It was the last thing I expected to happen today. I never thought I would see your name on my phone screen again. That thought comforted me for months. In that second your name appeared, my heart raced and my lungs forgot how to work. My chest got tight, and all I could think of was why now after all this time. You swore you would never contact me again after the last time we talked, and I left you. I started shaking and was not able to pick up my phone. Should I open the message? Maybe it is important. I open it. Two letters, one word: HI.
My phone drops to the ground like it shocked me. Memories flood back to me like they just happened. I remember the crying, screaming, the fear and remember you. The memory of your voice telling me to calm down rushes back to me while the pressure of your weight on my back comes back. The sound of you telling me to shut up as you ignored my pleas to stop rings in my ears.
My lungs don’t work even as I turn my phone off petrified you may try to contact me again. The memories flood back to me even though I tried to forget. I feel you holding me down again. I feel your hand on my wrist leaving your mark for me to hide. My mind races as I try to think of why you want to speak to me now. I left you a long time ago. I wanted to fix things with you before I left because you trained my mind to blame myself. You twisted my mind.
After all the years of trying to please you and keep you happy, I had trained myself to enjoy that, to be happy like that. I wanted to be with you like I wanted to breathe. You were the one to calm my fears, keep me from the thoughts that haunted me from 14 years old, and hold me together when everything else failed. I loved you.
You were the one person I could turn to in any situation. I trusted you with my life. I was so excited to spend forever with you. That’s all I had wanted for years. Our future was so bright and happy. Everything changed that night. I told you no before I went to sleep. You woke me you to doing exactly what I had begged you not to do to me.
I called out to you to stop. I screamed at you to stop. You were on top of me. I tried to get away and move but you held me down. I wasn’t able to stop you. You had your way with me. I wanted a future together. I wanted you for the rest of my life. That all ended when you ignored my cries of pain and fear. All that went away when you raped me.
The next morning, I couldn’t talk to you. You got mad at me for not speaking. I told you that you hurt me, and you promised not to do it again. You said you loved me. You did it again the next week, twice. I left you two weeks after that. I avoided talking to you, and I even tried to think of a way to stay with you. The girl you knew was so stupid. I was afraid. I had never been without you in years. Who was I without you?
I wanted to convince myself it was a fluke. You wouldn’t do that to me because you loved me. I had always thought you wouldn’t hurt me, and I was wrong. You terrified me, and you had gotten me to convince myself that I was the problem.
I didn’t do what you wanted so I deserved you verbally abusing me. I didn’t look a certain way or I didn’t do a certain sexual thing you wanted so you went somewhere else. You made me believe I was the problem. That’s what you made me think for years. That wasn’t right, and I didn’t deserve any of that. I didn’t deserve to have you verbally abuse me. I didn’t deserve you raping me. It wasn’t my fault, none of it.
Now I have to live in fear that you will see me, find me, do it again. I live in fear of you and that’s not right. One day I won’t be afraid anymore.
Until then, I walk around with a fear of everyone I meet, and now I’m in the #metoo movement.