I just finished a four-course meal looking out over the ocean in Port Rexton, after a long afternoon hiking. On a day like today, I would like to thank my rapist for making this all possible.
Over the last year I’ve made several posts online about my assault, revealing the deadweight of shame, and a secret that kept me locked to anxiety and fear.
I have publically explained that I was raped, and I’ve contemplated suicide. I am both a survivor and a victim. I vocalize my support for victims, and I joined the hash tag choir: #ibelievesurvivors, while speaking out against our flawed justice system.
I’ve cried reading victim impact statements, especially the words written by Rehtaeh Parsons’s father. Words he had to write after his daughter was raped, and took her own life.
I’ve sat on Signal Hill on my lunch break crying as I read the statement from the young Stanford girl who was assaulted while unconscious.
Three months later, I am still burning reading Stanford’s “star swimmer” has been released for “good behaviour.”
Tonight, on the eve of the fourth anniversary of being raped, I would like to address my rapist.
You gave me the opportunity to feel so hopelessly empty and devoid of all things joyful and happy.
From my closest friends and family, to strangers on the end of a crisis hotline, I have an army of supports. Your actions made me discover how much love there is.
Without experiencing your unfathomable disregard for my fundamental human rights, I never would have been hugged by my doctor, who helped me rebuild myself after I came to her shattered and confused.
Lying sleepless in my tainted bed, nights after, I found comfort sleeping on couches, and in the spare room of my friend’s homes.
Without you, I never would have known the love I hold, friends who fed me every day for weeks because I couldn’t think, cook, or grocery shop. Without you, my roommate, and our beautiful friends, never would have thrown me a birthday party at home when I was too afraid to go out at night.
Each and every time I lock eyes with you, unsure if you know who I am, or what you took that night, I’m reminded of the way you forced me to discover all of this. You can never take what you wanted from me.
My rapist gave me a visceral understanding of language, and how words can impact a person. The word rape is now synonymous with tense muscles, a racing heart, short breath, and a wave of unease that makes me shift in my seat, and look away.
I’m still alive. I can do more, be more, and move beyond my fears, anxiety and flashbacks. To defy the notion he took something from me, I let myself feel encouraged to live a bigger life. To literally climb mountains, travel alone, relish moments with friends and family, ask for, and accept help from others.
I never would have found myself alone in the woods, listening to a river rushing in the dark. I would never have heard moths tapping against the tent, as wind rustles in the trees.
Here I am, gazing on a sky full of stars, holding an eagle feather.
Article by A.M. Please Note, Comments deemed even remotely insensitive on this article will be deleted
I dont know you personally, but I am in awe of your strength. You have suffered through something unimaginable and you are now gifting others the strenght to carry on…💚
I was triggered by *TRIGGER WARNING*.
You’ve got guts. And having guts is better than anything else. It doesn’t mean you’re fearless or cocky or brave. It just means you’re not afraid. And maybe you were once. Maybe consequence sat on you. But not anymore. You’ve got guts now, AM. And the universe is in your corner.
Thank you for sharing. From one victim to another. I’m still struggling but hopefully once the trial is done I can start to heal. Two plus years and still in the courts!
Thank you thank you thank you. There is light and love and goodness and sometimes it’s easy to forget.
A.M, resilient souls know you in kind, countless human heartbeats I hope roar like thunder in your ears for the ones who love you deeply. An intelligent honest person you are deserves to do all things increasing self care! Your song is carried over waters and land alike showing this universe your gentle keen way of healing. Like a map to a sacred and secret place you are in constant flux to cope, no one told you that you could do such a thing and journey this 4th anniversary with such exuberance of self; yet you seem to have pioneered and mastered it !! I know you, I know knowing you has helped so many others and you never cease to amaze me with your spirit! Those stars you slept under were an audience to a spectacular sight that night. Always with love ! xo ;
You’re strength and courage amazes me. I’m so proud of you. I am stronger because of you.
Unnerving, unsettling, inspirational, hopeful and gracious in a profound manner. You make people all around you “better”…my world is that much more with you in it.
I’m in tears. You are an amazing person. I wish you all the best in life <3
Find strength in the people who love you and allow yourself to be wrapped in a virtual blanket of safety. It’s hard but you’ve found your voice.
You are defined by love not only as an individual but love for all! You are a generous light of strength, encouragement and bravery! My God continue to bless and guide you unendlessly xx
Wow, you are a strong beautiful woman and an inspiration to all of us.
Thanks for sharing these words. It must have taken incredible strength and courage to get to the point that you have. Your words will absolutely empower and encourage other survivors to live a bigger life, as well. Thank you. Xox
You’re an inspirational voice and reminder to other victims who may still be reliving their experience alone, that no one can take your spirit away. You’re very brave, very resilient.
I can’t even begin to put into words how incredibly strong and beautiful you are. I am a stronger person because of you.
You’re incredible, strong and so loved. Thank you for your voice xox
You’re amazing. Strong, brave, and beautiful. Inspired by you. Thank you. xo
I love you, you brave, beautiful woman. Xx