This took courage. A letter to my oldest friend, about my rape.

Hey you,

your timing was perfect texting me the other day. I actually laughed out loud when I saw that you’d text me, it was as if the universe was like “hey love, you have friends!” and nudged you my way.

You asked how I was and I was so close to batting away the question with a flippant, “I’m fine!” and moving the focus back to you, but I decided that if i didn’t tell you how shit I was feeling then I was giving the universe the fingers, and that’s not cool. So, I said I was going to write you and since I said that I’ve been talking myself out of doing this quite effectively in fact, and now I feel like I’m stalling and possibly freaking you out more than you need to be.

Okay. So. Last year, over a weekend in June in Vancouver, I was raped. I found a flat on a website with one male room-mate, moved in and over that weekend he drugged and raped me, and then kept assaulting me over 2 days until I escaped. I know this is a shocking thing to read, I don’t feel the shock anymore, but I’ve very aware of how it would feel me reading it about, say you, for example. So, deep breaths, and that’s the worst of it. The story gets better from here.

As it turned out, I’m a pretty bad-ass rape survivor. I escaped, rang a rape crisis centre, had forensic evidence collected, found a safe place to stay, negotiated free counseling (that took WEEKS of bureaucracy and forms and statements), found a counsellor, talked to mum and dad. I decided that as horrific as this was, I was not coming home, I was still going to finish out my year of travel and have the Best Summer Ever in Vancouver, HE was not going to take that away from me. And I did. I had enough support immediately to get me through, until I could be in a safe place and really deal with this.

That’s what I’m doing now. I found a therapist when I got back to Auckland, and initially I saw it as a quick, “oh I might see her once or twice to deal with some issues I have around trust, but I’m pretty much fine.” I didn’t estimate how tough recovery would be. The last month I’ve been processing stuff I didn’t even know I carried, and it feels like it’s this endless slide down into crazy land. I feel like everything about me is up for review. Right now, I can’t decide what is me. It’s like, I see parts of who I am all separated, like puzzle pieces. And I can’t figure out if they are important to me, and where they fit. This is really bewildering and unsettling and depressing, but I do know that this isn’t endless, that things will get better and I’ll eventually be a stronger, whole person, all the better for having tackled this now.

I’m telling you this, because every time I tell someone important to me, then it gets a bit easier to accept that this happened to me, and helps me move past the unhelpful stuff I tell myself: that it’s my fault, that I could have prevented it, that it’s not that much of a big deal. People respond in lots of different ways, and often don’t know what to say, and that’s okay, we’re not really taught how to receive this news! I’ve had some people have unhelpful responses, so I’m trying to get better at letting people know what I need from them.

So, it feels really good to share this with you. It’s scary reaching out, but I feel that it’s important to my recovery.

If you’d like to ask questions about the specifics, I’m open to answering them, but if you’d prefer not to I completely understand that too. It would be great to talk about how my recovery is going, so feel free to ask how I feel and how I’m doing! Even though it’s hard to figure out how I fit together, I’m still the childhood friend you know, I still love talking about sex, drinking wine, dancing, dressing up, doing yoga and circus arts, being silly and laughing until I cry.

🙂

Okay, whew! I’m just going to press send now before I chicken out. Much love, I feel so glad to have you as a friend.