Year five. Half a decade since my childhood was ripped out from underneath me. I don’t think a year will go by that I don’t think about it. That I don’t have the gut wrenching reminder of everything that I lost that day. It was the day that I stopped being myself. The day that I stopped feeling anything but the pain, the worthlessness, the hopelessness, the guilt. Five years of not being able to hold down a relationship or let a man see me naked. Five years of not being able to let a man in long enough for him to see past the damage. That day took away parts of me that I will never get back. Parts that I will never be able to share with anyone because of the fear of ridicule. Five years of looking into the mirror trying to convince myself that I would not let myself be a victim.
For the past five years I have spent my time giving back to myself as much sexual gratification as I need to try and feel something other than him. Other than the sickening feeling of being pressed up against a car and having someone violate me. I let men take me and have their way with me because I know that at least with them it is consensual, I don’t have to question if I gave them permission. I just have to let them have their way, roll over and then move onto the next one. Putting it on paper makes it sound much more degrading than it is. I read about the girls who can never have sex again because of the PTSD and it makes it feel wrong to enjoy orgasms, to feel okay with the feeling of satisfaction. I know that we all handle our pain in different ways but if it really that okay to let multiple men take my body as their own to feel better about myself?
But then something sticks out to me. Rape is never about sex, it is about violence. If someone hit you over the head with a shovel it wouldn’t be called gardening. I had a violent attack and sex is my way with dealing with it. I am learning to be okay with that. But I don’t think that I will ever be okay with what happened, with people’s reaction to it. With the scar that reminds me every day that I nearly stopped fighting, that he nearly won. Some days I look at it with pride knowing that I won and others I look at it in defeat; knowing that one person still has this hold over me.
So I stay in nearly the same place as five years ago, drinking and smoking to forget the pain that I feel inside, to forget the unrelenting grief that surrounds today’s date and I hope that when another five years passes it will be forgotten. But today I am not so lucky.