You are beautiful. You are incredible. I wouldn’t pretend that as if I know what you are going through right now. I’m not even gonna say that it’s going to get better, not because it won’t, but because we can never really know for sure. I wouldn’t know how much it devastated you. I wouldn’t know how long you took your bath the first few weeks of the incident. Thinking that maybe, rubbing the soap all over your body would make it all go away. I wouldn’t know how sometimes, you just space out, have random flashbacks. I wouldn’t how much it actually changed you, the whole you, the way you think, who you are, and how you view other people. I wouldn’t know how much anger, hatred and rage is inside you right now, and how much you want it to go away and release all of it. I wouldn’t know how much you want to pretend like it never happened, how much you want to bury it deep in your memories, or pretend that you just dreamed of it, and if it was a dream, you hope it to never happen again. I wouldn’t know how sometimes, you think you already got over it, but when you suddenly remember it, you muster everything you can to fight the tears from coming out, and you think that maybe it will never ever be truly okay because the tears will still fall. I would never know how badly you want to punch the person, as if that will be enough to make you feel better, but you know that it won’t, no matter how many punches you throw at them, nothing can never ever make you bring back the person you were before the incident.
I wouldn’t know, but here’s what I know:
- You are innocent. You are not to blame. Stop blaming yourself. If there is someone whom you can blame here, it’s the person who did it. You cannot blame yourself, even if you are drunk when it happened. You cannot blame yourself for trusting the person who did it because you think that person is a friend and will never be capable of such thing. You cannot blame yourself if you let it happen because the person who did it to you is a family, or whom you treated as family. You cannot blame yourself even if you think happened because you keep on hanging out with boys too much. You cannot blame yourself if they said it happened because of the way you dress. You cannot blame yourself if you think if happened because you (or the people around you) thinks you are too liberated. You cannot blame yourself for not shouting when it happened. You cannot blame yourself for not being able to fight for yourself when it was happening. You cannot blame yourself if you tried to enjoy what was happening because you think, maybe, just maybe, if you try to enjoy it, it will not be called as rape. Always remember this: “there is no one else to be blamed here but the person who did it!” We cannot avoid or even stop, society’s victim blaming, but please, at least, stop victim blaming yourself.
- You are clean. You are not the one who’s dirty, it’s the one who did it to you. As much as you want to believe what I just said, I know you think it’s hard. Some people will judge you, they will think you are dirty. It’s inevitable. But believe me when I tell you that you are not dirty. You are not the monster. It’s the perpetrator who’s dirty. It’s them whom we should be disgusted. How other people are not grossed out by what they did, or how some people are rape apologists, I wouldn’t know the answer to that. But believe me, there are people like me who don’t think you are dirty. There are people who thinks you are incredible. You are clean. So stop spending too much time in the shower and thinking that rubbing too much soap on your body will get it off you. It won’t. Because you are not the one who is dirty.
- You are brave. And I’m proud of you. Whether or not you fought for it in the court, confronted the doer or the accessories (if there is), just the fact that you are still alive, breathing, and trying to fight, trying to live, trying to pretend like nothing happened, still being capable to laugh, smile, or make other people happy, it just means you are courageous and strong. I am not saying those who committed suicide because of this are cowards, I still think they are brave too, because they were able to do it.
- Lastly, please, seek help. It doesn’t have to be the police, or the shrink. I am not even gonna force you to tell it to your family. I don’t know what will be right thing to do, but right now, this is what I know, seek help. There is help out there. If it can’t be your family, it can be your friends, your special someone, or even a random person on the internet like me. There will always be someone you can talk to. You are not alone. If you choose to keep it to yourself, I understand. But this is what I know, it will be a whole lot easier if you tried to seek help from other people. It will help when you know or even feel, that there are people out there who truly cares. I care! (And if you want to seek professional help, there are a lot of clinics out there who will accept you with open doors. There are even free or affordable clinics. A simple Google search will do the trick. If you are scared that they might report it to the police, don’t be, you will be signing a confidentiality agreement. Just be sure to read the limits of the confidentiality.)
I am shocked that a lot of people i know (some of them were people I just know online) were raped, sexually abused or even harassed. No one brought it to court. Some tried to tell it to their family, but to no avail. No one fought. A lot of people don’t know what kind of internal battle the victims feel. So if you think you (or these victims) are coward, no. They are fighting. Everyday of their life. You will be surprised to know there are a lot of people out there who experienced rape, so no, you are not alone on this.
This is why I made this open letter. It’s not to tell them to fight it to court, tell the police, or seek a shrink, but just to tell them that they are innocent, clean, brave and I’m proud of them. Most of all, it’s to tell them that there is someone out there who would be able to understand them. There is someone out there who will love them no matter what happened to them in the past, even the present and will continue to love them in the future. There are people like me who will understand their battle. There are people like me whom you can talk to. I hope, this open letter, a small gesture, will be able to help you a bit in your battle. Feel free to leave a comment if you want someone to talk to. You can leave a comment anonymously (you don’t have to use the Facebook commenting system if you want privacy). You can also drop me an email. I will all respect privacy.
I hope as I end this letter, I was able to help your battle. I hope I was able to return (even if a bit) your confidence. I hope I was able to return your love and respect for yourself. I hope I was able to convince you that you are not alone, that you are innocent and clean, and that you are brave and I am proud of you! Don’t let ever let anyone again, make you feel like are someone less because of what happened. Remember, you are incredible. No one, can ever take that away from you.
If you are wondering what inspired me to write this open letter aside from I wanted to at least help the victims in a small way and that I know a lot of rape victims, it was also because I just read the book, Hopeless by Colleen Hoover. Which I plan to write a review in separate post. So, please follow my blog if you want to be updated! 😉