An Open Statement to My Perpetrator

To you,

         I promised myself I wouldn’t want to communicate with you, but here I am. I’ve changed majors, one that involves preventing men like you from ruining others’ lives. I’m in Women’s and Gender Studies, taking it to focus my energy on what you’ve done and turn it into something positive: researching sexual assault and changing the beliefs that our society puts forth. I’ve been angry for so long, so hurt and although I thought that was over, I’m here writing this to you.

         I read an article today about what the author called “not-rape”: acts in which she was violated but never raped. It made me think of you because although you never raped me, you coerced me, played me, used me… and for what? What was it all for? For show? To show those terrible men that you were exactly like them? I know you, and that’s not who you are so I ask you again: why? Why did you exploit and violate me the way you did? Why did you allow the university to violate me a second time because you wouldn’t admit to your fault? I mean, I also get it because if I were you I would also lie about what I did to keep me safe. However, it’s difficult for me to understand why you wouldn’t just own up to what you did and how much it hurt me. I think I’m owed an apology of some sort… a letter to explain.

         I’m happy with N, he treats me in a way that you never could, we have a connection unlike any other I’ve felt before… he makes me feel beautiful and loved with each passing day that we are together. He is there for me when I need him most, and I appreciate it so much. But if that’s the case then why does my mind still come back to you? Why does it still come back to you to debate what could’ve happened? 

         I'm hurt by what you’ve done to me, and I’ve also gained new intel on how I am a sexual violence survivor and memories I have suppressed for so long are now coming back. It doesn’t affect me the same way that I was affected last year, but I still always think about you. I wish you would come to me, apologize, say something. I wish you would come and ask how I am. I wish that you would walk past me and see how well I’m doing for myself, but I also wish that you never did what you did to me. You violated me in a way that I will never forget, and maybe even never get over. 

         Sometimes I want to take it back, take back that whole investigation just so I could still have you in my life. And why? I don’t quite understand it myself. Why would I want someone like you, someone who has hurt me so much, back in my life? Why did that article today make me think about what it would be like for you and I to be together? Why does my mind always come back to you and think about how we used to be when I’m so happy now…

         I was good to you, I took care of you. I acted like a girlfriend, and you still treated me like I was trash and worthless. You treated me like your slave and I’m still here thinking about you and asking what I did to make you treat me the way you did. I’m still here thinking about what might’ve been. I mean, it’s because of you that I’m where I am today! I changed programs to fight what you’ve done to me and to let everything out that I feel for what I’ve been through. Even when you’ve made my life a living hell, I’m still here. And I probably always will be. Because that’s the person I am:there for people even when they no longer deserve it. I think that I fell really hard for the idea of a fairytale romance, and I didn’t get that until recently with N.  But I’m here: whenever you want, I’m here, ready to talk and take an apology.