It's time I talk to you about what you did to my future the first night you decided 11 year old me was who 16 year old you wanted. I am torn between thank you and f you. Torn between tears, anger, frustration, numbness, forgiveness. I have had years to forget what it was like to be afraid to fall asleep, afraid Id feel your hand brush upon my skin. I have had time to move on with my life, but how do you move on from losing a part of yourself? So, please forgive what may become babbling and ranting as I write you one final letter:
I stayed awake for hours the night I met you. I couldnt believe I'd be getting to spend time with someone who brought such joy to my life. You knew how to make me laugh and it was then that I knew laughter would be the key to my heart. Time passed and I became so infatuated with you. Never did I imagine that time spent with you would become the very thing that would haunt me into adulthood.
I dont really remember when my attention shifted to you. One day I hated spongebob, the next he was all I would watch because it was your favorite. The way you laughed, the way you smiled. I was so infatuated by all that you were. At first, you couldnt stand the sight of me. You would pick on me and treat me like the little sister you never desired to have, but there started to be a connection between us- a spark I didn't learn to understand until I was much older and the damage was already done.
One night you and I were the only ones still awake. We had been marathoning trash tv and going in and out of the house making the best out of a blustering summer night. Finally, as both of ours began to get heavy I relaxed in the recliner and you on the couch. I stared at you through the night, listened to your hushed tone tell another story that was bound to make me laugh. My heart was pounding out of my chest as I imaged getting to curl up beside you..but that wouldnt happen because you were in high school and I had just left 5th grade. There was nothing about me that would ever attract you and nor should it. I knew very well that cuddling was for the older kids and I shouldnt even be thinking about it. Then silence encompassed us. It was then that I began to get sad at not hearing your voice. It was so calming to me. "Will you scratch my back?" A smile erupted on my face so big it could have been from the kool-aid man. Five words made my hands shake, my palms sweat, my heart race. Five words changed the rest of my life.
There came a point when I counted down the minutes until the moon was in the sky. Excited. I think I was excited (now, I am pretty sure I had a bit of Stockholm). The older boy my 11 year old heart was "in love" with wanted to kiss me! I just couldnt believe it. But kisses got longer and your demands got stronger. I shouldn't have to remind you what you did to me, all those years waiting until dark to come at me like a ravenous mountain lion stalking its prey for the first time. Every time was like the first time. 1,095 days worth of first times. 1,095 days of submitting to something I had no desire to do, but I was scared. I watched you beat the crap out of your mom one time and that set my fears in place. Only once in 3 years did I tell you no. My voice cracked like a tiny child afraid to disappoint. I was shaking, but I stood my ground. To my amazement, you finally accepted my answer and that was that. Until it wasnt. The next day you were a totally different person and I had hidden bruises to prove it. One "joking" jab to the ribs, a "brotherly" punch to the arm. "It was all for fun" and "you weren't trying to hurt me." But, LC, you did more than bruise my skin that day. You bruised the rest of my life.
I am convinced that there is never going to be a day that someone will love me. I am convinced that I will never love myself. I have scars on my arms and on my heart. I have movies that replay in my mind like an adulterated rerun. Sometimes, when I hear the rain pound against a tin roof I catch a whiff of you wafting through the wind. I remember the sound of your voice as you whispered in the night. That sound started out a symphony of childhood, innocent desire and it became acidic vapor in the night. Sitting here tonight, 15 years later, I can still taste the bile that would fill my mouth every time our parents would go off to bed. I would stare at them, silently begging my mom to get me out of there... but she couldnt hear the deafening screams inside my head, so loud that they muted any noise escaping my lips- any sign that something was not right in that house...
So now that I have refreshed your memory, I will get to the point of my letter. While you sleep soundly at night forgetting what went on between us, forgetting the innocence you ripped away from me as I was too afraid to ever tell you no...I lie awake typing open letters that I will never send. I cry myself to sleep often. I cringe at the touch of others sometimes. My heart breaks for that little girl I still see crying in a corner. She was so afraid, lonely, and lost. She didnt understand what was happening or why. But you were older and she TRUSTED YOU. I TRUSTED YOU. Now I am stuck in a whirlwind of emotion that I cant seem to escape because you destroyed any hope at happiness for me. I can't allow another man to love me because I am damaged goods. You left me ragged and dingy.
I am alive. You watched me try to kill myself once and you just laughed at me. But I am alive because my pain will never be something that you are allowed to get pleasure from again. I will fight until there is no fight in me to make sure that you are done causing damage in my life. I WILL erase you. No matter how long it takes, I will take my innocence back.
So, thank you for making me see my strength and f you for ever making me question it.