An Angry Letter to the Man Who Ruined Me

(SEVERE TRIGGER WARNING! READ AT YOUR OWN RISK)

Dear childhood next-door neighbor,

It was in the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice the last time I crossed your path. I had just turned sixteen and was living with my uncles, where I attended a new high school. You probably looked at me, but didn’t recognize me with braces and blonde highlights. My parents and I were about to sit down until suddenly, my entire body turned into an icicle. As anxiety poured down my back and sweat appeared on my forehead, I shook with fear after seeing your face. You sat in the booth next to the judge, looking the same way you did when we last saw each other a few years earlier. You were still slim with short, black, greasy hair, skin white as a ghost, five o’clock shadow, and huge, clear, plastic-framed glasses. I looked down at my feet because I couldn’t stand the sight of you representing my awful past. I resented you for murdering my childhood. I wanted to vomit listening to you casually tell everyone how “sorry” you were and that you “made a mistake”. It honestly turned my stomach into a block of cement. You were always a bad liar.

You weren’t apologizing for your disgusting actions. You were only sorry you finally ended up in trouble for destroying my life. The worst part of this entire shitty situation is that you didn’t even feel a fucking thing because you got what you wanted out of me. When I was eight years old, I remember you begging me not to tell anyone because it would get us both in trouble. Sadly, it didn’t occur to me what even happened to me back then until I was in my mid-twenties. The judge handed you a 20 year maximum prison sentence, which is almost nothing for the crime you committed. It’s a damn shame. I was not the one going to jail, but I’m the one who felt like the prisoner instead for the irreversible damage you did to me. I tried to collect the thoughts racing through my head while hiding the pain from my parents as we exited the courtroom. My mom and dad had been through enough that day and seeing their daughter cry would only make it worse. I couldn’t do that to them so I sucked it up, because I had to prepare for the mess of things to come.

For the next ten years after that court date, I’d be forced to write a letter every year when you became eligible for parole, explaining why I felt that you deserved to be denied freedom. Every time I received a letter from the criminal department, it crushed me from the inside out. My family told me I had nothing to worry about now that you were in jail. I felt tortured having to open this gaping wound to make sure you stayed where you belong. A couple years following the court date, the things I had to deal with besides getting those stupid letters were bouts of depression, mild self-harm, and insomnia. Several therapists, antidepressant medications, diagnoses (anxiety, ADHD), and visits to random treatment centers later, I had lost my ability to feel any emotion. I knew what happened to me ten years prior, but I didn’t fully understand it. I was failing tenth grade for the second time, and when I wasn’t being a hermit in my room, I only hung out with one friend because it was impossible for me to trust anyone, thanks to you.

Sleep had almost completely disappeared from my life and my family was worried. During the peak of my dreadful insomnia fit, my mom didn’t handle it well. She once took me to the store to get a giant bottle of sleeping pills, in hopes it would conclude my episode of sleep deprivation once and for all. Three days without sleep caused me to cry hysterically. For months after, I would cry out of nowhere for no reason at all, even when I did get sleep. Around my 18th birthday, I started to figure out something was wrong with me, considering that I displayed a consistent pattern of irregularities such as bursting into tears without reason, being on “suicide watch” every week, feeling emotionless, and hiding out in my room everyday after school. Teenagers are weird, but this wasn’t anything close to normal. The medications made me feel like a zombie, I was in and out of therapy like it was my long-term career, and my family acted like they were walking on eggshells when I was around. All of this behavior was quite exhausting. I was so confused and had no idea what the hell I was going through.

I found the blue, hardcover journal I wrote in around the ages when you kidnapped my childhood. Everything written in it reminded me of you. It filled my body with rage and my mind was drowning in guilt, fear, sadness, and everything in between. What the fuck were you thinking when you decided to steal away the happiness from an eight-year-old girl? Did you ever stop to think about what your gross actions would do to me when I grew up? No, you didn’t fucking care. I know this because you molested me for five years. These core years, when a little girl grows up to be a pre-teen and explores all the things that give her something to be passionate about as an adult, were sabotaged by a 40-something year old man who couldn’t keep his gross hands to himself. You’re a fucking monster and you’ll never understand the torment you’ve caused for me, my family or anyone else who has to hear about what you made me into.

I’m 29 years old as I write this letter to you. I want you to know how much you ruined me, and how you continue to demolish everything I’ve ever believed in. Four years ago, my father called me upset and asked if I got my letter from the criminal department about your parole. I guess the previous letter I sent to them wasn’t good enough because you were granted freedom only after ten years in prison. It’s really too bad that even though you were locked up for ten years, it will never compare to the irreparable destruction you’ve inflicted on me. As I sit here forcing out these words to you, nothing has gotten rid of the excruciating pain and heavily disturbing memories that you have sewn into my brain for all eternity. If you ever think of me, I hope you’ll be violently haunted by the fact that your vile repetitive behavior 21 years ago threw me into a never-ending, grueling pit of darkness. Because of you, I will forever suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, my brain thinks I’m years younger than I really am, and the worst of it all, you’ve turned me into a suicidal, dangerously severe alcoholic.

Sleep will not ever be normal for me. There is no escape from you, because you are entangled in every nightmare I have. I tried every single thing to avoid the sickening memories associated with you but nothing has worked. I’ve even considered knocking on your door for answers. The most frequent reoccurring nightmare I have is where I scream in your face, asking you why you did this to me and why you chose me. I might never find out why I was your prey at eight years old, or what made you do all those horrible fucking things to me for so long, and it shatters me inside. How incredibly unfair it is that you’re allowed all the freedom in the world, not giving a shit about the life you turned upside down, while I stay deliberately isolated from everyone because of the unbearable pain generated from 21 years earlier. How fucking dare you think you deserve happiness?

I will not allow myself to stay silent any longer about the extremely menacing oppression I went through, and continue to go through, from being sexually molested for five years as a child. I realize it’s unacceptable that such a vile human as yourself is roaming the streets, as I relentlessly suffer through this hateful vicious cycle you induced. I refuse to let you continuously wreck the life I know I’m capable of living. It seems I have granted you permission to scare me away from ever accomplishing whatever life threw at me, but it’s fucking over. You will never hurt me again, nor will you have me trapped in the inferno you lured me into. It’s time I heal the wounds you filled with salt and take back the life I know I deserve.

One thing that developed from pushing through the indescribable hurt, was that I learned to be strong for others and myself. It’s surprising when I get complimented non-stop on how indestructible I am when things go wrong, or told how remarkable it is that I’m still standing after hearing about my past. The week you were released from prison, I contacted your parole officer to make sure you wouldn’t get ahold of my whereabouts. Every move I made after learning about your discharge had to be planned accordingly. My mind persistently raced and fear swallowed me whole for the next three years because of the slight possibility I’d run into you in public. I was terrified to leave my house for several months, which led to one of the many times I went back to being an out of control, raging alcoholic. Around the same time, I had no clue how I ended up in the “drunk tank” at my city’s police station more times than I’m willing to admit. One night at home, I was so obliterated; that I tried attempted suicide because I hated myself for what you did. The pain was overwhelming that night, but eventually, a friend called the cops and I ended up in a mental hospital. You may never comprehend exactly how detrimental it was when you touched me inappropriately and forced yourself on me again and again for years as a child, because you refused to stop and rethink your behavior.

Unfortunately, it seems I was not the only one you traumatized for life. The moment you sat down at the police station for questioning when this entire situation unraveled, I was told you that at first, you blurted out a name that was not mine. My heart breaks for this girl because I met her through you, and it hurts to know she’s living a similar, if not, the same life as I am. Not only have you completely fucking ruined me, but you have admitted to willingly crushing two innocent little girls’ lives at once. How incredible it must be to serve such a microscopic time behind bars, knowing damn well that you’ve created severely profane desolation upon two naïve children and their families. I guarantee that you have never felt even the smallest bit of remorse for any of this. Have your loved ones disowned you, treated you poorly, or even acknowledged your existence since it happened? Does guilt or fear run through you when it’s brought up? Does your son speak to you still after he found out? I listened to your ridiculously fake apology in court 13 years ago when you explained that you made a mistake, so why does it feel like I’ll always be the one to fucking pay for it?

When I’m questioned on a daily fucking basis about what caused my PTSD, I’m always hesitant, knowing it’ll cause people to walk on eggshells around me from then on. I witness the concerned, apologetic, and horrified reactions after disclosing my never-ending childhood fucking nightmare and it always makes me feel guilty and sick to my stomach. At almost 30 years old, I’m just now realizing it happened, and there’s nothing anyone can do to take it back. I continue to suffer for what seems like a perpetual fucking nightmare, anticipating the day where I no longer violently shake when someone asks me to talk about it. You fucking did this to me and I’ll never forgive you. I will never hate anyone in my entire life except you, for turning me into a lifeless failure. The majority of people who are my age know exactly who they are and what they want in life, excluding me. I’m just now starting to discover who I am because of your foolish selfishness, and it has been the most difficult thing I have ever tried to do. You have psychologically eradicated me for life, and for that, I hope you fucking rot.

To the men and women who are/know victims of sexual abuse, rape, or anything along the same lines, you are not alone. According to statistics, only 16% to 35% of victims come forward about their sexual abuse or rape. As a victim myself, I genuinely understand the reason this percentage is incredibly low. When I was told that I had to go to the police about what happened to me, I hysterically bawled my eyes out immediately, and refused to comply at first. Victims go through several feelings at once, including: pain, guilt, fear, terror, but most of all, they feel completely embarrassed. Reasons why sexual crimes are rarely confessed involves an extremely unacceptable interrogation in a courtroom, others who blame the victim, and the most common reason is being accused of lying.

I know firsthand that coming forward is unsettling and scary. The most important advice I can give to all sexually abused victims: never let the scumbag predator win. If you are assaulted, tell someone straightaway, because disgusting humans like that don’t deserve to walk away. Yes, it will be terrifying to make it known, and yes, it will hurt like hell to relive it, but I promise you, it is safer to have them rot in a cell for the rest of their lives than to continue to choose more prey. No victim is at fault, no victim is a liar, and no victim should go through the excruciating process longer than they have to. I urge everyone to be brave for yourself, as well as others when faced with a horrible situation like this. Sadly, in the US alone, there are nearly 300,000 sexual assault victims per year, and only a very small fraction come forward. No man, woman, or child should go through a hellish life altering thing like this and in order to stop the numbers of sex crimes from rising, your voice is all it takes.

Oh, one more thing I have to say before I end this letter. When you read this letter and realize it’s about you and the horrible things you did to me as a child, I hope you feel eternally fucked up when you remember me.

Sincerely,

The eight-year-old neighbor girl who never asked for this.