If you fall back into my life

Dear Abuser,

It was only one time, but it was one time too many. I knew you. We dated. I loved you. That didn’t stop you from doing what you did that night in December 2006. I remember. Don’t think I’ll ever forget. I have not forgiven you or turned the other cheek.

It happened and you said you’d do anything to be my friend again. I had stipulation: that you stop drinking. I know you. You wouldn’t have done what you did if you’d been sober. Maybe you’d have thought about it, I don’t know, but you wouldn’t have done it. But you were drunk and you did it, and I couldn’t stop you. It was the first time in my life I was really afraid that I wouldn’t be able to get away. You were stronger than me, bigger than me. I liked that about you when we dated; it made me feel safe. Not anymore.

Now I know what it’s like to be literally forced to do something against my will.

You said you don’t remember what happened. That means you drank so much that you blacked out. That was my one condition for forgiveness: that you stopped drinking. But I told you what happened, and you said I was exaggerating. You said that you’d never do something like that to anyone, much less me. You said you wouldn’t stop drinking just because I was over-reacting. You could hold your liquor and you were sure that you’d have remembered something like that.

But now, now I’m the only one who really knows what happened, if what you say is true and you really don’t remember. I cut ties with you shortly thereafter because what I told you happened actually did happen, whether you believe me or not. I know what you did. I remember.

If you fall back into my life, I hope you look at me and think about the friendship you could’ve had, the friendship you did have. You denied what you did, but I know the truth. I hope you suffer.

I know what you did. I remember. My body remembers. I hope I have the courage someday to name you and let the pieces fall where they may. If I were a stronger person, I’d give you a Chelsea grin. You deserve it, but I don’t want people to pity you.


Viannah E. Duncan

Viannah E. Duncan is a writer and activist hailing originally from Los Angeles. She lives outside of Baltimore, Maryland, and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Wilkes University. She has a cat, Cleo.

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