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How to Support Me in Accepting My Rape 5 Years Late

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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.

Dear anyone who cares,

I am grieving.

Even though this happened five years ago, it is hurting me now, and I am not OK. I will be, but right now, five years later, I am not. And I need that to be known.

• What is PTSD?

I need this to be treated as something that is happening to me now, because it is.

I don’t think I need you to understand why, because I don’t think you can. I just need you to accept it. And I need you to check on me, let me know you’re here and I can talk to you and cry to you just like you would check on me and let me know you are here for me and let me know I can talk to you and cry to you if this was something I shared as soon as it was happening, something you could understand was affecting me and overcoming me right now, because it is.

I have a lot I need to say, and I need help saying it.

I need you to actively remind me you care.

I need you to be strong for me. I need to know it’s OK for me to shatter.

Right now, I’m holding my own cracked pieces together because I don’t feel like you’re here to put me back together if I let go.

I don’t know how much longer I can hold on.

I have a lot of support.

Don’t think that means I don’t need you. Don’t think that means I don’t need more.

I’m scared. I don’t know what I’m doing.

I have a lot of resources. I have a lot of options. I’m doing my part. I’m doing my best.

I need you.

If we were once friends and we have lost touch, but you’re reading this now, wondering if you should say something, say it.

If we were never friends and you’re wondering if it would just be weird to say something, say it.

If we hated each other but you understand but you think I don’t want to hear it from you, I want to.

If you’re the one who did this to me and you have something to say, let it at me.

If you’re a man and you think your voice doesn’t matter or is inappropriate to use about this, you’re contributing to the silence I’m trying to break; to me, your voice matters.

If I’ve reached out to you before about this, I want to hear from you and don’t know how to ask again because I am stuck in the assumption if you wanted to be there you would, and you’re not.

If you just don’t know what to say so you don’t say anything, I just want you to say something. I just want to feel safe to share what I have and supported if I do.

If you’d just rather pretend this isn’t happening to me and/or it doesn’t happen and/or doesn’t matter and/or isn’t a problem, you’re a part of the problem and I’m begging you not to be. I’m begging for your presence.

If you’re living in your own silence about this and you’re thinking of saying something, I will support you if you say it. But if you don’t, if silence is what you want, this is not a letter to you. You come first.

If you’ve already reached out, I love you and you have helped and you are amazing. If you have already done all of these things, thank you. If I really already know you’re here, you’ve already done what I’m asking for. Still, if there’s doubt that I know you’re here, remembering I’m sensitive and vulnerable and taking things too personally, I will only appreciate you making sure I do know.

I am sad. I’m losing this friend now, even though he raped me, even though it was five years ago. I’m accepting it now. I’m realizing now.

But he was a friend. (I thought he was a friend. I thought he was a friend until very, very recently.)

He’s in so many of my favorite memories. So many of my memories were only him and me.

I have to choose between letting those memories go and having very little to remember, having to remember them how I do, which is fondly, and have to be sad that I lost this friend, or having to remember them for what I now know they are, which is evidence of my abuse and manipulation — memories of how he lied.

Which would you choose?

I want to hear from you.

I am asking for more.

I need to feel like you are willing to know me, and this is so much of who I am.

I ask you to ask me.

This is what I need.

Photo by Seth Macey on Unsplash

Originally published: October 19, 2018
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