This morning I opened my facebook and read the letter that the victim of the infamous Brock Allen Turner wrote. Her letter was undeniably powerful. It contained so much power from her pain and bravery, and it showed. She showed strength in her pain.
It was exactly the things sexual assault survivors want to say in exactly the ways we want to say it.
I got to the end and I found myself feeling incredibly proud of her. As I should be.
As we all should be.
But I was also angry and I was ridden with guilt. And not for the reasons I was expecting. Yes, of course I was furious about the whole situation.
But I was angry and I felt guilty because I will never be able to read a letter like that in a court. I was furious that my abuser will never stand across from me in court, that I will never be able to stand across from him and look him with fierce bravery in the eye and watch him squirm in discomfort at his verdict, I will never have that justice, so many of us will never get that day.
And the hardest part about her case and mine is that I can remember my abuse. I remember a 10 whole times that I was sexually abused by a man years older than me. I know the ages I was at the time of those incidents, the homes I lived in, the bedrooms I slept in that he visited night after night. And that’s just the ones I have clear memories of.
Don’t even get me started on the gritty flashbacks of the molestations that took place, the ones that come up as time goes by. Man, I might not if have even reached the surface of what he did to my young body. I don’t even know if I was raped, maybe I was, maybe I wasn’t and honestly if I was, I don’t want to know.
I do know he groomed and molested me, manipulated me and has torn my world apart.
“You and me. You are the cause, I am the effect. You have dragged me through this hell with you, dipped me back into that night again and again. You knocked down both our towers”
So part of me feels bad, because in the back of my mind I think “At least you got your day in court”. I thought that throughout reading her letter.
How incredibly selfish of me, but who could blame me, who could blame the thousands of us that could all have tried to get that justice and the system failed them. Thats me, thats someones wife, mother, daughter, lover, that our system is failing.
The system isn’t protecting me, but is protecting them.
But I also know, her letter was written by her for all of us and I have to allow that to be enough for me.
So I thank her with my whole heart for speaking so loudly and clearly for me, for women and children everywhere.
And I beg her to please forgive my selfishness.
I know her pain, I feel it, I’ve lived it every day for 18 years and I am incredibly grateful that she, unlike me; could speak up for all of us.