To the young me (20 years ago)
I know you’re hurt physically and emotionally. The confusion and isolation are overwhelming. Your world has lost its colour. You didn’t realise such brutality existed. Something has changed within you, but you don’t understand what. Something bad has happened, but you cannot articulate it. You lie there, broken. Alone. Terrified.
You have been used, broken, hurt, your trust betrayed. The pain your body is experiencing feels wrong because it is wrong. But know that it’s NOT your fault. You feel so dirty, but it’s not you. A part of you has died this evening. A new feeling of shame grows like poison ivy, consuming your soul.
You have no one. And the sad thing is, you will have no one. You won’t even begin to make sense of this for time to come. There is no one to hold you, to tell you that it’s going to be ok.
There is no one to tell you that you must find your strength and keep fighting. That you are worth it. That this bastard doesn’t deserve to take everything away from you.
You have suffered the greatest degradation. Your body feels alien to you now.
I’m afraid that shame, that sense of being unclean, not worthy, vulnerable, damaged, alone – that will always be there. An ongoing battle. As will the nightmares, the body memories, the panic and the terrible re runs every year.
But I need to tell you this my young broken self. You are so much stronger than you think. So much more capable than you think. You didn’t get the support you needed and that is truly unfortunate. But you will become your own warrior. Fighting for yourself and those you care about.
You didn’t deserve this. Please believe that. You needed to hear that.
You needed to hear that it WILL be ok. That it WASN’T your fault.
Please believe you are worth life. Worthy of love. That there is nothing wrong with you.
And in those moments when you feel like giving up, when the pain is so unbearable, look within yourself. You are a survivor.