An Apology to the Man Who Raped Me
I’m sorry that I will continue to grow, to dream, to live, and to move mountains, while you’re always just going to be the man who raped me.
I’m sorry I was drunk. I’m sorry I gave you the benefit of the doubt. I’m sorry for ever feeling safe with you and trusting that I would be okay.
I’m sorry for meeting up with you that evening. I’m sorry for following you to your car and later to your room. I’m sorry for sitting on your bed and making you think I wanted to be with you.
I’m sorry for letting you kiss me. I’m sorry I apparently wasn’t clear enough when I wanted you to stop from there. I’m sorry for fighting back and making you think I “like it rough,” when in reality I only wanted to be kissed.
I’m sorry you were then too negligent to see the tears that filled my eyes when you choked me. I’m sorry you were too ignorant to hear pleads and no’s that I forced out as you pulled my clothes off. I’m sorry you were too blind and too selfish to notice my lifeless body that you took control of and proceeded to penetrate. I’m sorry I was motionless during our “consensual intercourse.”
I’m sorry I was a virgin when it happened and had looked forward to waiting until I was with someone I really loved. I’m sorry you didn’t know that about me.
I’m sorry I took up so much space in your bed that night. I’m sorry for not saying goodbye the next morning. I’m sorry for needing to rush back to my dorm after the bewildered state I was in.
I’m sorry I had to waste so much water in the three showers I took after you were with me. I’m sorry I wore a scarf for the next week from the “hickeys” that were really from your grasp around my neck. I’m sorry I covered up the evidence of you raping me.
I’m sorry that I had to run from panic every time I saw you on campus. I’m sorry I could not face you without having someone by my side, and even having you in the vicinity made me feel so nauseous that I physically puked.
I’m sorry I couldn’t sleep because of you, running through the nightmares that haunted so many nights. I’m sorry that I would wake up with trembles during those nights and lost so many hours of rest. I’m sorry that I still often have those same sleepless nights.
I’m sorry I still struggle to be with other men and that I frequently shake just from someone’s touch because of you. I’m sorry I have become someone who is startled easily and always think I have to retract from being close with others. I’m sorry I have lost almost all of my trust in people.
I’m sorry you can’t wrap your mind around the emotions I have felt for over the last three and a half years—the anxiety, the trauma, the distress, the horror, the guilt, the pain, the shame, the worthlessness, the emptiness, the numbness. I’m sorry that not even a fraction of your mind will be able to comprehend the hell I have been through and still continue to endure.
I’m sorry I still think about you. Not just once in a while, but you have qualified yourself to gain the entire consumption of all of my thoughts. I’m sorry for ever giving you that power over me.
But most of all, I’m sorry you never got to know me. I’m sorry you didn’t know that I have a huge heart. I would have sat and listened to everything about you, I would not have judged you for your past, and I could have worked towards a positive relationship with you. I’m sorry you didn’t realize just how sensitive I was and how much you hurt me by ignoring what I wanted, and by not asking in the first place. I’m sorry you didn’t take the chance to understand my mind, my thoughts, my feelings, my desires, my dreams, or anything else about my character.
I’m sorry that you will never get to witness how strong I am to still be alive, although I almost killed myself because of what happened. I’m sorry you didn’t know about my unyielding resilience and my ability to use my negative experiences to change lives. I’m sorry that you controlled so much of my life, but now, don’t have control of my voice like you did that night.
I’m sorry that you do not have power over who I am anymore and cannot stop my refusal to let you inside my mind. I’m sorry that my words and story will impact others and give people strength, while you will always deny what happened.
I’m sorry that I will continue to grow, to dream, to live, and to move mountains with the woman I have become, while you, you’re always just going to be the man who raped me.