Three years ago, I was raped. I have written multiple posts on my blog in regard to this incident. One was an open letter to my rapist where I left his anonymity erased. It’s funny because I never use last names of people I refer to on the blog and the one and only time I have broken that rule was for my rapist. I did not report the incident and so I felt it my right and my duty to notify others of his malicious practices through this blog. Maybe nobody sees this, but maybe somebody does and they know to stay away from him.
I found his profile yet again on dating apps in recent months. I tried to ban him from the site, but I didn’t have the proof to say that he did anything to me so he is still out, living a life, potentially raping, or mutilating many other women. And that terrified me. I feel by not doing my due diligence, I am to blame for not only my own trauma that was done to me, but for the trauma that happens or did happen to other(s).
So this is a post not to him, I have said all I need to for the rest of my days to him… this post is for me, to me. What I need to say to my younger self and to myself now as I still recover from the trauma that has taken place.
It’s okay to let go. It’s okay to not remember the date, the time, or the moment that I was raped by Joseph Cahill of Port Orchard / Olalla, Washington. It’s okay that the details are getting fuzzy as time progresses because it is a form of healing; the letting go aspect of it, that is. It’s okay that this post is hard to write and it’s okay for me to feel my feelings in regard to the rape and writing and publicizing it.
I am proud of you for sharing your story on such a large platform such as your blog because I know it was not easy to do. I know you still feel pain and remorse for sharing your rapist’s information online, but you can let go of that pain you feel; you can be free of the burden of shaming someone for unspeakable actions. You have every right to sabotage his reputation because he is an evil person. Despite your view that there is good in everyone, it’s okay to think that what he did wasn’t okay, because what he did to you was wrong.
I forgive you for beating yourself up for the past three years over “Why me?” and not being able to give yourself intimately in the same way that you were able to before hand. I forgive you for not reporting him to authorities out of fear of retaliation. I forgive you for not fighting back and being submissive out of fear of violence.
It’s okay to let go and for others to hear your truth. Who cares who believes you when you know your own personal truth and there is nothing that anyone can say or do to change the horrendous events that occurred and that may stay with me til the day that you die. Let your truth shine out the doubts of darkness.
It’s also okay if you don’t share your story anymore or don’t want to talk about it, it is not your life’s purpose to be labeled and stamped as “RAPE VICTIM”. It is, however, your purpose to be labeled and stamped as “ACTIVIST,” “FRIEND,” and “CONFIDANTE.” Not only to the mental health community are you an activist, but also to those who have and have not survived and lived to tell the tale of their sexual assaults and/or rape(s). People know that you, my friend, are a safe person to talk to and you are not alone and that they are not alone. If continuing to share your story instills this implicit trust in others to share with you their stories or share their stories with others, then so be it.
Do not be silenced by him to protect his personal autonomy. It is not your job to protect his autonomy and he took a piece of your personal autonomy. It is now your obligation to take that piece of autonomy back and be empowered with the self discovery process you have been through in order to process the event, recover, and go from victim to survivor. It is also okay to not feel like a survivor or a fighter or to feel so brave for overcoming this event. It is okay to feel what you feel whether you feel meek, insecure, whatever it may be.
You are intricately and wonderfully made. This is not your fault. It was his decision to rape you and take advantage of you. You did not lead him on. You did not ask for this. You did not ask him to continue penetrating you after you told him to stop. You did all you could. You did what you thought was best at the time of this event. You did what was right for you in a very scary, life or death situation. You are brave. You are kind. You are smart. You are beautiful. You are unique.
Don’t ever doubt yourself or your intuition. Keep kicking ass.