This photo haunts me.
The memories of trauma take you away from the present.
It steals the present moment and leaves you with sensations
That are too overwhelming to face.
Throbbing in your chest
fire in your bones
when your body knows because you’ve turn off your brain.
a sinking feeling so far
in your stomach you didn’t know
a place so dark could exist
The man who sexually assaulted me took this photo of me the day after he put his fingers inside of my while I was asleep.
He dragged my sleeping body onto his bed and I woke up with his hands gripping my breasts in his bed with his fingers exploring the inside of my body.
I didn’t remember it for 24 hours.
but i remember when i rememebered
i typed a note into my friends phone i said please don’t make me sit next to him, something is wrong, something happened but i dont remember
and then i did but i wish i didn’t
because once you know you can’t unknow unless you try really hard, and even then you still know you just need the right trigger.
I repressed the trauma for 24 hours. you made it up.
I gave him my camera and he took a photo of me.
But I don’t usually smile like that.
I don’t usually wince like I’m in pain.
I couldn’t remember the exact date I was assaulted so i looked through over 2,000 photos from my trip to japan.
i don’t have very good memory anymore, so i document everything, i need the photos to be my memory. i need the photos to be my evidence.
i found out because i saw this photo (left) where i looked dead in the face and i knew it was one day after.
Trauma does something to your body. To your physical expressions. To your smile and to your eyes.
The photo on the right is how I usually smile. Space between my top and bottom teeth, my eyes closed tightly, a soft expression on my face.
The photo on the left is the day after I was sexually assaulted. I look like a plastic robot. My body knowing something I could not yet face. My eyes are open, cold and numb. My smile is forced and plastered.
One year later I am angry because I am cold and I have
lost most of my memories even
the good ones and i
can’t eat much anymore and
when I Remember its like knives going through my body
one year later i am angry because i couldn’t process it because
i didn’t report it because
i couldn’t report it because
no one would believe me because
i never got justice because
he never got anything but my body because
i had to graduate with him, in a ceremony of 8 people
i had to get my degree next to a Rapist
next to an Abuser
he goes free, and the prison walls
one year later i am angry because when my aunt died soon after
i couldn’t process my sadness
i couldn’t process my love
i could only process my guilt for
being absent, for not calling for being absorbed in the
prison Walls that grew like vines around me while
I was in college because you always think you have more time but the guilt adds up and it adds up and you’re guilty for feeling guilty and you never call you never respond you turn into a ghost you Vanish from the Universe you become so small like a grain of sand and even when someone let’s the prison doors open, unearths you from the vines, you stay there hiding and scared and alone and helpless, and you stay there hugging yourself and rocking back and forth, and you scream and cry about how you are so alone and you dream of leaving the prison Walls but you could have left so long ago
and then she dies. and you lost all of the time
you were robbed of the present
always robbed of the present
one year later i am angry because
it wasn’t just this assault it was the targeting, I was
his prey it was
that night, the night he decided to assault me in my sleep he gave me a pair of chopsticks with bunnies on them and my name engraved in Japanese.
that night while i was asleep, after he dragged me to his bed, he told My friend he had always loved me.
i know that people just don’t appreciate her because … of her disabilities. But … I do.
when you love someone you rape them.
We were friends.
one year later i am not healed.
i am trying.
profile of a long term abuser
- you are hard to take care of. you are hard to be around. it is sad for everyone else to see how sick you are and how pathetic and needy you are, so just let Him help you. it’s easier than you saying no for the 40th time. No, I can do this by myself. No, I’m fine. No. No, no, no, no, NO turns to okay fine. Sure. Yes. yes yes yes. Or silence.
- You don’t understand that he just needs people. He just needs Human Interaction. When he’s sad he needs to hug you. He Just Has To Touch You. What he needs, for his Mental Health, is more important than your desire not to be touched.
- Have a seizure in a foreign country. He will pretend he is God. He will act Drained when the attention is not on him. He will be Angry when you are seizing on the floor, making a scene, without making eye contact.
- He will be Angry no one consulted him on a medical decision that had nothing to do with him.
- When you a Joyous, he will be Miserable and show it. He will self-isolate. When you are Depressed, He will be happy. It will be like a flower blooming. Your pain feeds his soul.
- If he writes you a poem about how you are Sleeping and Breathing while you are Sleeping and Breathing, know that he is up watching you Sleeping and Breathing. He has power over your unconscious body. Later, when he assaults you in your sleep, remember this is a Pattern. This is not new.
- He will tell them he Loves you, has always loved you, Knew You Were The One When He First Laid Eyes On You. He will think this gives him The Right. He will think he put in The Work. Because he wheeled you in a wheelchair at the airport. Because he saw you having a panic attack, and helped you calm down (Did you remember his medal?) He will brag and boast about something/one that does not belong to him. He will feel Emasculated by his feelings. H will feel Hot when he thinks about how he Displays them. He will feel like he is giving you a gift. Run. Even something Good can be Bad when it is forced. When it is too much.
- You will tell him he Raped You. You will write it nicely in a letter. You will be Nice Because You Don’t Want Him To Kill Himself. But Was he thinking that way when he raped you?
- He will tell you that you wanted it. You were awake. You asked for it. You wanted it for so long. He loves you. I love you. You probably forgot. You probably took too many of your Klonopin. Probably benzo-ed yourself out. No, you know what- you probably asked for it, then Got Triggered when he began stimulating your clit and penetrating you because of your “Trauma History.” The Sexual Pleasure Triggered You Into No Memories. He Will Say This. You Will Have To Read It. He Will Think This Is Acceptable. Do Not Swallow It.
- He will write you a letter. It will be the worst thing you read about yourself in your life. Know this. Prepare for it. Know that when you told him he Raped You, he wrote you a Porno. Remember that you told him you don’t remember Anything, so you gave him all of the power. Know this. Do Not Be Fooled By It. He wrote you a letter and you call it “OJ’s If I Did It.”
- You are hard to take care of. You are hard to be around. Especially when you won’t let me rape you.