Captain of the soccer team,
You may or may not remember me. I myself, I do not remember everything.
I remember vaguely having known you for several months. I remember hanging out with friends and trying vodka for the first time. I remember that you knew I was a virgin and that I had never really had much to drink ever. I remember trying to call security to walk me home, and you hanging up Is Telling Me No No it would be all right, that you would walk me home. You are after all the golden, trusted, captain of the soccer team. I remember vaguely you giving me another drink. then I don't remember much... I remember you pressing your hot sweaty body against mine, I remember saying no,more than once. And then I remembered you were yelling at me, a least twice, that part I remember with startling clarity.It pierces my brain as if it is this very moment. And then I don’t remember much of anything. I don't remember much of what happened, including how I got home.
The only feeling I remember feeling... If it can be called a feeling, is numbness... Oh, and soreness, a soreness that left no doubt of what happened, and a few bruises on my arms for good measure, for a long time.
I am sure that you may not have realized, in your glorying over your “prize” ( as I had the privilege of hearing around campus latter how you had bedded a virgin and all about what I couldn't remember) that really, you gave me so much that night….
So much more than you probably know. So, I thought you should know.
Perhaps it's time to start returning some things to you. Some things that I no longer need.
I would like to return to you the following:
Low self esteem
Feelings of inefficacy
Decreased feelings of self worth
Shattered sense of contextual self-identity
The sick feeling in my stomach when go to sleep at night
The inexplicable fear I feel when talking with some men
A sense of the lack of ability to protect myself or my own daughter
A decreased sense of worth as a part of the human race
The sense of being an ineffectual victim
The sense it being worth less than the garbage that goes out to the curb
The sense that the world would be a better place without me in it
The sense that if I could only get away from myself, I could be happy
I guess you had no idea you had given me so much. Probably because you put so little thought into your own actions and their consequences.
Though it has taken more than 20 years, I think I'm done with them.
So I think it's time for an exchange.
From you I'll receive back what I gave you, not knowing any better. The Innocence, sense of self-worth, contextual self-identity, my ability to say no when something is not right for me, the strength to stand up for myself and for those whom I love and care for, my creativity, sense of vulnerability, freedom to just...be...me, and my sense of understanding that my voice matters, because… I matter. And every other thing I gave to you, not knowing any better.
And all of the things that you gifted me, I return all of them to you now. Perhaps, in doing this you will also be able to fall into great depths of understanding who you are. Perhaps you'll also be able to question everything that helps you define Who You Are, what your purpose is, and your value as a living, breathing, sentient being alive on the planet. Moreover, if that is the case, I am confident, that you will rise from this an infinitely better human, one who knows, that they know, that they know, that they are loved, valuable, and intrinsically deserving of human dignity and respect. I wish this for you, and every good thing.
Learning and Growing