To the man I once loved,
I didn’t feel like I was a child. Yes, at the time we met I was just 14 but I had been through more than people older than me, I thought that made me wiser and more mature. In fact it made me more childish. I was in such a hurry to grow up because once you were an adult you were allowed to leave and nobody ever seemed to question you for it. My parents had both left and come back at multiple intervals of my life, my older brother had left and gone to university, my auntie was on the other side of the world, and yet I, the child, had to stay and clear up everybody else’s mess. I wanted to be older.
You made me feel older, from the second we met. You treated me like an equal, not some stupid kid. You told me about my eyes, how beautiful they were, they were once my favourite feature but I feel like you own them now and I cry when I look into them in the mirror. You never asked me how old I was, I liked that, I felt like you could see the woman I felt like I was, not the girl I actually was. But you really liked me because I was that girl, because I was young. You apologised for the kiss and told me it was wrong. It wasn’t wrong though was it? It felt right to you, otherwise you’d have stopped all communication right then and there, yes, you kept it platonic but you texted me everyday and made me feel special.
For years I have told people it wasn’t like that with us, that you never groomed me because technically I made the first move but I didn’t. On my 15th Birthday, you convinced me to sneak out of my parents house and you drove me to your caravan. You cooked me dinner and gave me wine, I may have kissed you first but you weren’t innocent in this. I loved you, back then, I really did. The first few weeks of our relationship, things were perfect, I don’t think I ever stopped smiling. You were attentive and loving, showering me in your affection.
I remember when it all changed but by then I was in too deep. I’d given up friends for you, the relationship with my parents was worse than it had ever been and I needed you. I didn’t really have anybody else, you knew that and you reminded me of it. That’s when I started taking drugs moe frequently, that’s when I lost myself. I used the drugs to numb the pain you caused me, I used them when you destroyed my self confidence daily. You’d remind me I was worthless and unlovable and I’d believe you.
Here’s the problem though, I’m so ashamed of the girl you made me become. I’m ashamed I ever let you lay a finger on me, let alone that I took you back every time. I never told anyone, not until recently. I wasn’t just ashamed, I was humiliated and I thought people would think I was weak. I have something called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I self diagnosed myself with it about 6months ago because I was too embarrassed to tell a doctor. I have nightmares and flashbacks and I don’t give myself any credit for fighting it daily, I think I’m pathetic because of it. I’ve lost my self worth and I hate myself. I am clean. 5months so now but before that I’d been clean for 5years. You’re the reason I slip, when the nightmares and panic gets too much it makes me want to take drugs to self medicate the symptoms.
Every night I feel the pain I felt all over again but this time I’m clean when I wake up and it hurts more than did back then. I hear you tell me how worthless I am and I wake up hating myself, hating myself more because you still have this power over me. The other day I had to lock myself in the flat and text my friend constantly because I wanted to use more than I think I ever have. But I didn’t. I am strong. I fight these battles every single day and I win. I’m still here.
I’m finally going to see a doctor, I’m terrified but I know that I need help and this has been going on too long to just hope that it passes over. I will build myself back up again into somebody stronger than ever. I wish that I had enough courage to stand up in court with those other girls and tell my story of you. I wish that I could tell the world how terrible you are but I am not yet ready for that. I’m glad the other girls are braver than me and are telling their stories of you. I hope they get the verdict that they deserve, that I deserve, that every young girl who falls in love with an older, abusive guy deserve. I hope that when you are sat in that cell for a very long time that you finally realise all the terrible things that you did. I hope you feel bad for all of us girls who lost ourselves trying to love you. You took my personality and my strength from me and I didn’t deserve that. For as long as I can remember, I thought that I did, that this was all part of something bigger but the truth is I deserved somebody who truly loved me back then. I needed someone to fight for me and defend me but that wasn’t you. I needed to be a kid for a bit longer but the second you stared into my eyes, my childhood ended completely and I spent so long trying to be who you wanted me to be. I wasn’t the girl you wanted, the girl you loved. I was just another trophy in a paedophile’s cabinet.
Realising who you truly are is the only way I’m going to move past this point of my life. Sometimes when I close my eyes I think of you how you were at the start and I long for that man. He never existed, he was a mask you used to get me and I have to remind myself of that.
I hope you get locked away and no other girls go through this because no girl deserves the war I fight in my mind daily. The nightmares and the insomnia, the physical pain I feel, that is all because of you and I would not wish it upon another human being.
The Girl You Destroyed