Column: You are free from your past
Everyday feels like it was just yesterday.
I flinch at the sound of your name.
When I see you chills run up and down my spine, my heart pounding on my chest to escape, this near death experience pain.
I felt like dying.
My whole world was dying.
You slithered in and out of me like a snake choking its prey.
The depression and anxiety settled in like a blanket with holes.
Life moved with or without me.
I was consumed by your twisted spell.
I had no exit I only had one option, to live in your hell.
I had a schedule of when and where you’d be.
I knew you were always watching me.
I could feel your energy ripping through my blood vessels when you entered my atmosphere.
You did something to me to show me you loved me.
But I didn’t feel butterflies — I felt like my stomach was being carved out with a dull knife.
I was young, and you were supposed to be my friend, my family, and my mentor.
I should have known you betrayed me.
But why should I have known?
Was I supposed to think gifts and praise were a jail free pass?
Was I supposed to think that when I was a “good girl” I would receive love?
No. I didn’t know the difference because I was a kid.
I didn’t understand the signals because I was developing into a world I did not chose to develop in.
What started with innocence ended with an invite to a dinner party and I was on the menu.
I was just a kid.
My eyes were filled with innocence, I saw no evil.
They were blinded by fake love and confusion.
You stole my love and ate it for dinner.
You feasted on my soul.
You watched me squirm, you know who you are and I know you.
I look back at that little girl waking up early to avoid you staring at me.
A two-by-four resting behind my bedroom door waiting to meet your face.
You stole my innocence at such a young age.
When I could finally see what was happening, I could barely believe it was real.
Then it happened again, and again, and again.
My life always felt like a broken record around you
I heard the same chorus of excuses and explanations for your actions
I was tired of listening, all I wanted was the truth.
I told others about what you were up to
I told them I kept track of how many times you did what you did and wrote in my journal.
I even told them about my two-by-four waiting to meet your face, but I was preaching to the wrong crowd — They were blind like I once was.
I no longer felt courageous or brave.
My world fell back to the black and white shade.
No one could see what I saw, no one could feel what I felt.
They all said,
“You made this up.”
“You don’t like their personality.”
“They would never hurt you.”
You would never hurt me?
All of you hurt me.
You didn’t listen.
I was the girl that cried wolf, while dangling outside the wolf's mouth.
Then when the village came running with pitchforks and torches, you’d spit me out and run away.
You made me look like a fool.
You were a coward hiding behind your power.
But I wasn’t the only girl preyed on by the big bad wolf, he found others and hunted them too.
When they finally caught you, I felt like it was a victory.
But it broke my heart to know there was no longer a secret.
That this pain was real.
It was all real.
It was a nightmare I lived in for so long.
When the truth finally came out, I finally woke up.
All my surroundings were different.
I was older, I was a woman when I looked in the mirror, I saw years of pain dripping from my face.
This hated bond I had with you lives with me, and when I see you I see history.
As my life keeps moving, you will always be the Boogie Man that lived under my bed.
Your words, your hands, your dark shadows will no longer haunt me.
Those memories will die with you.
I want no part in your life anymore.
I finally get to live mine.
Finally, my voice has been heard by the people that care and finally you can’t hurt anyone no more.
To my brothers and sister around the world
Whether you’re reading your statements in a courtroom, or waiting for the right time to share your story, I am here with you.
We aren’t to be afraid no more, you can finally wake up from this nightmare, feel the sunshine on your face and inhale a breath of fresh air.
You are not alone anymore.
You are no longer a victim. You are a survivor.
You are free.