Writing by Andie Reyes // photograph by Marta Golova
TW: Sexual Assault
Today I told you that my ex-boyfriend sexually abused me in a hotel room. I immediately regretted telling you because instead of supporting me, you completely ignored me.
When I told you what had happened to me I felt as though my sunshine suddenly turned into a dark and unforgiving storm – you were not the person that I thought.
We had talked about having sex, but now your eyes look at me differently.
I cried for a week thinking that I had done something wrong but now I know that instead of supporting me, you have been in contact with other women and that is all I need to know about the kind of person you are.
When I told you how sad I was, that I was seeing a psychologist for help, you laughed at me, telling me that you were not interested in my life and that you did not want a relationship with me. Your reasoning? You weren’t ready.
I wanted to be part of your life but not anymore. You made me feel that what happened to me was my fault – that I had to apologize for making you feel uncomfortable. And even now when I look in the mirror, I feel ugly, because that’s how your eyes saw me.
Some nights you send me messages telling me that you’ve fallen in love with another woman with the same name, and then after a few weeks you tell me that she broke your heart anyway.
Months later you ask for forgiveness in a long text message and although your apology does not feel sincere, I tell you that I forgive you, mainly because you are no longer part of my heart, and I decided to let you go. I decided that you would not be part of my present or my future so my forgiveness is for me – not you.
I have grown, I have chosen to love myself instead of feeling the guilt that I used to and now when other eyes look at me they see me as nothing but beautiful – because I am beautiful.