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10 years.

10 years since you stole my innocence and changed the trajectory of my life forever.

That night I was just supposed to be blowing off steam. In the company of my sister I thought I was safe. But you saw an opportunity to get what you wanted and you took it. How dare you think that your wants in that moment were more important than my 17-year-old self and the trauma your wants would cause me.

I have so many questions. What attracted you to a passed-out child? What made you think it was okay to strip me naked when I wasn’t even conscious? How did I end up on the floor when I had fallen asleep on the couch? How did you enjoy intimate things with a child who couldn’t even move? What made it okay for you to manipulate my body into different positions that suited your wants? What gave you the right to keep going after I told you to stop? To carry me like a rag doll to the couch and keep going until you finished? To cause me so much physical and emotional pain?

You didn’t have that right. I was a child in my final year of high school. I had plans. I wanted to play ringette competitively. Move away to school and study a field where I could help people. I wanted to find true love. I wanted to build a family and life for myself that I could be proud of. I wanted to be in control of my own body and not use food to create literal body armor for myself to be able to survive in this world.

You caused a fear in me that even 10 years later I haven’t been able to shake. The fear that somehow something like what you did to me could happen again. It haunts me every single day. There have been days of wanting to take my own life because the pain was too strong. Weeks of not being able to leave my home. Falling into the deepest depression and not even seeing my family and friends as a reason to keep going anymore. There have been struggles with my body image and intimacy. Challenges with building relationships and developing trust especially with men because of what you did.

You have caused my relationship with food to be toxic. I unconsciously convinced myself if I stayed thin I was going to be hurt again. I ate my feelings and began restricting and bingeing without even knowing what I was doing to my body. 10 years and 150+ pounds later I can’t even recognize myself when I look in the mirror. That sporty, carefree, fun girl has transformed into an obese, anxious, cautious woman. People look at me and assume I am lazy. They don’t know the constant battle that goes on in my head trying to find ways to feel safe in a world that is filled with bad guys like you. I've received countless unwanted recommendations over the years to exercise or just eat right. Little do people comprehend that a diet doesn't fix the constant battle in my traumatized brain weighing the pros and cons of being thin, healthy and vulnerable to rape vs being overweight, unhealthy but feeling safe from becoming a victim again.

10 years feels like a lifetime that I have been battling with the fears you created in me. I think that 10 years is more than enough. You have taken too much of my time and it is your turn to carry the weight of this. It is time for me to take my power back.

Despite everything you did to me I still have accomplished so many of my goals and dreams and I am well on my way to accomplishing more. I am so much stronger and wiser than when you hurt me. I am not going to let you take any more away from me. You don’t get to live in my head anymore. You don’t get to cause me fear anymore. You don’t get to control my body, thoughts or any of my actions anymore.

It is time for you to carry this burden you so selfishly created and it is time for me to move on.

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