I wrote this post 5 years ago. I was just days out of a really bad PTSD attack and felt like I was over the worst. So I opened that door inside of my mind and felt into it. Just for a short while.
Tomorrow marks the day that my life changed. I had barely lived. Everything was mine for the taking. I was so self assured. I knew where I was going and nobody was going to stop me.
Only they did.
A vile creature tore from me what should’ve been mine to give. Denied me peace for a very long time. Tormented my dreams, turned them into horrific nightmares. Sent me spiralling so far out of control until I didn’t even recognise myself anymore.
It took work with a child psychiatrist, many years of therapy. Lots of breakdowns, hovering over giving up, giving in. So many mistakes….but so much learning, understanding, coming to know what my strengths and weaknesses are.
People ask the question, “if you could change your past, would you?” You’re damn right I would…….it’s not simply a case of me being a different person had that event not happened. It took so much from me. So much potential. So much adventure. So much fun. So much trust. It tore me apart in so many ways, physically, emotionally, so much pain and suffering. You can’t even fathom unless you’ve been there.
In therapy there’s so much talk of making peace with what happened. But it’s just not that easy. The word victim is overused and it’s easy to understand why, but that word swallows you whole and it’s only when you let it go and embrace the survivor you are that you are able to heal old, festering wounds.
The day has arrived, the one that has taunted me from the shadows for the past month. I’ve held my shit together pretty darn well I think. One wobble, that’s all I’ve had, and I have no idea what triggered it either, but it’s fine, I’m fine, it didn’t last long. I’ve thought a lot about then and now. I’ve thought a lot about why there’s even a significance this year, why I’m being so affected by it all. 30 years. I was going to say 30 years of being your victim, but I’m no longer your victim, if I’m honest I haven’t been for a very long time. You may have took something from me then, but I’ve got so much more back, I am so much more than your cowardly act could ever have imagined; taking my innocence, leaving me broken and bleeding, torn apart inside, almost dead inside. What you didn’t know was the mighty fucking warrior I had been, even then, even as a 16 year old girl with her whole life in front of her. You didn’t snuff me out. Ripping my underwear off me and forcing yourself inside of me, threatening to kill me and holding me at knifepoint to make sure you could carry out your sick attack on my innocent body. Laughing at me and spitting on me, calling me a whore, you didn’t snuff me out. When you jeered at me in the identity parade, taunting me, laughing at my emotional breakdown – even your lawyer was disgusted at you, his sympathy all for me. You didn’t expect me to remember, you thought I hadn’t seen your face, how could I ever forget such an ugly, vile soul? YOU DIDN’T SNUFF ME OUT!!! It may have taken me a little while, but I brought justice down on your vileness. I may have veered off my path, sunk into the depths of despair more times than I wanted to, but you didn’t snuff me out. I clawed my way back out of the hell you forced me into. I clawed my way back out of the depths of despair. I was battered and bruised on the inside, broken and empty, but you didn’t snuff me out. You attacked me because I walked home alone, but you didn’t snuff me out. You attacked me because I wore a short skirt, but you didn’t snuff me out. You attacked me because you wanted to feel power over women, BUT YOU DIDN’T SNUFF ME OUT!!!! You threatened me with a knife, held it against my throat, the steel blade pushing up against my windpipe, I thought you would surely puncture my skin, BUT YOU DIDN’T SNUFF ME OUT!!!!!!! There are things you did and said that only my husband, mother and the police know, your wickedness will not be repeated, why would I give it a voice? I rose from the spark that you tried to snuff out, I became whole again, unafraid. I wear the emotional scars from your attack, they remind me daily how truly wicked some people are. They remind me just how far I’ve come since August 23rd 1987. I embraced my female self, because you didn’t snuff it out, you tried, but you didn’t succeed. I AM HERE!!! I AM ALIVE!!! I AM NOT YOUR VICTIM!!! YOU DO NOT GET THAT KIND OF POWER OVER ME!!! 30 years ago you sought to destroy my life. 30 years on I am still here, alive, fighting, defying your disgusting act and being me. I AM A FEMALE WARRIOR! YOU DID NOT SNUFF ME OUT!!!
If you have been affected by rape or sexual assault you can contact the following for advice and support:
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