I’m Not Okay Yet and That’s Okay

I am going to be okay.

I will be fine.

I will be better than okay and fine. One day.

But today is not that day.

Today I am not okay. Today is one of those days when makeup is necessary. To make myself look awake, to make myself look put together. Because the last thing I was today was put together. I was concealing the dark circles that gave away yet another almost sleepless night.

Today was a day where it was all I could do not to cry; yet I spent the entire day smiling. No one knew I could barely hold back the tears. No one knew I couldn’t sit still — that I was anxious, and freaking out.

All day I was having a small panic attack. There’s this weight on my chest that feels like it could crush me. That makes it hard to breathe. That weight is there, so real that it hurts to inhale. And it’s because of you.

It’s because I feel bad.

I shouldn’t. But I do.

Because today I found out that if I carry forth with my charges against you, it could mean life in prison for you. In court, the dice could roll in a ruling favorable to you. Not guilty. Or it could roll in what most would say would be a victory for me. Guilty. Life in prison, without parole; and you a registered sex offender.

You raped me. It hasn’t even been a year. It’s okay that I’m not always okay. I’m doing better than one might expect. But I got so good at faking those smiles I am not even sure sometimes which ones are real. I got so good at blinking away tears and shaking it off I haven’t cried over what happened for months. And when I wanted to cry, well there was always liquor, beer, or an entire bottle of wine that could make that desire disappear. And as an added benefit it put me to sleep; a sleep free from any nightmares.

Then there was that one night I really overdid it. Not just tipsy. No, about three shots of rum, one of moonshine, and almost an entire bottle of long island iced tea did me in. I was passed out in a friend’s bed at a party full of people I didn’t know. Unable to move, passed out, out of control, and vulnerable.

That’s what you did to me. You took control. You took it all from me. I could have tried to fight you off, but I couldn’t. I froze. I went numb. I shut down. I turned off my emotions. And I’ve tried really hard not to turn those back on. I had that night on repeat in my head like a broken record. And finally it stopped, when I was blacked out.

Maybe things would have been different if I had tried to fight you off. But you probably had about a hundred pounds of muscle on me, and even letting you push me around, giving you no resistance I still ended up with bruises all over my body.

It would have been fine if you had left me alone. I wouldn’t have told anyone. But you kept finding me. You came to ask me to tell you that it was okay and it was consensual. You didn’t leave me alone. And I was scared. I was miserable every time you traced me down. I was shaking. That crushing weight was there. And the only way to get a restraining order was to tell. So I told.

You don’t know what I’ve been through. You will never understand how you made me feel. What it was like to get a rape kit done or have to relive every detail, ones I didn’t even know I knew, when the police interviewed me. What it was like having them come take pictures of my apartment. To live there for months yet, knowing you knew where I lived.

And now the process is slowly moving forward. And I feel sorry for you. I wonder how you’re feeling. There’s a weight on my chest crushing me because my story might send you to prison for life. Your life will be ruined because I told the cops. You should have never done what you did. I told you no at least five times. I told you to stop. You persisted. That is on you.

But your life, depending on how the jury falls, may be completely destroyed. One you can never recover.

I’m going to get through this. I’m going to be a stronger and better person from this. I will recover; you will become a faded, painful memory. You will be the reason I try my best to help other women. The driving force behind my desire to change the culture that thinks I am the one to blame for you raping me.

But you might not recover. So I feel sorry for you. And all day I questioned proceeding with this. Because if I say, “Let’s stop,” it all goes away. If I say I no longer want to press charges you will recover from this.

But do I want to? I don’t know what’s right here. What you did wasn’t right. But you going to jail won’t make it right either. That won’t make me okay. Only I can make me okay.

I am going to be okay.

I will be fine.

I will be better than okay and fine. One day.

But today is not that day.

And that’s okay.

About the Author | Anonymous

Many Wf1 Truthtellers choose to tell their stories without their names attached. Some are stepping out with their truths for the scary first time. Some stories involve other people who need to be respected. In any case, we support and admire the courage it takes to share and connect with our Women For One community, anonymously or otherwise.

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1 comment to "I’m Not Okay Yet and That’s Okay"

  • Cathy Nichols

    Oh wow just read this . This is my head right now. My exact same story. The consensual part, the charges, didn’t want to tell but it was getting worse and worse. Then when I trusted you, you raped me I told you to stop, you are hurting me, you said that’s what I want Bitch. It plays over and over in my head. I want it to stop. You sit in jail on another dv charge. I don’t know if mine will even go to court for my charge. You could be released any day. Will you come to my house in revenge.
    My head never stops. I try to go to work. Everyone says I am stronger than this. It was a month yesterday it happened. I am strong and oh so tired at the same time.

    Thank you for your testimony.