Trigger Warning: extensive discussion and description of manipulation, emotional abuse, sexual harassment, & anxiety. Brief mention of self harm & sexual abuse.
Dear Male Classmate,
I really don’t know what to say.
I tried to help you.
You told me you were depressed. You told me that you wanted to die.
I did my best to make help you feel supported and loved.
I felt like I was failing, so I shifted the responsibility over to a trustworthy adult.
I kept being your friend.
You manipulated me. You asked me questions – personal questions – and demanded answers, using manipulation tactics and a whole lot of guilt tripping.
I told you my story. The whole story. Nobody else knows the whole story. Not my parents, not my siblings, not my closest friends.
I thought it would help you – you said it would help you. I told you my story.
You told me that you were having dreams about me. You told me that you wanted to rape me.
You terrified me.
I stayed silent.
I let you walk all over me and continue the harassment.
You harassed me. You complimented my appearance. You reminded me of how suicidal you were. And then the cycle would repeat.
How did it feel?
When you began inciting the harassment and abuse, I panicked.
That day was filled with panicking.
Every time I turned around, I felt like you were right there.
I couldn’t breathe.
I couldn’t cry.
I couldn’t think.
Math… Science… Speech… The classes continued and I couldn’t focus. Grades. Grades. Focus on this content – you need good grades.
But I couldn’t focus… who could with that hanging over their head?
My voice stopped working. I began hiding from humanity.
I started cutting myself again. Another failure.
What is wrong with me? What did I say that made him think that I wanted this? Did I do something? Why am I such a freak?
And one night, the tears finally came. In the bathroom at 2 am, exhausted from the constant fatigue.
Physical fatigue because my body wasn’t accepting food. Anxiety tends to take away my appetite.
Mental fatigue because of difficulty in school and lack of sleep. Nightmares tend to be slightly distracting.
Emotional fatigue because it takes a lot of energy emotionally sustain myself, but I was also emotionally supporting you.
The floodgates opened and I cried. And cried. And cried. The type of crying that physically hurts.
Silent sobbing, entire body shaking, head splitting with the ache.
Am I such a screw-up that I can’t even help my own friends?
The next day, I made a decision. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I reached out to a friend – two friends, actually. They helped me. They cried with me and counseled me to seek help.
I took control of my life again. I grabbed it from your hands and began the tedious task of saving it.
It was painful, reliving the nightmare over again in meeting after meeting. Writing official statements on the details of what had happened. Pulling the details from the places that my mind had banished them to. Giving the names of the other girls who had been involved in the conversation – not very involved, but involved just enough that some safety checks needed to be made.
You made my life a living hell for an entire semester.
But you want to know something?
I’m okay now. It’s taken quite a long time for me to be able to utter those words, but now the time has come and I’m ready.
I forgive you.
Things always happen for a reason and I firmly believe that this situation you put me through is no exception. It was hard. It was the hardest thing that I’ve ever been through.
Experiencing it, escaping it, and struggling to recover from it.
I forgive you because I serve an Almighty Savior Who forgives me each and every day of my life. He shows me mercy and grace when I’m reminded of my shortcomings and imperfections. I forgive you not of my own strength, but of the strength that is invested in me by the Holy Spirit.
It’s taken a while to feel normal again. I still feel afraid sometimes. But that’s okay, because I’m a fighter… and it’s going to take a lot more than that to take me down.
Dear Fellow Fighter,
You are not alone. If you’re dealing with a manipulative relationship, emotionally abusive people, or sexual harassment/abuse, you need to seek help. Please. I am begging you. Don’t make the same mistake that I did and put a toxic relationship higher on your priority list than your own safety. You are a beautiful human being and you deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. Never ever forget that. ❤
priceless tree dweller