Recent Events

I apologize for not writing for a little while, on Spring Break a very dear friend of the family, who was pretty much my family even if we weren’t connected by blood, passed away due to cancer claiming his life. And then yesterday, yesterday was one year since the day I was raped. I caught myself tearing up, feeling weak, and even looking at my arms like the one year mark would bring back the bruises of his handprints in my arms. At the moment I realized I was staring down at my arms, I realized he didn’t have control over me anymore. In that mere 20 minutes a year ago, he had control over me because I froze. Yes, I’m a strong woman. Yes, I try to help people too much and end up getting hurt. But no, he wasn’t going to have this control over me anymore. By freezing in the moment, which I realize is completely natural, and not being able to protect myself because of sheer fear, I unwillingly and unknowingly allowed him to have control over me. A year from that moment was to only give power to him if I felt weak. So then I started to think, I survived a year of the nightmares, a year of waking up screaming, a year of him being within a mile of where I lived, a year of being afraid to step out of the shower thinking he was going to be in my room somehow, a year of gaining my power back. That’s when my tears dried up and I was determined not to let him have power over me. After all, I had decided a long time ago that to give power to a name was to give power to the thing. And that’s why I don’t say I was raped. I say “that incident with Tyler”. Because I will not fear screaming his name as loud as I can. He can not control me. He can not tell me that “no” and “stop” meant that everything was consensual. And that’s when you learn something else about what happened. I was raped trying to help someone who I called a friend. Someone who I went to his dorm thinking that he needed my help, to comfort him, and was undeniably wrong. He had eventually admitted to my father on the phone he raped me when my dad was so angry he wouldn’t let me not give him his number, he admitted through text with me later on as well. He was someone who had the audacity to ask me if he could still come home with me for Easter three days after he raped me because he was from out of state and I was trying to be a good friend. But everything I ever did for him is ruined by the thought of his hand prints bruising into my arms. Sometimes I feel if I stare at my arms long enough, I can still see the marks he left on me but then I stop and think “I’m at the one year mark, his marks aren’t there, and his power over me fades each time I realize he can’t…no, he won’t hurt me anymore.”

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