He is a monster in my head. I have to actively shrink him in my mind each time his face, his hands, his smell invades my consciousness. My mind quickly flicks through little memories, small details that I interpret with hindsight but have no control over. No control. I can feel my mind swirling through it all, my third week of uni, away from home. My uni experience changed from one of fun and excitement to a numb routine to get me through the day.
The next months are filled with an emptiness, I drain away all emotion to avoid the white hot pain in my stomach. Going home after the first semester, my parents didn’t recognise me. I would cry for no reason, sob with my whole body. They could see me breaking apart in front of them. They supported me, fully backed me but I swear they’ve both aged decades before my eyes. It was my decision to see someone, my decision to go back to uni, my decision to report it to the police, my decision to keep my life going. My parents, my support network were my enablers and my friends. They have given me the things that were ripped away from me, control, respect, dignity, love.
I blame myself, I still feel shame, guilt, worthlessness. But I know in the back of my mind that this is a lie. I’m so thankful that I have people around me that demonstrate it’s a lie on a daily basis. I am NOT GUILTY.