter and is not suitable for all audiences.

Hi, there. You probably don’t even remember me. If you happen to be reading this, look up my picture and ask yourself if you’d be able to guess my name or pick me out of a line up. That’s what I thought.

I guess I can’t blame you there. We aren’t friends, and we don’t have any mutual friends — because I dropped all those friends to make sure I’d never have to see you ever again.

I stopped talking to one of my best friends, wouldn’t return his phone calls for months, avoided anyone who even knew him, just so I would never have to tell him about you or the things you did to me. I knew I couldn’t tell him — because I used to love this best friend a long time ago, when we were both stupid. I couldn’t stand to see his face change when he found out. I thought he wouldn’t be able to love me anymore.

I still don’t talk to this friend, and I don’t even know how to get in touch with him anymore. A mutual friend of ours died a couple years ago, one I didn’t really talk to anymore either, and I missed his funeral. I missed getting to see his parents, the parents who partially raised me, the ones who needed all the love they could get, because I didn’t talk to that friend or any of his friends anymore.

I couldn’t pick up the phone. I didn’t know where to start in telling them what had happened to me. I couldn’t tell them where I’d been.

I used to blame myself for this, as I used to blame myself for a lot of things. But today, I’m going to start holding somebody else accountable. I’m going to blame you — for every stupid, horrible, awful, dirty thing you made me feel.

In case you have forgotten what you did, there’s a name for it. After everything happened, I called my friend in the morning, sobbing so hard that she couldn’t understand anything I was telling her. Even after I stopped, she still couldn’t — because I didn’t want to say it, wouldn’t say it, still can’t say it out loud. I didn’t have the words then, and they still hurt to think about.

Because she didn’t want to say the other thing, she told me the thing I could hear: “Honey, you got molested.” She had been through a similar thing with her ex-boyfriend, who also didn’t understand the definition of “No” or “Don’t” or “Please” or “I’m begging you.” We went through that together, and I even made her a birthday cake when she got back from the clinic, as everybody loves a surprise celebration, even if you celebrate in silence.

That morning, all I had was images and smells. How hard your eyes looked when you told me not to say anything, so hard that they looked like they could crack open.  How the weed on your breath mixed with the weed on mine, as I panted, hyperventilated, tried to find the words that would get you to stop. How you were there in the morning, just lying on the floor like nothing had happened, your legs flayed out like the chalk lines of a crime scene.

But since then, a lot of it has come back to me in dreams, in half-remembered nightmares of you. I remember hanging out with your friends and the way my friends told me to go for you, even though I had a boyfriend. They didn’t know if you were gay, but I did because you had Mandy Moore in your ITunes. My gaydar might not be perfect, but Mandy’s is.

And I thought you were cute, thought you were nice, thought I might make a friend. You seemed like someone I could trust; you had a face that made me want to believe in you. I wasn’t happy in my relationship, and I was lonely and needed someone to listen to me. And I thought that, maybe one day, if I were ready to be happy again, then I would let you buy me some flowers and take me out for coffee.

I think a lot about what might have happened if you only bought me flowers. My life might have gone very differently.

But instead, we did what college students do. We got drunk, a little too drunk, we got high, definitely too high. I had never really smoked before, unless you count smoking as “juicing up a Coca-Cola can in the bushes down by the river” when I was fifteen. I don’t. It tasted like pencils. I’d always been the good kid, the one who made the right decisions, the one who always brought home his report cards, the one who gave himself extra homework, the one you didn’t have to worry about.

You probably didn’t know this and wouldn’t have cared, but I only lost my virginity about six months before you came along. He had the same name as I do, and I wanted to start falling in love with him so much, but he had to drop out of school and move away the week after. All of it was fresh for me.

And you can’t play the “I was drunk, too” game. That won’t work with me. You saw that I was new at this, how completely gone I was, the way my words kept falling out everywhere like candy from a broken gumball machine. I actually pictured them falling one by one, like Skittles from a rainbow.

So, by the time you got to me, I was barely conscious, barely breathing, barely able to raise a fuss. When I reminded you that I had a boyfriend, did you even hear me? Did you hear me when I cried? Did you even think about it after?

Of everything that happened, the thing that hurt the most wasn’t you, your flesh on my flesh, tangled up in my flesh. The thing that hurt the most was me and all the stupid things that I thought while you were violating every part of me I was keeping secret, keeping safe.

I didn’t yell because some part of me wanted to protect you. Of course, I was scared, too. I couldn’t move a muscle, not even to blink, and I had to watch you do everything you did.

But I also thought about how much trouble you might get in if you got caught, if your parents would find out, if they even knew you were gay. I have a feeling that no one knows, that you still haven’t gotten around to being honest about anything you are. And I wanted to protect that, and that disgusted me. I gave the most beautiful thing I could give to someone who didn’t deserve it. Because I wanted to let him keep living a lie.

Somewhere, I thought that it didn’t matter. At the time, I was dealing with issues of Very Low Self Esteem, accrued from years of not getting any interest from guys, not even the kind you showed me. And I felt that maybe I was worth violating. I was gross. I was worthless. I deserved it.

I know now that absolutely none of this is true. None of the terrible things that your acts forced me to believe about myself are true. What was true was the way my mother cried when she said she loved me on the phone, the way the friends I told would hold my hand so tightly when they found out.

I spent a long time in the bathroom after that, thinking about terrible things, like aspiring pill bottle things and curling iron in the tub things, but love brought me back out, and every single day of my life, love keeps me coming out.

I’ve come out before — about embarrassing things, about beautiful things, about the things that make me who I am now, but I’ve never really talked about you to anyone. And I think it’s important to tell people about you, too. For a long time, I thought you were like a really horrible imaginary friend, and I wondered if I made you up in my head, hoped that I made you up.

But now, it’s time to make you real.

Because you aren’t the only one out there. Things like this happen every day to numbers of people I don’t even want to think about the size of. They’ve happened to friends and relatives, and I was lucky to be let into the agonies of the people I’ve told. They’ve shared so many awful and terrible and inspiring things about their histories with consent, about all the times when their partner didn’t know what no meant, and I felt honored that they let me into that struggle. In sharing our pain, I found something beautiful. I found a reason to live.

I was lucky. I wasn’t one of the Penn State kids or the boys from the Catholic Church scandals. I was mostly an adult and old enough to understand everything that happened, that what you did was evil and sick, that you are evil and sick. I know that I’m lucky every single day, when I get to wake up and tell my mom how much I love her, when I get to thank the world for saving me.

However, every day that I live this life is another day that I protect you, that I keep you safe, and today is the day I stop.

I don’t expect anything from sharing this with you now. I don’t want anything from you. At this point, there’s nothing you could possibly do or say that would take back the last five years, and frankly, I don’t want it. I don’t need you to be sorry anymore. I’ve healed past sorry. I’ve grown past sorry. I’m better now, and you didn’t do that.

But I need to know that I’m not the only one that’s better. I need to know that, by sharing this letter, someone else somewhere is going to feel a little less hurt or pain — because of things that happened to them, because of people like you. I need to know that we get better because we have each other, because we fight for each other, because we can love each other through anything.

I’ve been loved so much, loved so hard I thought I might pop like a balloon, and you wouldn’t know a thing about that. Love wasn’t on your mind or on your hands, but it’s the only thing on mine. It put me back together. It made me whole again. Little by little, I learned to love myself.

Did you?

Sincerely,

Nico TC mark

image – Shutterstock

More From Thought Catalog

  • RicePaperPlant

    You’re not special. This helps no one else. It’s masturbatory journaling and it’s the sort of shit that’s ruining Thought Catalog.

    Write this for yourself if it’s a successful coping mechanism, but don’t share it. 3,500 people already have and by contributing to their growing heap of cloying and cliche trauma stories, you’re only cheapening the subject matter. Go in a different fucking direction.

    I’m sure plenty of people will call me an asshole for purveying the truth, but, somewhere in the anger, we all know I’m right.

    -Rolando

    • VS

      You are a complete and utter idiot. Your comment has infurieted me and if I knew you I would happily hit you for this.

      This article helped me a ridiculous amount. Thank you Nico.

      • Thought catalog reader

        helped you what? masturbate to your own self loathing?

      • Heather

        @thoughcatalogreader please shut up. I’m embarrassed for you.

    • Julia

      It helps no one else? How do you know? Why can you speak for everyone?

      I don’t care how many trauma stories are out there. There’s a person behind each one. How is “cheapening” the subject matter even an issue? Sure, I’ve heard a lot of stories about a lot of horrible things but I’m not going to tell people to shut up just so that they don’t “cheapen” the subject.

      Nico: This is well-written, powerful and moving. Thank you for sharing.

    • becky

      yes, you are an asshole. why can he not write this for himself? who else would he be writing for? even if this helps no one, it helped him. so….you are an asshole.

    • alba

      The one and only thing you were right about is that you’re an asshole.

    • Julia

      Also, loving your classic and cliche ending line of “Even if you all call me assholes it’s because I’m right!”

      You’re not…you’re just being an asshole.

    • Austin

      Who are you to generalize and say that this helps no one else? I highly doubt that Nico authored this post with the sole intention of being shared thousands of times. But if someone feels compelled to share it, is that so wrong?

      You might try looking for attention elsewhere on the internet and leave the rest of us alone.

    • wangzta

      Asshole. Obviously nothing like this has ever happened to you and you have the emotional capacity of a teaspoon.

    • http://www.raymondthimmes.com raymondthimmes

      you must be new here… you’re disgusting

    • Margaret Thatcher

      Troll.

    • http://gravatar.com/1secondtimetravel Nika

      1st thing: God damn you.
      2 nd thing: This is an enlightening piece about molestation that paints a picture our culture often ignores. It’s not only for the casual reader, but in a country (the US) where “rape culture” perpetuates stereotypes that form the basis of American legislation…this bears reading. Court procedings and college campus scandals would have us believe that the only tragic rape is the “back alley” kind where some sick bastard rapes an innocent female. We live in a culture of slut-shaming, a culture where victims are of one prototype and perpetrators of another; and we live in a culture where molestation is a taboo subject, and victim blaming (instead of perpetrator prevention) dominates.

      If ONE person reads this article and learns something from it, immeasurable good has been done.

      Nico Lang, this is a phenomenal and gut-wrenching piece of writing. Never stop.

    • http://orrenthomas.wordpress.com Orren Thomas

      How someone can come on here and have the nerve to criticise someone’s writing is beyond me, but it happens. How someone can come on here and say that they shouldn’t write about THIS particular subject is unbelievable. HOW DARE YOU RONALDO. HOW VERY DARE YOU. This particular piece has actually put into words the words I could never find in myself to say… So you’re right in saying “it’s a successful coping mechanism” but you’re wrong in saying don’t share it. If he hadn’t done, I don’t know if I ever would be able to find the words I needed.

      You should be ashamed of yourself Ronaldo.

      Am I the only one thinking maybe Ronaldo has taken offence because he is maybe the guy being talked to in the letter? Or a similar type of person?

      Nico Thank you for writing this piece. I am clearly not the only one who has felt this way but seriously you have helped me more than I could ever describe. :)

    • Jas

      I agree entirely, this is just crap that should be kept private instead of being put on the internet so that a load of morons fawn over how beautiful and brave it is.

      • BarefootCuntessa

        @JAS What are you thinking?!?!?! Having a contrary opinion on this article will earn you online scorn, personal shame, and even THE WRATH OF GOD (see “God Damn You” in seven different places)!

        Clearly these loving, heartfelt, superior readers understand Nico’s message of righteousness and forgiveness.

        As you can see, ROLANDO WAS WRONG. This article has helped people! It has helped them become hateful, closed-minded and intolerant of a normally silenced perspective. That is to say, like the society of taboos that Nico criticizes, this group of TC readers has discouraged speaking out and sharing personal opinions.

        Good Job Guys!

        Nico, it’s not your fault. It’s just the scumbags who read your writing– they’re the ones ruining Thought Catalogue.

        XOXO

    • Thought catalog reader

      I’d have to agree with you. This doesn’t help anyone. It doesn’t encourage anyone. It just feeds into other peoples pain who may have also been molested. Sorry I don’t accept your self pity nico. Go get professional help. Don’t add your shit to the reading list that I am usually interested in. Thanks for wasting my time with your bitching and ranting.

      • isabel

        Why did you, or anyone else for that matter, finish reading the piece if you thought it was shit? And clearly, unless you’ve been in the situation, you wouldn’t know what will help you. get off your fucking high horse.

    • http://twitter.com/Commander_Co0l Tony F.

      Fuck off. you couldn’t possibly comprehend the type of trauma that something like this has on someone. The fact that you think her experience isn’t worth talking about because “other people talk about it” just shows how clueless and self absorbed you are.

    • JO

      Your opinion does not even matter. You are just defensive and an anxious person who can’t even take the time to reflect on your life. So please do everyone a favor and keep your issues to yourself. Even if you did not like this post, there is no need to be offensive. Smarter people like the rest of us actually did. What you wrote confirms how insecure you are!

    • LIAM

      Agreed. This whole thing is hollow self-victimising horseshit, and especially offensive to people who have ACTUALLY been molested (isn’t molestation used more in reference to children? I notice this idiot wasn’t quite shameless enough to call it “rape”). He was just some fucked up gay dude who got into it with another fucked up gay dude. That is it. You weren’t molested. Shit just didn’t go down in a way your naiveté could account for, and while unfortunate, is not the emotionally crippling case of psychosexual battery you are attempting to dramatise it as. I say this as another – if definitely not fellow – queer: Don’t be a faggot.

      • Noel

        You are a disgusting human being, Liam, and I hope you know that.

      • Guest

        Liam, your an asshole.

      • JO

        Liam, the same comment I posted to Ricepaperplant goes for you. You are both disgusting, attacking someone just for having the courage of revealing something personal

    • http://twitter.com/rob_t_firefly Rob Vincent (@rob_t_firefly)

      May you get everything you deserve in life.

    • kmenas

      WOAH you’re being crazy. I see where you are coming from but attacking this author isn’t going to make this post go away. If you don’t like it, don’t read it.

    • Stephanie

      How can you be so blind? I’m sure there are people out there that have never read any story on this subject matter. Some who have been in a similar situation who could benefit from reading story such as this one. What if that someone came across this story first? Up until this moment, they may have felt they couldn’t share their story with loved ones, but upon reading this they may reach out to find love and support. They may begin to heal after reading this. Just because it has been shared AFTER all of the other stories, it somehow makes it less valuable? Less worthy of being shared? Just because YOU have read them ALL (apparently), doesn’t mean everyone has. If you’re sick and tired of reading stories like this — then DON’T read them. Keep your disrespectful mouth closed and move on.

    • Guest

      Rolando, you are such an asshole.

  • http://www.itmakesmestronger.com/2012/06/open-letter-to-the-guy-who-molested-me/ Only L<3Ve @ ItMakesMeStronger.com

    […] Thought Catalog » Life Add a comment Now I realized that it had understood everything; it took wing, leaned far back to gain impetus, and then, like a javelin thrower, thrust its beak through my mouth, deep into me. Falling back, I was relieved to feel him drowning irretrievably in my blood, which was filling every depth, flooding every shore. –Franz Kafka, “The Vulture” _____ […]

  • Andrea

    Thank you so much for sharing, Nico. This is a very moving piece, and you should be proud of how far you’ve come.

  • that one girl

    you have no idea how much this has helped me. i lost my virginity in the same way almost a year ago, and while i dealt with it andgot (somewhat) over it, last weekend a guy tried to do the same thing again. but i fought him off and we ended up just passing out. oddly, that affected me more than the rape (after a year, i can finally say it to myself, even if not to anyone else), and i’m learning (slowly but surely) that it is my call if i want to do something, and nobody has the right to force me to do it. thank you for sharing your story, it has truly touched me. always remember you’re not alone.

  • eliza

    Thank you. I went through some stuff too and everything you said and how you said it, hits pretty freaking close too home. So thank you for speaking out, you brave, beautiful person!

  • VS

    beautiful. I am so sorry you went through this. beautifully written.

  • http://twitter.com/lielane Lai (@lielane)

    Geez! Relax man!
    and to the writer sorry about what happened to you

  • http://twitter.com/geegraphy Glerren Bangalan (@geegraphy)

    Heartfelt and raw with emotion. To share this to the world takes a lot of courage, and for that I admire you.

  • http://barefoothippy.wordpress.com barefoothippy

    Wow Nico, that’s an intense experience that you’ve managed to capture so well in your writing. I’m happy you’ve healed..at least as far and as much as is possible from such a torment.

    Strength and Love,

    Yumna

  • http://gravatar.com/nicolep21 nicolep21

    uh, you couldn’t be more wrong Rolando. I think you need therapy because there is something clearly bothering you.
    Sorry this happened to you Nico, i’m sure it will help someone.

  • Luca

    I remeber being molested when I was eight by my brother’s best friend who was fourteen. I ended up not saying anything and about a year ago my brother told me that he was caught molesting his own son and he ended up getting ninety-nine years because of the other kids who stepped foward

  • H

    I always love your writing and this is no exception. This has never happened to me and I hope it never does but I’m sure it speaks to many people who have experienced something similar to you. You are brave for showing that it’s not just women who can be victims of sexual abuse (which can also be committed by any gender). Much love Nico! X

  • Ria

    Having gone through a similar experience myself and keeping it silent for many years, it’s therapeutic to read articles like this — true stories about real people who I can relate to. Thank you for sharing it.

  • Tori

    This is one of the best articles I have ever read on the internet Nico. Thank you for sharing this. Fuck the guy that did that to you. Glad you shared this.

  • Jess

    Hey Nico,
    It helped me. Reading stories like yours help me more than you could ever know.
    Love,
    Me

  • jenniferalyce

    This is without a doubt the most beautiful article I’ve read on Thought Catalog thus far. You’re so inspiring, Nico. I know this article will change a lot of perspectives, maybe even lives. I don’t even know you, but I’m so incredibly proud of you.

  • ashley l.

    this is beautiful. the man who molested me is still married to my mother. he still lives with me. more often than not, i effortlessly and unknowingly suppress my emotions, but i think about it every night before i go to bed. my mom knows about it but hasn’t done anything. but im feeling much better during the past few months. i truly am. i think it’s all the treatment stays i’ve had for my eating disorder that finally started to pay off. anyway, i think you took a great step in writing this and sharing it with the world. i wish you peace and healing. take care.

  • A

    Words cannot properly articulate what this article made me feel. It’s all the words I couldn’t ever manage to say, I just really want to hug you for writing this.
    Thank you Nico.

  • guest

    I’ve literally never told anyone about a situation similar to this that happened to me. This makes me feel like, someday, I might be able to.

  • Laura

    Nico this was absolutely powerful and touching. We will never meet, but I’d like to tell you that I am proud of you for overcoming this and finding it in yourself to be happy with yourself. Wishing you lots of peace love and happiness.- Laura

  • http://joyandruin.wordpress.com Joy & Ruin

    pretty heavy

  • http://www.facebook.com/asamandalouise Amanda Louise Henry

    Nico, this was so powerful and heart-wrenching. I have been through something similar with someone I trusted at one point. I know the pain, and the courage it takes to do something like this. Thank you for this. For your courage and your resilience. For reminding others that they are not alone in their struggles, and that life goes on. <3

  • AH

    Love, love, love. Nico, thanks for loving both yourself and us enough to share. It really is the key to healing. “We can love each other through anything.” Thank you, Nico, thank you more than I will ever fully be able to let you know. You have helped; you have made ME feel loved.

  • Reader

    Nico,

    Thank you for sharing this, you gave your readers a gift, and the people who don’t appreciate it are just part of the large group who just don’t get it and probably never will. Unfortunately.

    But anyways, I appreciate you writing this because I was raped my first year of college and, 3 years later, it still feels like it happened yesterday. I needed to know that it gets better. And I needed to know that what helped you was learning to love yourself. I think I need to work on that — a lot. So, thank you. I don’t feel so alone.

  • http://twitter.com/mitzyredmango Mitzy (@mitzyredmango)

    Almost everyone is saying thank you, and I would love to thank you too for enlightening us. It takes a lot of guts to write this. So, for going through everything and staying strong, thank you. Because of you, some people might have felt better and, most definitely, a lot felt loved. :) You’re such a blessing.

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