I wrote a letter to my abuser today. I would be very grateful if you could share it, so that maybe, one day, he will read it. Thank you.
So much has happened since we last saw each other. Do you remember that day, at the theater? After the show, as my sister and I were leaving, you stood leaning against those heavy wooden doors at the back. We said “hi”, and you hugged me like everything was normal. You said “what a great show”, just like you said to everyone else that day. You pressed my thirteen-year-old body against your chest, fleetingly, as if nothing had ever happened. You greeted someone else over my head, like you couldn’t care less about me. I thought I was going crazy. I thought: “It’s me”. About a year later I saw you once more, in town, but you didn’t see me. Or maybe you pretended not to see me. I don’t need to know; It doesn’t matter.
For a very long time, I kept my promise. I didn’t tell anyone what had happened between us. I take pride in that. It was our agreement, an agreement between two grown-ups (or that’s how I felt about it, at the age of twelve) that I kept as long as I could. Two years ago I told my mom and stepdad, and dad and stepmom. I spared them the details, but they do know it was you. Please don’t worry; I made them promise not to hurt you. But you should know that they know, and that it is me who told them. I violated our agreement. I’m guilty. Come get me.
All in all, your abuse caused a lot of damage. I hurt a lot, still. The abuse keeps me awake at night, and if it doesn’t it haunts me in my dreams. I’m anorexic, too. I often think about your voice. And you? How are you now?
I have some questions for you. Did you think I was special? Did you think I was beautiful? Did you ever think I didn’t want it? Did you do the same with other girls? I will answer these questions myself. The police told me you denied everything, but that response just won’t work for me. If you won’t answer my questions, I will come up with answers myself. You may disagree, or see things differently, or lie about everything; that’s up to you. I understand there may be reasons for you to say something other than the truth. But I’m in charge of my life now, and I choose to believe my version of your side of the story.
Here’s your answer to my questions, i.e. the version I want to live with: “I was very upset back then. My life was falling apart, I had lost everything. I was angry and confused. I thought you were special, but I also used you to release my anger. You were in the wrong place at the wrong time. I lost control and my life just happened; I let it happen. I didn’t abuse any other girls. What happened resulted from all the things that went wrong in my life. It did occur to me that you might not want it and that I might be hurting you, but I was so angry. I’m sorry for what I did.”
Dear V, I don’t want to hurt you. You’re probably very angry with me now that I broke my promise. I’m sorry. I’ve also talked to the police. I’m doing what feels right, for me. I’m doing whatever I can to heal. I want the best for you and your family, and I don’t want your life ever to fall apart again. I hope you want the best for me and my family now, too, and that you understand I had to break my promise. I didn’t do it to hurt you, but to heal myself.
I do not ever want to see you again, but your denial is also making me angry. I’ve grown up to be a patient and understanding young woman, who doesn’t loose her temper easily. Everybody deserves a second and a third chance. What makes me angry is that, when provided a second chance, you said “I hardly even knew that girl” and “she must be sick in her head”. You didn’t need to say that.
The very best,
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