Last night, while eating dinner with my fiancé, a song came up on a shuffled playlist over our Google Speaker.
When I spaced out for the few seconds as soon as that familiar melody caught my ear, he asked if I was okay. I just smiled and said I was a little tired.
We went back to chatting about our day over a delicious meal we’d made together.
My fiancé doesn’t know it, but I’ve associated this song with you.
While it makes me feel sad, it also brings me comfort and makes me feel understood. I feel like it gets me on a level few people do.
Recent events in my personal life have led to me being triggered. Again.
Today is what I call one of my “trauma hangover" days. I’ve written about what that means here:
The Hangover Effect of Trauma
Be warned: telling your story can have side-effects the next day.
Sometimes, I think about you, and our relationship, and your assault on my body.
Deep in contemplation, it takes me several moments to realize I’ve wrapped my arms around my body, and am gently rocking myself back and forth. It’s a soothing mechanism I’ve found quite successful — I just don’t remember when I started doing it subconsciously.
I have to comfort myself like this now and again, five years later, because you treated me like a disposable body for your sexual pleasure.
I wasn’t your play thing. I was, and am, a human being.
You did me the greatest insult by neglecting to acknowledge that under this skin and muscle and bone is a soul.
A delicate, sincere and honest soul. A soul you tried to brutalize with manipulation, cruelty and inhumane treatment.
How can I be expected to “get over” treatment like that so quickly?
Five years is just the blink of an eye in an entire lifetime.
Why, exactly, did everybody love you?
Why were you so popular? Why were you given such a charming disposition to swoon and coerce others with? Why was everything about what you could gain from another person?
It was all superficial. Because you had a British accent and a charming smile, you thought you were within your rights to take advantage of everyone and anyone.
What was I to you, even? Of all the women you’d dated, you would say I was different. I was special, according to you. I had intelligence and depth and more to me than just a body used for sexual pleasure.
You said you liked that there was more to me than just a body.
And yet, in the end, it’s clear you only ever saw me as a body. A body for your personal fulfillment.
The fine line between regret and hate.
I regret you.
Quite honestly, with my loving God as my witness, I’m pretty sure I hate you, too.
Or as close as a heart like mine can get to hate.
My body certainly hates you.
I see photos of you, and nausea rises in me. I cringe. Panic swells. I want to get as far away as I can from anything related to you.
I burned all your letters. I ripped them up and watched as flames licked them until they withered into ash.
The things I kept, related to you, I kept only if they are linked to another person I care about, as well. That, or I see more of myself in that thing than I see you.
I’m fine until my nightmares come around, and my anxiety acts up, and paranoia creeps into my rationality and poisons it.
There are simply days, like today, when I wake up and feel that there is something off.
Not in the air, but in me.
I know you probably don’t even think about that night. All it was to you was a last-ditch effort to get laid after a year and a half of investment.
I was the longest chase of your life, and all for a booty call.
To you, that investment was likely a waste.
And I’d agree — I wish you hadn’t bothered, too.
The regret I still have leaves me embarassed, most days.
Or at least, on the days when I actually acknowledge the fact that you still exist and are living a life in this big, bad world.
I cringe when I consider all the things I did for you. Being kind to your mistresses because you scolded me when I questioned your relationship with them. You’d swear they were only a friend. You’d shame me into being friendly to them. When you were in fact f*cking them for months.
I must have been such a joke to you both — laughing together after you probably got off and she was once again disappointed when you were “too tired” to ensure she equally had the opportunity to finish.
I cringe when I remember the time I begged you not to leave. You weren’t actually going to, that was your game. You pulled away to deepen my loyalty and devotion to you. I begged you not to leave, because the cold-shoulder and distance you would put in place to force me into submission was cruelty and torture for this heart which loved you so sincerely.
I cringe thinking about just how deeply I loved you.
I cringe when I think about how great I said our “love" was to friends and family — because back then, I didn’t realize I was in an emotionally abusive relationship, which would end in a traumatizing sexual assault.
I hate you. And my body does too.
Because when you assaulted us, you tried to take more than just my virginity. You tried to destroy my soul for your own gain.
That would have been your final act of submission over me. Maybe then, you would finally have put me in my place.
Even after a year and a half of “committed” (a questionable concept when you were sleeping with other people the whole time) relationship, it wasn’t love for you.
You didn’t love me.
You don’t do that to a person you love. That’s not love — that’s power. That’s ego. That’s dominance.
I’m struggling with forgiveness these days. I used to tell myself that I have forgiven you, but if we’re being completely honest, it’s clear that’s not the case.
I’m struggling with forgiving you for what you did to me — and I’m also having trouble forgiving myself for letting all of that sh*t happen, and not stopping it.
F*ck, I really wish I’d stopped it.
But I didn’t. I regret that fact.
I know I didn’t know any better. I know what happened to me wasn’t my fault. It was my first relationship — I validated your behaviour with the old saying, “relationships are hard and take sacrifice".
Which is still true. But“sacrifice” should NEVER include putting up with such blatant abuse.
I guess you expected me to sell you my soul, or something. I was young and innocent, and you saw a girl to mould into your perfect woman.
And when I wouldn’t give my entire self to you willingly, you thought you might as well take me down with you.
Too bad you didn’t succeed.
Too bad I came out the other side.
Too bad I’m stronger and wiser than ever before.
Too bad I’m a vocal advocate for victims and survivors of sexual assault.
Well, too bad for you, anyway.
Because while the people you may know now don’t know everything about you, and don’t see you for the monster you truly are, anyone reading this article sure does.
Or, at the very least, I do.
Someone has to know. It might save another woman’s life someday.
If the opportunity arises to intervene and get another beautiful woman out of your claws and possession, prepare yourself, because I won’t hesitate to f*cking do it.
You’ve been warned. Karma’s a real b*tch.