On Speaking Truths

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So this is a thing that happened on Twitter yesterday.

I’ve never spoken about this out loud to anyone. At the time, it never dawned on me what it was, and since then I’ve done a lot to move past it. I know now what it was, and I know that I should have fought for myself but I also know that me saying no should have been enough to stop it altogether.

But when it happened, I didn’t know that. I accepted his apology and declaration of love because I thought I had to. Apologies mean that someone is sorry, right? That they didn’t mean to hurt you, and that they won’t do it again.

So he said he was sorry. And he told me he loved me. And he wiped my tears away. And he didn’t do it again. And I thought everything was fine.

I don’t want to say that my life has been controlled by what happened, because it hasn’t been. But I know that I’ve shielded myself from others as a result. In my head, it makes sense because I let someone get close and he hurt me so if I never let anyone get close I can’t get hurt.

I don’t think about it often, but I do think about it. I think about what I could have done to stop it, and what I did to provoke it, and whether or not I imagined it. I know that it happened, because sometimes I still hear him saying that he was sorry and my skin crawls. And what really gets me is when I see him out in public, married with children, knowing that he probably hasn’t given it a second thought since that day 14 years ago.

This is my story, and I own it. I wish we didn’t have to talk about these things but we do. And we’re going to have to keep talking until we don’t have to anymore.

So to anyone who has a story to share and hasn’t, know this: it’s not your fault. It doesn’t matter what you were wearing, or whether you went home with him, or whether you loved him…. It’s not your fault.

And when or if you decide to talk about it, know that I believe you.

I believe you because it happened to friends of mine.

I believe you because it happened to family members.

I believe you because it happened to me.

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