When Sexual Assault Ripped Off My Wings
Editor’s Note: If you’ve experienced sexual abuse or assault, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-4673.
You ripped off my wings.
The wings that held my hopes, dreams, aspirations, morals and values — the very core of who I am.
You pulled me onto your bed and proceeded to rip off my wings, plucking the feathers out one by one.
As I lay there bleeding, you poured salt into the wounds that were left behind as you whispered, “Why don’t you stay the night?” As if this body you thought you owned, the body you tainted, should stay for longer than you already had it.
As I picked myself up and hurried out the door with my empty, bleeding and bruised body, I was living a nightmare — a nightmare that I woke up into every time I returned to consciousness from the sweet escape of my dreams.
I got into a taxi and drove far away from your house — my crime scene — and when it stopped, I opened the door and fell onto the road, unable to put my weight on my feet because the despair that filled my body was too heavy to carry on the earth.
The next few days would pass by in a dreamlike state, like I was watching my body from the outside, going through the motions of surviving.
Day by day, I continued to bleed from the wounds that you left behind when you ripped off my wings, and the only person who could stop the bleeding was me.
But I didn’t know who I was anymore.
My identity was stripped from me that night — that awful night.
Not even I, the soul who resides in this body, could stop the bleeding.
As months passed, with flashbacks, panic attacks, tears and empty looking eyes, my mind could not stand it anymore.
They called my experiences “delusions” and “hallucinations;” a supposed false reality that my mind created because living in this reality was far too painful.
You ripped off my wings, stripped me of my identity and stole my minds ability to survive in this world as we know it.
But I am taking back what is, and always has been rightfully mine.
You don’t deserve the power that I unwillingly gave you.
I am growing my wings back, feather by feather, and creating myself from the ashes of rock bottom.
I am mine before I am anyone else’s, and I was never yours.
You broke me down and stole from me the very essence of who I am. But you did not win.
I am learning to slow the bleeding, to care for my wounds and heal. I will become myself again, but better, tougher, stronger.
But I will still be soft. You will no longer make me bitter or take from me my love for life, or from seeing the beauty of this earth.
Though you stain the soil with every step you take, I plant flowers that grow and thrive every time I conquer the mess you left me in.
I am a brave soul and I love this body that you hurt because it is mine and it keeps me alive and able to fight against the nightmare I survived in order to create a reality I can thrive in.
I choose to live. In this amazing body. In this resilient mind. To create a life for myself better than I ever thought I could.
I am growing back my wings.
If you or a loved one is affected by sexual abuse or assault and need help, call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 to be connected with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area.
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Unsplash photo via Alex Grodkiewicz