One year ago today (19th) one of my rapists was released from prison—two days before the anniversary of the day he attacked, raped, and left me for dead (21st).
He wasn’t serving time for rape. Not for me. Not for the woman he was caught with. Not for the countless others he and his partner confessed to attacking and raping.
No. He served three years for conspiracy to commit rape. One count. Only one survivor was included in the plea.
The rest of us, according to the records, don’t exist.
When he got out, I couldn’t fully function. I carried the fob for the house alarm attached to my clothing. Two badass male friends stayed in the trailer behind my house so I could feel protected. Not alone.
I saw my rapist in the streets. In the reflection of car windows. In the grocery store. I never saw him. And yet I did.
This year has been a year of rising from the fear, from the quick glances over my shoulder, from holding the house alarm in my hands as a I slept.
And I have risen. Not alone. But surrounded by an army of badass friends, advocates, and allies. I no longer carry the alarm fob with me, but I do know where it is. Always.
I no longer have friends staying nights on the property so I can sleep. But I do double lock my room door.
I no longer see him in the streets. In reflections behind me. In stores as I shop. But I do see other men and I am keenly aware of their existence. I am also aware his partner gets out of prison in a few years. Still breathing room.
Healing is a journey. It isn’t a prized destination that is produced with bows and bottles of bubbly. It’s the small victories along the way—in the midst.
Every victory. Small and large. Is powerfully valid.
You are not alone. We are not alone. We are rising. We are roaring.
And tomorrow is ours.
#KickAtDarkness #Healing #SupportSurvivors #Rape #SexualAssault