Dear rape survivor,
I am so sorry for what happened to you.
You didn’t deserve this. Nothing you did or did not do made you deserve this. Not the clothes you wore. Not the way you styled your hair or the makeup on your face—or the makeup you didn’t wear. The alcohol you drank or the pot you smoked didn’t make your deserve this. Neither did the way you danced or walked or sat or laid down. Not because you were too young or too old or too somewhere in between. Not your skin color or your religion or the way your lips shape words that they said made you a stranger.
You are going to have to be strong.
No, no, no, no, I know—you are so strong. You survived! You survived. You made it through and came out the other side, and bits and pieces of you are torn up inside and outside, but that awful tragedy isn’t going to prepare you for what comes next.
You need to be strong, just a little bit longer. Please be strong.They are going to come at you, and their words are going to sting like a hundred thousand bites. Every question, every accusation, every sorry look before they begin to say, “I’m sorry, but…”I’m sorry, but fuck them. They’re wrong. They are wrong and you did everything you needed to do to survive.You said no. You didn’t say no. You closed your eyes. You waited for it to end. You pushed him. You didn’t push him. You went to the police. You didn’t go to the police. You showered. You didn’t shower. You got that awful stink of his cologne off your skin as you sat, sobbing on the bathroom floor, praying that maybe you remembered it wrong because, god fucking damnit, this sort of thing doesn’t happen to a girl like you.
Stop. Stop asking yourself what you could have done, should have done. Stop listening to their biting, angry words hidden behind concern.
You did everything you needed to do to survive.Now, you need to be strong.You are not going to feel strong. You are going to feel like he reached inside you and tore out a piece of your soul, leaving behind a ragged, ugly crater, and all you want is to get it back.
You are going to look for it. You are going to look for it in booze or razors or starvation or sleep because you won’t know what else to do with yourself, so you will seek it out, shutting out the world until you can find that missing chunk that was torn away from you in a meteoric crash.You won’t find it. I know you don’t want to hear that, and some people will tell you that you can find it, but you won’t. You are not the person you were before, and that scarred earth is a part of who you are now.But it will grow over. You will heal. The charred and torn edges will erode as the memories start to wisp away. You’ll grasp at them, asking yourself why you can’t remember his face or his smell or the details that were so clearly imprinted you thought they would never go away, but they’ll slip through your fingers and something like peace will start to bubble through.You will never be over it. You will never forget it completely. And that’s okay. There will be good days and bad days and days where you’ll want to hide away from the world. You will find comfort in strange places and you will find triggers in the familiar that will send up jagged cliffs that pierce you.Every waking moment will feel like a goddamn trial.But you will be strong.