Dear the third

TW: R*pe, retaliation

Dear the third,

In the fall of 2019, you betrayed me. At that time I felt betrayed and hurt. I woke up more confused than ever. I woke up with bruises on my legs. And a strong memory of screaming no while your friend raped me. I remember having out and comforting you and you touching me and saying stop and you not stopping. I felt so dumb and ashamed. I felt betrayed and like I may never trust again. And that’s ok.

This is the hardest entry to write because it’s so personal. You knew I’d been hurt before. You knew it would hurt but you did it anyway. Why I don’t know. I have a thousand reasons but I still don’t know. This day I was just in pain. Physical pain and emotional pain. I didn’t want to tell anyone. I did not want to ruin your reputation. As messed up as it is, I still cared about you and was worried about you. I thought something must be wrong for you to do this to me. I just froze. I went back to my place and acted like nothing happened.

I put up a facade and then I got scared. I got scared that you might do it again, That you might hurt someone else. That you might hurt me again. I froze up. And some days I still freeze. The pain I FEEL is still so raw. The shame I felt. I blamed myself for not being smarter, for not being sober. I blamed myself for being one on one with you. I blamed myself thinking maybe I consented and I just don’t remember. I didn’t tell anyone.

But then you and your group started threatening me. And it got real. I felt so terrified. I felt so alone. I felt lost. Like my whole world was a lie. I felt hopeless. I sat thinking about this pain and how no one would believe me because I had a reputation for being wild and you had a reputation for being so nice. I thought about how you are so well liked and that no one would believe me. I thought about how your friends threatened to expose a video they’d taken of me the year prior having sex with someone else if I reported. I thought about the entire process and I stayed silent and suffered in silence for a month.

I pushed through for the most part. Crying, missing classes, trying to forget and all while putting up a normal front. I exhausted myself. I didn’t think I was worthy of healing and attention. I felt so scared all the time but I did not know what to do. I didn’t want attention. MY BRAIN WAS CONSTANTLY EXHAUSTED. Playing over and over again the way you pushed to the ground, slayed head, and said I know what you’ll like. The way you acted like nothing happened but had your friends threaten me.

I let go of so many things that were important to me because I just couldn’t handle them. I tried talking to a few people but they told me it was no big deal, one girl even tried to use my story to make herself seem like a better advocate and instead she endangered my life even more because you found out and harassed me even more. I didn’t eat or sleep. I remember a few days later I saw you on campus and you waved at me like nothing had happened.

“How could you” is what I’d say now but at the time I thought I was weak for being scared of you. I thought nothing had happened and that my body was weak for sending me into fight or flight response. I stood there on campus frozen. Dizzy, my whole body numb. I couldn’t move. I did not blame you. I blamed myself. That breaks my heart now. That nonconsensual contact is so ingrained into this culture that I thought I was just not chill and not that you hurt me.

I don’t know how to end this because some days I’m still exhausted from processing losing a friend and being physically hurt. You took so much from me and I thought it was my fault. But I realize now, it’s not. I didn’t do anything wrong no matter what anyone says.

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