H

Dear world,

I am so fed up with the way that society handles sexual assault, abuse, harassment, violence. I feel like no matter what I do, I as a victim can never win.

Between the ages of 8 & 12, I was forcibly held down and made out with, I had my chest grabbed, I had my private parts touched and I was forced to run around the house naked by an older family member. I was forced to hump another older family member. And because I kept my mouth shut during those instances, my 8 year old cousin was raped. She spent years suffering from anorexia and slept with so many guys to try and erase it but even when she told, it just broke her family apart. I had PTSD and still have major trust issues with guys.

When I was in college, I was lucky. I got drunk and let a guy I barely know walk me home. As he tried to take off my pants as I drunkenly protested, my guy friend called and told him to get off me and go away. The same guy friend made sure I was safely in my bed before proceeding to beat up this boy. Heck, he even apologized to me the next day.

Yet, when I started working, i had a coworker who always made obscene “jokes”. He was married and try to get girls to kiss him, or talk about how him and his fat wife weren’t having sex, or talk about how girls that are abused deserve it for dating those guys. He talked about committing suicide if a girl in the office didn’t talk to him. He ranked everyone in the office on who he would sleep with. And then when I finally couldn’t stand him anymore, he wrote me a love poem entitled 1 of 8. The way this guy was, not only would he have to keep going, he would have to make each poem better than the last. Or as my abuser had done, go farther and farther with every chance. So after hours of unfocus, I went to my boss. I showed it to him. He showed it to the owner. And then they pulled another male coworker to discuss it. When it was done, the author of the poem was not fired, he was talked to before the owner even talked to me. He didn’t care about my concerns for the other girls in the office or my reasons for coming forward. He just separated us for 6 months and when I left the job, he warned my new boss that I had a history of reporting sexual harassment because I am a flirt or something.

If I don’t report it, someone else gets hurt. If I do report it, it follows me the rest of my career. How does one win and not get blamed? How does the perpetrators get held responsible without another man stepping in? And what happens when the other man stepping in doesn’t stand up for you?

So sick of this nonsense.

H

dear h,

i can’t figure out if i still love you. i’m drawn to you with whatever second i have and i still appreciate every part of you- the little curl on your hair, your bright green eyes, your giggle that never fails to light up my day.

i wish you would give me at least a passing glance.

s

4:53am
voglio vederti al mattino presto con le palpebre che faticano a rimanere aperte perché la luce del sole è troppo forte, voglio vederti la sera quando non riesci a dormire e il tuo cervello non riesce a spegnersi, voglio vederti assonnato con due nuvole scure di stanchezza che ti si formano sotto gli occhi.
voglio vederti arrabbiato che stringi i pugni e abbassi le sopracciglia e con lo sguardo che diventa scuro.
voglio vederti triste, con gli occhi bagnati, con le lacrime che ti scorrono sulle guance e con le labbra che non riescono a piegarsi all'insù.
voglio vederti geloso mentre guardi gli altri ragazzi e mi stringi al tuo fianco.
voglio vederti imbarazzato con la faccia che si tinge di rosso e gli occhi che fissano un punto nel pavimento sotto i tuoi piedi.
voglio vederti con le mani sudate, con i capelli spettinati, con la voce che trema e non riesce a trovare parole adatte.
voglio conoscere ogni versione di te, dalla più impeccabile, quella che mostri alla gente quando esci, alla più grezza e naturale, che non mostri a nessuno, che conosci solo tu e che pensi che alle persone non possa piacere (a me sì).
voglio amarti per intero.