A Letter to My Rapist.

Photo Credit: Kayla Tyler

Because you may never read this, because I deserve my peace of mind, I’ll ensure my voice is heard. We will call this my cathartic process to heal after what you did to me.

Names have been changed for privacy and safety reasons.

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December 11, 2018

Dear Seaman,

Hello. Do you remember me?

We met seven years ago at Faaker See in Austria. My best friend took me on a road trip to a motorcycle rally. I was separating from my then (cheating) husband, drinking too much to subside my pain, and she thought the thrilling rides and fresh mountain air would do me well for perspective. She was right. Those were some of the best days of my life. A pivot point.

Meanwhile, you found something you like in me. Your eyes watched intently and your ears got selective. I can remember seeing your face, your eyes, every time I would turn around. I tried to be polite. I heard you and I am not interested. I told you once. I told you twice. Other men came to you in reason to tell you what you would not hear from me. Still, you didn’t get it. Or you did. Perhaps you chose to take me on as some kind of challenge. I’ll never know.

But I didn’t want anything to do with you.

A few weeks later friends threw us a house party in Naples, Italy. I flew down to eat pizza, drink wine, and explore Pompeii before we all met for dinner. You even shared news that evening that your wife was expecting the birth of your second child. Or perhaps she had just delivered? I don’t remember. A baby girl, though! Oh, I imagine she must be growing up fast these days. She’ll be a young woman before you know it, Seaman. I hope the world becomes a safer place for her.

I wonder how much you are willing to confront yourself to make that happen.

Because I bet you did not realize I am also someone’s daughter.

I don’t remember much after we got back to the house, but I do remember you lurking in the background of my existence for most of the night. You stopped your verbal advances by now. Perhaps you already had a new plan to conquer what you were told you could not have. I honestly never thought the worst would happen. I’m often a perpetual optimist. You saw me throw back those shots of tequila that night though, didn’t you? I was certainly a party girl. Sometimes all you need are some good tunes and a couple of cool friends to kick back and dance with — shake the shit of life away. That’s all I was trying to do really. Shake the shit of my life away.

You had other plans for me though, didn’t you Seaman? I was wondering, exactly how far did you get? Because I can’t remember. It drives me nuts. Surely you noticed I was not conscious. Probably those last few shots of tequila.

I must have felt like a dead fish to touch. I couldn’t remember anything until something jolted me awake. Must have been you. My eyes opened and your face was all I could see. Your naked body thrusting on top of mine. I couldn’t feel a thing. For a few moments, I couldn’t even move. An inescapable memory of paralyzed shock. I watched your eyes transition from possession and pleasure to fear when you realized I could see you. You looked scared Seaman, or maybe that was me projecting. I don’t know.

But I never saw you again.

Do you wonder why it took me seven years to confront you? Because it’s not an easy thing to pull yourself back together after someone rapes you. I made so many excuses for your behaviour just so I didn’t have to confront what actually happened to me. It took time, Seaman. But hindsight is 20/20.

I understand that your experiences as a Navy man may not have properly equipped you to deal with rejection. I suppose having orders obeyed without question is what’s needed to effectively run a ship, sir. But you failed to use the basic gifts of human intellect, compassion, and free will to make a better choice — to fight your urges. Instead you violated my body. You violated my mind. You came unwanted. Likely premeditated. I’ll never know.

You raped me, Seaman.

And I blamed myself.

I thought I could have avoided it.

I questioned my own memory. Was it rape if I couldn’t feel it?

It was a struggle to be vulnerable lest there be others like you.

I lived in more fear than necessary.

I was awoken by nightmares countless times.

And I know it was you. Your dark energy hovering over my stoned body with ill intent while I slept.

Jerking me awake in fear and sweat.

Warned of danger that now lived only in my mind.

I was so tired I would cry.

And I would cry until I accepted the worst possible fate, just to get some sleep.

You raped me once but it felt like you raped me a million times.

But how could you have known that would happen?

I should just ‘live and let live’.

C’est la vie.

I better be more careful.

But I realized a funny thing, Seaman. Unless ‘being more careful’ meant never sleeping, never being vulnerable, never assuming safety, there really wasn’t a whole lot I could have done to stop you from raping me.

I began to notice that ignoring it only amplified the side effects. It started to plant seeds in my mind that grew into manifestations I did not want. Unhealthy relationships. Limited sexual pleasure. Toxic work environments. The more energy I spent weeding, the faster the weeds grew. I couldn’t do it anymore. You see I had no choice but to confront it — to confront you.

You raped me and there was nothing I could have done to change that. Nothing.

I don’t want to struggle anymore.

I have to accept it. It’s part of my story.

I am Jamie, a Warrior Goddess and survivor of human wrath and indecency.

You will not face legal consequences for your actions. Even if I had the strength and means to report, you’re a solid American citizen. A member of our Armed Forces. I was drunk. You wouldn’t. I must be mistaken.

Lucky for you I choose not to endure the painful path that record proves unjust.

Lucky for me I trust in Karma, which knows no human bias or favorability. One way or another, you face repercussions for your actions. I can find some peace in that.

But Seaman, this gives you a choice that frankly I don’t think you deserve.

Will you confront yourself? Your shadow? The rapist within you?

I’ll be over here tending to my scars, living my life, and knowing the truth.

-Jamie

P.S. You are forever and always a monster in my story.

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Most of the men in my life have been wonderful to me. Showing respect and kindness. This is simply an attempt to hold the men, the people, responsible who are not so.

Jamie is a certified yoga teacher & integrative life coach.