I for­give you, Stranger Rapist

Jamaica Gleaner - - FRONT PAGE - Email feed­back to col­umns@glean­erjm.com

A Ja­maican woman who was raped at age 11 writes a cathar­tic let­ter to the stranger who took her in­no­cence. “You threw me on the ground and ripped off my uni­form ... . You held a knife to my throat ... . I don’t even know how to love. You took that away from me when you raped me.”

This is a col­umn writ­ten by a woman who was raped at a school. It is di­rected at the man who as­saulted her nine years ago. She was 11 at the time. Her name has been with­held to pro­tect her iden­tity. Dear Stranger Rapist,

DO YOU re­mem­ber me? Be­cause I sure do re­mem­ber you. For the past nine years, I have been plagued by the mem­ory of you. I have held so much blame and guilt for the evening I couldn’t com­pre­hend.

On Fri­day, Septem­ber 28, 2007 (yes, I re­mem­ber the date), you raped me, saw me com­ing home from school (oh, how you must have planned this for days). I was just a de­fence­less lit­tle girl, who you should have pro­tected, but in­stead, you dragged me into the nearby bushes, where not a soul was likely to dwell.

With no pos­si­ble way to es­cape, I won­dered if I de­served it. You threw me on the ground and ripped off my uni­form – yes, my uni­form. You held a knife to my throat and I can still hear your voice echo­ing in my head to this day, “Gyal, if yuh mek a sound mi buss yuh throat!” Was it truly my fate? I tried to fly, but my wings you had bro­ken, my mind filled with con­fu­sion and yours filled with evil and wicked lust. I can still smell your stink­ing ganja breath!

Even though tears ran down my cheek, it’s like you didn’t care. It never mat­tered to you, you just wanted to have your way and your way you had, with the lit­tle girl I was.

Does it plague you? Do you feel guilty? Do you even have a con­science? Do you have a daugh­ter? What would you do if that should hap­pen to her? Was I your only vic­tim? Mmm, was I?

You pae­dophile! You rapist! You are noth­ing but a coward! That’s what you are!

I have hated you for all these years, and if I knew who you are, I would stran­gle you with my own two hands be­cause prison would be too good for you!

‘I HATED ME’

You ripped my heart out and made me into a cold, dark per­son. I hated me.

Not only did you as­sault me, but you vi­o­lated my soul. My psy­che is scarred by your evil on­slaught.

My plea­sure is pain — yes, I en­joyed be­ing hurt. I cut, and watch the blood run as tears flow from my eyes. I cry my­self to sleep ev­ery sin­gle night. I have no love in my heart. I don’t even know how to love. You took that away from me when you raped me.

It’s as if you took ev­ery­thing away from me that evening, and I hate you for it. I HATE you! I HATE you! I HATE you! You hurt me ex­tremely deep.

I have pushed away so many peo­ple who have had noth­ing but love for me, but I couldn’t love them back. Be­cause you raped me, I have im­pris­oned the real me and cast my­self into men­tal iso­la­tion – away from peo­ple.

A silent anger has been my diet, re­fus­ing to talk and be­ing abused and vi­o­lated many times over. For nine years, I have re­lived that nasty ex­pe­ri­ence, be­ing an­gry, shrouded by bouts of de­pres­sion and anx­i­ety — BE­CAUSE YOU RAPED ME!

This mo­ment, to­day, NOW, you rape me no more!

It is said, “He who angers you con­trols you.” I will NOT. I re­peat, I will NOT al­low you to con­trol me ANY­MORE.

I FOR­GIVE you, I FOR­GIVE YOU, I FOR­GIVE YOU, Mr Stranger Rapist. Wher­ever you are, dead or alive, I for­give you.

And one more thing be­fore I go. I think you should also know that I have for­given me. For the way I think (neg­a­tively), for ac­cept­ing pain as plea­sure and hurt­ing my­self, for be­ing guilty and ashamed of some­thing that I DID NOT DO. Yours truly, The girl who has LET GO!

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