A Letter to My Sexual Perpetrator
It was never my fault.
Do you remember the last time we saw each other?
I was nineteen. We went to lunch at a pizza place. I hadn’t seen you in a few months.
It was overcast and chilly enough for just a sweater.
After lunch we got on the freeway and you were supposed to take me home.
You looked over at me and said, “So you are coming back to the hotel room with me right?”
My heart raced with fear. My pupils dilated the size of a full moon.
I held my breath hoping you wouldn’t see how terrified I was.
I meekly replied, “What are you talking about? Why do you have a hotel room? Why would I go back with you?”
“I don’t know. I thought we would have a little fun together,” you said.
I instantly grabbed the door handle and held on for my life. I crossed my legs and shrank deeper into my seat.
I looked over at your dashboard to see how fast you were going.
I thought maybe I could jump out on the highway and be okay.
“No I can’t go back with you to your hotel room. I have to go home. Please take me back,” I requested trying to stifle my inner screams.
“Well this is what I wanted to talk to you about. Some things haven’t changed for me. I still have feelings for you. I am still in love with you,” you said.
My stomach turned in knots. I wanted to vomit up my terror.
(This couldn’t be happening again, I thought.)
“What feelings? I don’t know what you are talking about. It’s all in your head. There are no feelings,” I said.
“Well this is your fault. You started this,” you replied.
How could I have started it? I was just a kid.
“I didn’t start anything. You were supposed to be my Dad! Please just take me back. ”
I don’t remember what else happened after that.
A miracle happened and you took me home.
It’s been years since I have seen you.
I have carried a shame that it was all my fault.
I felt so dirty. I felt like a whore.
I will never know what it was like to have a first love or a first boyfriend.
You robbed me from that.
I will never know what it feels like to hear my first love say he is in love with me.
I will never know the excitement of going on my first date or dressing up for prom.
You told me many times it was all my fault and that I was responsible for your sexual lust for little girls.
I have cried more times than I can count. Felt the rage. Felt the anger.
I have felt all the feelings.
And I am still here.
There are some things that I have that you won’t take from me.
I have a light about me that you will never have.
I have a voice now that you won’t scare quiet.
I have a child now that I will love unconditionally.
Thank you for being a source of pain.
I have learned so much about myself.
I have been in the depths of brokenness. And found my way out.
“There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.” — Leonard Cohen
I pray for you. That you find healing. That you find peace.
That you find light in your dark cloud of misery.
I won’t live in fear or shame. I won’t hide my beauty.
I will be vulnerable. I will be courageous.
I will change the cycle by telling our story.
I will share the truth.
It was never my fault.