I want you to sit down, I want you to sit right across from me and look me in the eyes, I want you to try and see the damage you placed within me as I ask you with the biggest fear in my voice: "How could you do this to me? What pleasure did you get out of it? What gave you the urge? How did you plan the events that unfolded into my life that evening? Did you think that I would go home and carry on with my normal daily activities? Did you not think that for one minute, at least, that I would report your ass?"
I want to find this out, not to hate you more, but to get an understanding on what drives people, men, to hurt us like this, so maybe one day I can offer this understanding to another girl, another woman, maybe even my sister. Maybe I can teach them how to forgive.
I thought I could never forgive you...I could never even try, but once a person moves from being a victim of rape to a survivor of rape, everything just falls into place. The forgiveness just flows into your heart. Please do not take this the wrong way, I will never forgive what you did to me...it was an experience that shaped me into the person I am today, but you are forgiven.
The experience you gave me will remain in my life forever but it is no longer my life's worry. By forgiving you, I have set myself free; I have allowed myself to walk with my head held high and say I am the survivor I have always wanted to be. I have lived almost 8 years of not forgiving you and it wore me down, I became angry, sick and deluded because in some way you still had a hold on me. You still made me panic in public, you were still making me cry and giving me nightmares, but that is because in my heart the unforgivingness of my system was allowing you to do this. Yes, it took me years...but I have forgiven you, the feeling you have given me now, the feeling of freedom and love for life is totally unexplainable.
I wish I had had the guts to have let you go sooner. By not forgiving you, by holding onto the anger you placed into my heart, you made me sick, you made me a person that the people closest to me no longer wanted to be a part of anymore. I tried so many things to try and ease the pain, I tried changing the person I was in life so in a sense it wasn't me who was raped, it was a stranger, another story, another horrible detail in life. You made me feel less than a piece of dirt, an easy piece of meat. You made me vulnerable, you made me scared.
You pushed the innocence away from my life and made me feel guilty for not fighting you off harder, for feeling stupid, for what I had become. I now know that I fought my hardest that night, I was tired and exhausted once you eventaully decided to get your body off mine. I used to wonder how many girls were before me...how many other lives did you damage.
You were just 17 at the time, the same age as myself. I am trying to believe that I was your last, I am hoping I was...I am praying that by me standing up and saying something, I stopped you from turning an innocent girl into what you turned me into...just another statistic.
When I saw you after you had "changed" me, I shook with anger, I trembled with fear. I couldn't stand seeing you and I avoided it at all costs. If I ad to see you in the streets today, if I had to look up and catch your face, your hard frame of a body, then I will casually walk right past you as if you were just another stranger to my life...another number to the world. When working through you and your sin that you placed onto my life, I realized that you probably never even cared if I hated you or wished you were dead. You probably never lay awake at night wondering if you are forgiven or even wonder of I think about it, these thoughts helped, because if you are not phased by it, then why should I be? Why should I allow you to take away valuable life experiences I could be having if it wasn't for you? Why should I allow you to fill my eyes with tears while you are probably laughing at a joke that was just told?
I decided that you are not dwelling on this situation, so why should I allow it to eat me up inside...piece by piece? By not forgiving you, I felt I am in my own way building myself up, allowing this not to happen again, but everything happens for a reason and if it is meant to happen it will no matter how much hate and anger you or myself have placed in to my heart.
I when you hear these words, you will smile and say...you see...we can be forgiven...but please do not feel flattered, the forgiveness is not for you, it is for me...for my well-being...for my life's journey from this day forward. I have now accepted that I cannot change the past but I can control my future with the choices I make today, and that is why...my friend...while you are sitting across from me, after I hear what I have wanted to know for all these years, I will stand up, and with pride, shake your hand and say..."YOU ARE FORGIVEN!"