An Open Letter To My Abuser
You know who you are and if you’re brave enough to read this, you can’t destroy me. I know that you wanted to destroy me; watch me die slowly as my soul rotted from the inside out. Sexual abuse is not about love or lust; it’s about power and control and causing pain.
I spent many years struggling to find out what I did, and I spent so long trying to figure out what mental defect you had or what went wrong in your life. I felt like you must have been bullied as a kid. Your spouse must be the kind of person who belittled or hit you.
The truth is you’re just a piece of human trash.
People like you have no feelings; sexual predators are simply preditors. Unlike predatory animals who hunt for food. Sexual predators hunt, groom, and abuse for fun. You’re worse than a lioness who hunts down a zebra for food for her cubs, you’re worse than a hunter who kills deer so that the deer in the forest won’t starve to death during the cold winter months.
I spent many years studying mass shooters and serial killers, trying to figure out why they do the things they do because I needed answers.
The truth is, people like you frighten me more than any mass shooter or serial killer could ever frighten me.
Because you took the time to plan out what you did to me, you took the time to plan out the abuse, and not only that you took the time to make it seem like I was being dishonest. You cried and pretended that I did something wrong; you even tried to turn my family against me. At the time, I thought you were just really stupid. But as time went on, I realized that’s exactly what people like you do because you want control over the people you’ve hurt.
I chose the word people because I have no doubt in my mind that you’ve done this to other people. I worry about the fact that you’re out walking around on a regular basis. People that rape and abuse don’t do it only once because the truth of the matter is, it’s not about sex. Sexual assault, especially sexual assault of young and experienced children, is about breaking someone apart, breaking a spirit. So because it’s not about sex, I don’t believe I’m not the only victim.
I’ve accepted the fact that I’ll never get an apology or any kind of acknowledgment over what happened to me. Although I know that any apology I would get from you or anyone in your immediate circle would be disingenuous, I would worry that the apology was hollow and was an attempt to save face instead of an act of contrition.
I surrounded myself with the wrong kind of people because I thought that was what I deserved. I surrounded myself with people that were just as angry as I was; in an attempt to move on. I need to take control over myself for my emotions.
At the end of the day, I’m letting you win by not fighting back. By hurting me, gaslighting me, and manipulating people around me, you took away my friends and family. Because of you, I couldn’t leave my house, so I couldn’t go to the places that made me happy. I couldn’t go to the animal shelter to see all the kittens, and I couldn’t go to church anymore. I barely even went to school because I was so scared.
I know that’s what you want, and to be honest, I wonder if you think about that at night when you’re alone in bed when you can’t sleep. I wonder if it haunts you as it haunts me. As much as I hate to admit it, I wonder if you think about the things you did to me and enjoy it.
What I want you to know is that I am the reason you’re out walking around. I am the reason you are free, and I made the decision to take care of myself instead of finding a way to get back at you.
I hope that I am with you every time you enjoy a sunset, every time you’re sleeping peacefully next to your spouse. Just know that I’m the reason you have those opportunities because if it wasn’t for me and my ignorance, you could be locked away forever, you could be talking and everyone you loved through a glass partition.
Just know I’m the reason you’re free.
In that same way, I’m slowly learning to enjoy my happy moment, and I’m learning to enjoy things in life. I’m learning to enjoy a hot cup of coffee on a Fall morning, and I’m learning to enjoy spending time with people I love. I’m learning to hear the words I love you and believe them and not think that I will be abused or left.
I know that people like you are not very bright criminals; in particular, narcissistic criminals who are predators tend to believe that they are better than everyone else. You will someday slip up, you will eventually get caught, and when you do, I will be the first person to congratulate the person who put you behind bars. They will be able to do something that I wasn’t strong enough to do.
I also know that when it’s all said and done, the legacy that you leave behind won’t be one of joy. It will be one of anger and sorrow because people will know who you were. You will be found out in the end, and I cannot wait for that day.
Every time I enjoy a moment of my life, it’s a giant middle finger to see what you were trying to do to me. I’m still traumatized. I’m still struggling, but every time I smile for real, instead of just smiling because someone told me I had to, I know that I’m winning.
Photo created by author using Canva