It has been 11 years since the night I was raped. With the help of my husband, I have worked to find my way through the pain. It has taken me this long to muster the strength to write about my sexual assault, but it gives me comfort to share this poem with you now from a place of victory after healing from what was done to me.
There is little I remember of that night.
Little pictures that come in and out of my mind.
The things you thought you stole from me.
The title sweet 16 couldn’t be further from the truth.
16 and damaged because you took what wasn’t yours.
Still I take responsibility for putting myself there.
There again a 5 second picture of myself grabbing the wall as I climbed the stairs.
Briefly I remember being so intoxicated I fell sideways across the bed.
So tired and drunk, I just needed to lie down my head.
Only the second time in my life I went to a party. Looking back you asked many times leading up to that night if I had “been” with anybody.
Proudly I said no! I was proud I was saving myself for someone I loved. I still don’t know how I didn’t see, the sinister plan this man, 10 years my senior, had for me
Instead of finding enjoyment that night i found the people I couldn’t trust!
No-one tried to protect me, no one cared enough.
I remember saying “NO!” grabbing onto my pants as you tried to pull them away.
And you saying “It was okay!”
After that I don’t remember much.
Except my virginity was lost.
I remember feeling damaged and owned by you!
I remember feeling dazed, confused.
Not many days after hiding my pain deep within myself I remember receiving from you the sickest of cards.
“With my deepest Sympathy for your loss” is what it read. Signed your name in blue pen
How could someone be so messed up as this.
I remember my mom telling me she heard you had raped some other girl then asking me if I would tell her if it happened to me too?!
Then the pain could be held back no more, then opened the floodgates of my tears and my hurt
Then laid open the wounds you left in your wake.
An investigation occurred, they believed me, this wasn’t your first time. I remember the detective upon seeing me saying you look like a child.
But it had been too long for justice to be served.
Instead I was served persecution, people calling me a liar, telling me I should die. Threatening to beat me maybe I should just give up.
Years and many tears later I can look back at this time, the thing you thought you stole, will always be mine.
For years you left me with rejection, pain and hurt.
A sense of unworthiness that jaded me at every turn
Until I realized you weren’t worth the time.
I had to forgive you to take back my life.
26 years old, happily married and ready to be free.
I get to choose how that one night will define me!
Editor’s Note: If you or a loved one have survived a sexual assault, please visit RAINN for resources and information to help you on the path to healing.