Again and again and again, I’m seeing the comment “her life is ruined.”
Her life is different, certainly.
But ruined? Not necessarily.
Let’s be careful with our words, please. Because when you say her life is ruined because of her rape, it sounds like you’re saying my life was ruined by each of mine. But this?
She knows, I know, one in six women, one in 33 men know a darkness that can threaten at any moment. For her, it might be a glimpse of a dumpster, an ordinary scrape on her arm that’s too much like the ones she woke up with, an article about a swimming prodigy. For me, it can be an unanticipated touch, a certain kind of bush that was nearby then, any moment when I have trouble catching my breath because I couldn’t breathe then. For you, if you’ve survived the darkness too, you have your own list of triggers that can put you back in that moment.
One ugly chapter — maybe you could even call it a ruined chapter — doesn’t define our stories, though. Rape doesn’t get that power. Darkness doesn’t get the last say.
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