They look at me like I’m a victim

They look at me like I’m a victim. Damaged goods. An automatic program set off by the word molested. As if when my innocence was stolen at ten, by a boy who was well on his way to becoming a man, I would forever be labelled as broken.

Sure, I may not be able to watch the re-enactment of rapes on TV because it feels as if someone is stripping me from my skin. There may be nights when I wake up with a face drenched from tears shaking at the edge of the bed, because my dreams are another reality in which my abuser still has access to, and there I will forever be helpless and ten.

But I am not a victim. Why should I give this man any more power then he deserves. I refuse to be permanently labelled, just because he felt he had the right to not only enter my room uninvited but also my body.

I am not damaged goods. My scars give me strength. You will never hear me complain of the weather or bad traffic. I know there are greater evils in this world then arriving to work ten minutes late.

I am not broken. Nor do I require any pity. I am not so consumed by hate and grief that it affects my daily life.

I do not even hate him. I would like to believe that there are nights when he lays down next to his wife and struggles to sleep. I would like to believe his dreams are as haunted as my own. That he is disgusted by his actions. That this is the reason he has never had a child.

I will never know who I would be without these memories. I will never know how I would have grown without these scars. Would I be as empathetic to those who have suffered? Would I still always look for the joy in pain? Would I still be so protective of those I care about?  I shall admit that this injustice is a part of who I am but it is not my defining factor. I do not need to be pieced together. Even with my innocence stolen I am whole.

*******************************************************************************

Unconsciously whimpering, my body trembles. He shakes me until I wake; tearing me from a nightmare I didn’t have the strength to wake myself from.

Unable to hold back the tears, in the darkness I picture how this will change us. No longer will he look at me with light in his eyes, his sweet adoring smile will transform to one of pity. History will repeat itself; the man in my life will no longer see me as a happy bubbly girl but as a victim trying to hide her scars.  

He refuses to accept my apologies, stating there is nothing to be sorry for. Holding me for as long as I need, he does not pry for details.

I was a fool to believe he would react the same way as those before him. That he could be scared off by a bad dream. That he would find my scars are so fearful he would give up what we have and run.

He is unlike any man I have ever loved. Patient and understanding, his kindness surpasses my own.

He does not view me as a victim; he does not believe that I’m broken in need of fixing. He knows that there will be times where I stumble, but my strength comes from my pain. I will rise above it all because I have been weak; and my weakness has never stopped me before.

I have lived through pain and it has made me stronger. I am not a victim because I had a bad dream.

 

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