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"I believe you"

TW: Rape, sexual assault.

A month ago I’ve decided to use an online platform provided to sexual assault survivors to share their story. I wasn’t sure how to start, because I wasn’t assaulted once but several times, but the time that I’ve chosen was the most determinant in my life. I also still don’t know if the fact that I’ve sold my body for a while count me as a “victim” or not. I still feel that I am to blame and can’t figure out clearly this time of my life.

I guess, I just wanted to share here as well what I’ve sent. With the hope that, maybe, it would just give the signal to anyone reading this that it’s okay to talk and it’s okay to be vulnerable, no matter what your story is. There will be people to listen in the right places, to support you, and to believe you.


Even if I never saw their faces, I will never forget them. I will never know who they are, but they are still ghosts who keep following me every day. They were 5 and I was 1. The moment they started to touch me felt like dying. I’ve read here and there that rape isn’t just about being assaulted by strangers in a dark street, which is true. More often than not, it happens in familiar circles. But still, the dark and creepy street is a reality, and it is still the story of my own death.

More than a decade later, it feels like all that I was was stolen that day. My body, my virginity, my humanity, my soul. Being raped by someone isn’t just about unwanted sexual intercourse. It is about someone trying to hold power over you and destroy all that your heart is made of. It is about seeing your will declining, and losing your last glimmers of hope and faith in humanity. Trying to restore that faith is how I try to heal, a little bit every day. I felt grateful sometimes for still being alive after that night. Yet through the years, I’ve only realized that I’ve turned into a ghost myself. People around me thought they were seeing the same person, the same friend, the same daughter while I was really just an empty shell.

These men knew what they were doing despite being seemingly drunk. Two of them would hold me while one of them would use me. At first, they wanted to perform oral sex. I couldn’t stand on my feet and would just sit on the ground. It’s the only time I ever saw myself collapsing like this. I never realized before this that fear could be crippling to the point of just giving up on your body… or seeing your body giving up on you. One of them had the idea to choke me so I would have no choice but to open my mouth, and they used it, one after another. They became voices to me and laughed at me. I guess seeing someone humiliated like this was funny. They would talk to each other, taunt each other as to who would use me harder, but that’s the only thing I can remember clearly. Everything else is just gibberish. Though I still feel the hate that came through their words.

Then they used me again, one after another. They forced themselves into me. I was hurt by the wall on which I was pushed. I remember the texture of it, the smell and the pain everywhere. It felt like being stabbed, again and again, and again. I didn’t say anything, I didn’t try to resist, I lost my voice. They had all the power they wanted. My body already seemed to give up anyway. Until one of them used a bottle on me. I can still feel so much of the pain. I remember clearly that I thought I would die there in a pool of blood. Time was suspended and I have no idea how long it all lasted. When they were done with me, they just left me on the ground. Some of them urinated on me before leaving. They laughed again. I was reduced to nothing in an instant.

I have no idea what I did afterwards. I don’t know how I managed to shower and clean myself in order to get back to my university as if nothing happened. I didn’t even have a home at the time. Though I can see myself clearly wondering if I was just crazy for sitting there while I was raped the night before. I’ve never felt so alone than the days afterwards, even if I was behaving like a robot.

I wish people knew that the most difficult thing for me is the lack of justice. All the tears, the time lost, the opportunities gone because of how it has affected me through the years. It has put me in dangerous and unsafe situations as I believed, and still believe, that I am only made to be used and degraded. It is a lie that I am still struggling with, and I have no clue of how I’m supposed to deal with the absence of restoration. There is no closure. Only perpetual grief. I’m saying goodbye to my past over and over again, stuck in a pointless loop.

I wish people knew that I often think about them. I wonder who they are, if they think about me as well, if they regret what they did. What would they say if I was in front of them today? I’ve wanted for them to be dead so many times. But now I can only see them through their eyes, their own humanity. I don’t believe in monsters. Evil is human-made, and if we never face that reality, if we keep pushing rapists in the side of bestiality, then we’ll never understand, and we’ll never do what’s necessary to break down these cycles of abuse and assaults. Somehow, I hope their consciousness is marked by guilt. Because on my end, it feels like my core was tainted, and there’s no way to ever clean that.

To you who read this, whether you are a survivor, an ally or someone who wants to educate themselves, know that your voice is your very first power. Use it for a good purpose. Share your story in safe spaces. Raise awareness. Promote tolerance and restoration instead of war and hatred. Don’t fall into the same patterns as the ones who decided to make pain their own weapon. There is more to do, more to see, more to experience than all this ugliness. Dare to be a voice, even an anonymous one. Your heart is the most beautiful weapon you’ll ever hold. And your vulnerability is a strength.

I’m just a ghost today but I am still part of this world, and I wanted to use my voice now to finally start to push these demons of mine away, even just a little bit, and even just for a minute.

If you have shared your story in the past but were dismissed or invalidated by those you talked to, I’m sorry these people didn’t realize how brave and courageous you were at the moment and still are for being here today despite this cruel world. I believe you, I believe you, I believe you.

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@Micro , my beautiful friend,

You are so brave for sharing your story here and I can’t believe how strong you are with not only surviving this horror, but also being able to share it here for others to read. This world is so unfair and I’m so sorry that this happened to you. No one deserves to be treated like this, like they’re just something to be used for someone else’s fun. It’s wrong, it’s disgusting, and it’s horrible. But I want you to know that I’m speaking about the action that others did to you, that has nothing to do with my view on you. In my eyes, you’re still an amazingly brave and strong human being. You still are able to care about other people, you still are capable to trust new people, maybe it’s on a different level, I don’t know, but you still do these things and that takes so much courage to do that.

I hope you realise that this also applies to you.
You might believe and feel that you are a ghost, but you using your voice makes you more visible as well. Your vulnerability inspires me so much. But also the fact that you are still loving and caring for others, is in my eyes.
I don’t know what else to say then this: I see you, I believe you, and I still love you like the sister I’ve never had.
I love you!

-Nyntje

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Hello friend,
I… I am so, so sorry this happened to you. Reading this broke my heart. I wish I could hug you right now. People are horrible, and while you say that you don’t beleive in monsters, I do. I can tell when someone isn’t “real”, it’s a feeling I can’t describe but it’s the unmistakable feeling that they are not human. Its like they have no souls, some people are just born psychopaths, some are created, either way to me I see no reason to have empathy for them. Yes I do, but once they become a person they once weren’t, they are no longer real to me. They deserve to die, and have to die. The problem with it is that the government doesn’t give 2 shits about it. There is no rehabilitation in the prison systems, there is no one actually helping kids with CPS cases, it can take them 14-25 cases just to get a child out of the house. And after that, if that person grows up and decides to do wrong with their humanity, that is on them. If they could really change, you would feel the humanity within them, but some people truly aren’t human. I don’t know what they are, but I do know the hatred I have for them can never be fixed. I beleive in peace yes, but to fix a broken world, you have to break the worst of the worst. Kill them all off, and then rebuild. That is the only solution in my eyes. There is so much propaganda and dictatorship in this world, no matter what country. You look to the LGBT community and you can read about all the latest deaths that have occured just for being trans, gay, a normal human with emotions, but none of those are on TV. Because the government filters media like a motherfucker. They only care about whatever will control their people, and so if you really want to take down sick fucks like that, you have to be BIG.
I would love to go on a rampage and end every one of those moherfuckers lives in a minute. I would take pleasure in it. But I understand your point. It just pisses me off so much hearing that happened to you. It’s not right, they should never be forgiven, they are not human. They’re sick and it makes me want to throw up. Some people just need to die. I know what the people did to me don’t regret it, they don’t even think twice about it. They deny and deny and blame and blame. It’s fucking disgusting.

Again, I’m so sorry you had to go through this, and I’m sorry my reply is the opposite of what you were seeking. But I am so tired of people getting away with bullshit like this.
I hope you can feel better soon, hugs

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Thank you so much for sharing, Micro. My heart is broken for you. I know this was not an easy thing to do, and it took a lot to post this. I hope that opening up here and taking these steps to use your words here to help others begins to bring you the healing you deserve.

I cannot imagine the weight this scar has left on your life. I cannot understand what it’s like to be in your story, but I do understand what it’s like to feel like a ghost, and what it feels like to have someone whither you away to nothing but a vapor on this planet. I wanted to make sure you see the hope peppered throughout your words. I wanted to make sure you see the glimpses you have in you, even if everything feels so unbearably dark. You bring so much light and love to this community and your fight to keep pushing past and putting love into the world does not go unseen. It’s not an easy thing to take on the big lies. But you’re words here show that’s it is possible.

Thank you for sharing. Thank you for trusting this space. Thank you for helping others feel comfortable in a safe space. I hope this place can keep bringing you the healing you’re looking for. I hope the world offers you kindness. Thank you for your time and effort and love.

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Hey Micro, my friend!

I’m so sorry to read about that happening to you - no human deserves to be put through that, especially not someone as kind as you. I’m proud of you for sharing, and also relieved. I’d noticed you seemed a bit off lately, but I didn’t want to push you out of your comfort zone or cross boundaries by insisting.

I just wanted to say I love you so much, and will always be by your side to help and listen to the best of my ability. Whatever your pace, I’ll adapt mine and stay alongside you. You are loved and people here care so deeply for you.

I’m sorry I have little helpful advice to give you. This topic will definitely stay in my mind, and when I have a little bit more energy, I will come back to it.

Stay strong, stay brave, Micro. I care and hear you, and appreciate you.

Also since you linked this song last time I was having a hard time, I’m going to throw it back at ya.

“I will love you without any strings attached”

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Hello, dear Micro. It hurts my heart to read through what you’ve been through, I am so sorry for that, and you are so incredibly strong for not only persevering through it, but having the strength to share your trauma to help bring up others who have been through the same.

My mother has had similar experiences you shared, the world can be so cruel. I believe you, too! Thank you for sharing awareness, and all of the support you give to everyone in this community. We appreciate you so much. Stay strong, you are so very powerful and admirable :heart::heart::heart:

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Hi Micro.

I am sorry this happened to you. I know it must be very hard to try to put something like that behind you and believe in humanity again. I want you to know that i want you to be happy. You are always here for people who need support and you try to help them. And you see humanity even in those people that put you through so much pain. Even tho i dont know you i think you are a great person. I wish you could find true happiness and put your past behind you. Best of luck to you Micro.

Take care.
-Ashwell

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and I’m sorry my reply is the opposite of what you were seeking. But I am so tired of people getting away with bullshit like this.

I understand. There’s nothing to apologize for, really. Actually, I feel honored that you’ve opened up about this subject the way you did. I don’t seek anything in particular by sharing this actually, besides just the possibility to open yet another space where it’s okay to talk about those things. When we are hurt one way or another by someone else, we often carry a guilt and shame that don’t belong to us. The only way to break it down is, I believe, through connections and vulnerability.

I hear your anger and frustration, and I’d be lying if I pretended that I never felt the way you do. Only recently I’ve started to realize how much anger there is inside of me, while I’ve always been very scared of this emotion, because I’ve seen how far it can bring someone. But fuck. Some things happening in our world are just wrong, and it would be so much worse to pretend like it doesn’t exist. Anger, in this situation, is a needed reaction. We need to say: this is not fair, this is not right, and it has to change! The questions remains: how? And, once we acknowledge this deep feeling of injustice, what are we going to do with it? Of course we’re not going to change the world just through our discussion here, but it’s still some valid questions that so many ask themselves.

I personally want my decisions to be the reflection of the person I want to be. I want to be proud of myself for the values that I would defend and hold every day. So many times decisions were made for me, and for most of my life I’ve felt like I didn’t have the possibility to be me, whatever that is. So to me, finding some restoration can be found in becoming the opposite of the ones who had hurt me. I don’t want to use their tools. And I don’t want to believe that humans can’t change, because if I do, I’d feel like I’d justify what they did. If someone is convinced they are not good, and if everything around them reflect that thought as well, then they’ll behave according to what they’d believe as being true. To refer to a quote of Thoreau: “What a man thinks of himself, that it is which determines​, or rather indicates, his fate.”

The more I’ve learned about traumas as well, the more I’ve learned to see it all around me, and the more I’ve learned to acknowledge the environment that causes someone to carry some silent pain throughout their life. It strikes me how much a lot of the ugliness happening in our world is the result of repeated traumas. We need spaces to talk about it like right here. Spaces where we don’t have to repress and pretend to be someone else. Because if we repress… it gets out one way or another, and more often than not it’s whether by hurting ourselves or others.

You also mention something important and I’d like to say: understanding is not the same as excusing. That’s actually why we have a justice system: we understand what happened regarding a situation, and we keep people accountable (well, ideally, because of course I could rant for hours about how much our justice is drowning too…). I’ll never forget those people for what they did to me. And if someone starts to say: “forgiveness is how we heal!”, then I’d politely ignore them. Forgiveness works for some people and others don’t need it. Both are okay. Overall it’s an individual process and we need to do what is meaningful to us.

I guess, I just don’t want my own anger to be a weapon of destruction. It’s easy to destroy. But it takes a lot more time and commitment to actually build something, which is why I believe it’s a path that’s actually worth it.

But again: I hear you. I understand and respect your anger and your view. It makes sense to feel the way you do. All that I share here are just personal thoughts and I certainly don’t hold any truth. It’s because I feel the same rage inside that I’ve become a social worker irl. Not to change the world in a way that would be unrealistic. But to do my part, despite the lack of means and despite the fact that care workers are mistreated. There are good people out there who try to make a difference despite it all. I can’t wait to be able to work again and let myself inspired by those people as well. It’s how I want to empower myself again. <3

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Hey @Micro
Thank you so much for sharing this, it really helps me to appreciate you so much more for how amazing of a person you are and how much awesomeness you bring to the table.
The strength you show in being able to not just be alive and breathing, but to share this with everybody here, that’s amazing!
I am so glad to be here now to be a part of your life, and i am so glad you have let me personally in to your life to know this about you. This is so graceful of you to allow it. And you are not just inviting me in, but so many others too. This is just such an inspiring thing to know that you are not only able to succeed through this, but believe it or not, you’re thriving. We love you so much micro, you are an inspiration for so many of us in so many ways that you have no idea! You may have only seen the tip of the iceberg regarding the impact you are putting into the lives of those around you and to those you may never know you have touched. Please know you are doing such amazing things, you are so awesome! You are a survivor, you are definitely 100% NOT to blame. You are a large inspiration to everyone.
Thank you again for sharing
You know my saying micro, and it counts for you too! You are loved, you matter, and you are cared for greatly!

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I am sorry for what happened to you. I felt that in my own chest. I was raped years ago but Reading I believe you made me cry. I need this and we are not alone. Stay strong you’ve survived your worst days and you can do this. Peace and blessings be with you. :heartbeat:

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