An Open Letter To My Rapist

“Dear Stranger,

I don’t know you, but you know me. I have not seen your face, yet you have been inside me. You beat me down as if I had hurt you before, and yet, I had never met you. I do not know your name, but you have impacted my life in more ways than any of my friends or family have. The last two years have been shaped by a moment; by you with me. You are the villain that hijacked my story.

A moment can ruin a life. You are the cause of my ruins, and I am left to deal with the rubble. Your moment of pleasure or release or whatever you needed to take from me, left me broken and in shambles. You dragged me into your hell and left me there to slowly wither away and die. You took away my belongings, my worth, my safety, my privacy, my body, my mind, my energy, my intimacy, my confidence, my innocence and even my voice (until very recently). I took nothing from you.

I am a person who has been irreversibly changed. I live in a cloud of pain that never truly goes away; a broken soul. I feel utterly alone…isolated in my suffering. I dream of what you did to me because it scarred me so deeply that my subconscious will not let it go. I am ashamed that you chose me to be your puppet; your toy to play with then throw aside when you were done.

Although I am focusing on the pain and the negative effects of that day here, you also need to hear that you do not get to be the dictator of my life. Although I feel broken sometimes, I am not. Even when I feel alone, I am loved and supported. When the pain is so great that I want to scream, I do, because I still can. I am a survivor. I survived you. If you met me again, you would not have the luxury of surviving me.

I cannot get back the sleepless nights, the tears, the forced smiles, the fights and the breakdowns. I cannot reclaim the days I lost to sitting in the corner of my living room, refusing to move. I will never be the same partner to my boyfriend that I used to be. I am not the same daughter that I was before. But I will heal, and with time I have. I do not feel whole again, but finally, after two years, I am starting to feel more like myself than someone you created.

While I hate you for making me fight for myself, I have learned how to be strong in the face of the greatest adversity. If I have become who I am today in the face of what you did to me, I am excited to see who I will be in two more years, in ten, in fifty.

I do feel the need to say thank you. No, not to you…but to my mom and dad, to my closest friends and supporters, to my ever patient boyfriend, and even to my dog who is my faithful shadow. I will be forever grateful to them for letting me push through the suffering, and for holding me up when I could not do it on my own. They are the heroes of this story.

In the story of my life, you chose me; I did not choose you. Now, I choose to rewrite the ending without your input.”

Marie Katherine Nowacki, US