Moving On From The Past

The summer after my freshman year of high school, I was sexually abused, harassed and almost raped. I do not want to go into how -- it’s just not something I want to relive. I told my mom when I was a junior. Even then my friend had to send it to her in a note because I could not. After she got the note, she called me while I was at school and I told her what happened and who had done it. She hung up and called the authorities, even though I said I was okay.

Up until that point I had lived my life perpetually scared I would see him again and that he would hurt me. The last time I heard from him was sophomore year when he called me a bitch. At that point, I had turned to cutting, drinking and drugs to be happy and ease the pain. The last time I saw him was senior year at prom, but by that time my friends had helped me get back on the right track.

Not everyone knows my story, but people tell me that it might feel better to talk about it. The truth is, though, it’s still hard to completely move on from what happened no matter what I do now because I don’t feel I can forgive myself until I forgive the person who did this to me and that person is gone from my life. I do try to talk about it and be honest, but I’m still scared.

I do believe, though, that what happened has only made me stronger and showed me that while you may not have the power to stop people from hurting you, you always have the power to forgive and forget. Having friends help you through it like I did is also important: I would probably not be here if it were not for friends, some family and the empowering stories of others who made it through the same thing. Here I am, years later, stronger, wiser and happier than I once was thanks to my friends and family. I now have a boyfriend who knows what happened. He loves me unconditionally and tells me I’m beautiful even when I say I’m not. The past still affects how I feel about myself sometimes, but that is something I’m working on getting over and someday I know I will.

So that’s why I want to share my story: because it feels like the only way I can move on is by helping others move on, too. Together, I hope we can.

More articles by Category: Feminism, Media, Violence against women
More articles by Tag: Activism and advocacy, Rape, Sexual harassment, Sexualized violence, News



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