Simple, Not Easy
A survivor story written by Eve
It’s simple, really. Two people meet, they fall in love, get married, and live happily ever after. It’s simple, but no one said it would be easy.
Sometimes though, more often than people would expect, it doesn’t play out like that. Sometimes it goes like this: Two people meet. One wants to have sex with the other when they don’t want to. They do it anyway. One goes home with another notch on the bedpost. One goes home wanting to die.
You never think that it would happen to you until it does. You hear stories about people being assaulted, rapists being put on the supreme court, but you never stop to think that someone could so easily crush everything that you are and everything that you could’ve been in one night.
At least that’s what it felt like. I wanted to die. I thought about it every day, I still do. I can’t walk alone, I can’t sleep, I can’t be in open spaces, I feel so trapped, like he’s raping me over and over every time I stay home because I’m afraid, or every time I break down at the sound of a car alarm.
I can feel him inside me still, I can feel his mouth on mine, his beard rubbing against my back, his teeth on my neck. I feel him every day, and every day I want to die.
The weird thing is that I thought I was okay. I thought he didn’t do anything wrong. I had told him that I didn’t want to do this so soon, but I never used the word “no”. I never pushed him away or tried to get out from under him as he was panting and heaving on top of me. I spent the entire week after that night running what happened over and over in my head, did it really happen like that? Am I going crazy? Did I make myself clear enough? I thought he was a nice guy, I thought I would be able to protect myself. What I didn’t know is how utterly wrong I was.
Now, three weeks past. That’s how I measure time now, how long has it been since that night, September twenty-first. Now, three weeks past, I’m sitting here, writing this instead of cutting my wrists, instead of drinking myself into a coma, instead of jumping out my window, waiting on a pregnancy test, wanting to die.
Someone close to me once sent me this quote from Arthur Ashe. It goes, “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” Start where I am? I’m at one of the lowest times in my life. Where I’m at is switching between crying and punching walls. Where I’m at is taking medication because my heart will not stop racing. Where I’m at is being unable to be left alone. Where I’m at is being suicidal.
Use what I have? What I have is everyone who has been supporting me through this, whether it be a friend or a doctor, every person who told me “This wasn’t your fault.” and “I believe you.” What I have is everyone who made me feel like I was normal, if just for a second, that I wasn’t so violently destroyed by one man.
Do what I can? What I can do is stay alive. If not for me, or my loved ones, but for spite, because he does not deserve to have that power over me. He does not deserve to hurt me more than he already has.
Sounds simple, right? Just don’t kill myself. It is. It’s simple, but it sure as hell isn’t easy. None of this easy. Living isn’t easy, dying isn’t easy, healing isn’t easy, but I don’t have any other options. Because he does not get the right to take away anything more from me. He does not get the right to take away my dreams and goals; he does not get the right to take away my determination and drive; he does not get the right to anything concerning me, and I’ll be damned if I don’t make sure of it.
How is it that someone could do this to another person? How is it that I can’t move on, I can’t stop thinking about it, I can’t breathe. The answers to these I don’t know, but what I do know is that I will get through this. Or at least that’s what my counselor says, and by god I hope she’s right.