3 February 2016

Not Your Own.

Maybe you've been raped. 

Maybe it was a long long time ago but haunts you like it was yesterday.

Maybe you've spoken of it so infrequently, and in so little detail, that you're not entirely sure it happened. Maybe the admission tumbles from your lips swiftly and awkwardly in embarrassed mumbles and then you change the subject.

Maybe you're embarrassed but you're not quite sure that it's right to feel this way. I mean, there are so many other emotions you have the right to be feeling. You should be angry. But you aren't really, are you?

Unless maybe you're angry at yourself.

Maybe all those emotions are directed towards yourself and not your violator.

Maybe the act took place in a rush of alcohol and fear... of darkness and begging and tears. Maybe it was so fast that you didn't realize that it was over until you slouched on the floor shaking and grasping at the little air your lungs could swallow. 

Or maybe it was long and torturous. Maybe you vomited.  Maybe you closed your eyes and stopped screaming from sheer exhaustion. Maybe you shut down and let it happen and then locked it away.

And doesn't that make it your fault?

Isn't that why you never talk about it?

Until years and years and years later when you realize that your version of sex doesn't match with your friends'. Maybe, eventually, you go through the motions because it's normal.

Maybe your body is no longer your own. Maybe a part of it will always belong in that one instance. In that moment when it was ripped away from you - when you were ripped away from yourself.

Maybe you've relived that one encounter for a few minutes every single day since it happened. Maybe you feel threatened whenever you're physically intimate, like you no longer have the right to say no. So you never do. 

Maybe you only have sex with people who don't matter to you, avoiding it with the ones you care about, because sex is dirty and painful and ugly and why would you share that with someone you actually love? So you leave it to those who you won't particularly miss when they disappear.

Maybe you want to fix yourself, to talk about it, but you're scared. You're scared that someone, somewhere, someday, will tell you that the guilt, the shame, the disgust, all the emotions directed towards yourself, are right. Maybe someone who knows better will confirm that it was your fault. That you shouldn't have been drinking. That you shouldn't have worn that outfit. That you should have worn underwear. That you shouldn't have kissed them. 

Maybe, just maybe, this is you. All of it. A few lines. Maybe you'll take a look at yourself in the aftermath - days, months or years later - and you'll be able to see that you actually do belong to yourself. 

Maybe not today. 

But hopefully, darling... hopefully soon.