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  • Katie Aspin

Writing A Letter To My Abuser

I didn't know how to do a multiplication problem. I just learned how to tie my shoes. My favorite book was Danny and the Dinosaur. I was just learning how to tell time. I still had my baby teeth. I was six years old.

This past week in therapy, I had been tasked with writing a letter to my abuser and if I'm being honest, I was kind of dreading it. Why? Because I was asked to do this exact exercise back in 2016 when I initially started seeing a therapist and I felt that I didn't get too much out of it so I wasn't sure what to expect this time around. When I started writing the letter though, the words and feelings came pouring out and they wouldn't stop. It's like I finally felt as if I could share my truth of what happened without the fear of being ripped apart and I was just so...angry. Angry at him for what he did to me for so many years; angry at the possibility of him abusing other young girls; angry at his mother for calling me a liar and talking bad about me to anyone who would listen; angry at myself for not seeing him for the monster that he was.

Writing this letter also made me realize that there are so many things that my abuser took from me - some of which I will never get back. I lost my childhood; my one chance to be a kid and that is something that I will never be able to forgive him for. I have a tendency to not show my emotions because I hid them from everyone for so long and it's now what I am used to. He stole my innocence. He took away my ability to relax as my body is constantly on guard as if something bad is always going to happen to me. He took away my ability to trust, especially members of the opposite sex. Therefore, relationships have basically been non-existent.

I look at the little girl above and wish I could give her a hug because in my heart, I know that my abuser is completely at fault for doing what he did to me. So then, why do I always seem to be blaming myself?

The answer to that question is actually pretty easy but it's also difficult to come to terms with. Instead of looking at it the way I should be, I find myself looking at it with a "hindsight is 20/20" approach. Why didn't I say something sooner? Why didn't I just say "no?" Why didn't my instincts know that it was wrong when he made it seem completely normal? If I were to have said something sooner, could I have prevented him from abusing others after me?

Looking at it in those terms over the years has been incredibly frustrating and exhausting. It's not fair to the person I am today and it's especially not fair to that little girl. I was a child and didn't know right from wrong and I need to remember that. He was an adult and supposed to teach me those lessons. He didn't.

I just hope that if I keep telling myself that on a regular basis, I will eventually believe it.

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