Open Letter from a Rape Survivor

We found each other a month after I was raped. I had put my self-destructive phase well and truly to bed, I swore. Somewhere between him and you, I wanted to die. How could I know I was aquaplaning into a future that wasn’t ready for me?

The stars knew it. The tar knew it. I, however, did not. When I finally ended up with a mouthful of concrete, it was because I wanted to run—from you, from life, from myself. I barrelled into a new city and then began to hate-fuck my life into oblivion.

I never thought about how that might traumatise you. I only saw rape. I wrecked my new job. I ruined my body. I obliterated my health. My new geography did nothing to cure me. Even then, you wanted me.

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Two years later, I was still barrelling. Still hitting concrete. I’m so sorry.

I hope I didn’t ruin you for the woman you fell for after me. I hope your life is as beautiful as your new baby. I hope you no longer remember me too vividly.

I had to write to you to tell you my life has changed. This is my career—it’s the one you spent five years begging me to try, and you were right. It’s working. This is my home—it’s the kind you always wanted for me. These are my friends. They don’t love me for what I am not because I’ve healed. You convinced me to jump, and I did. This is me, flying.

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