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#DelhiPride: A Letter To My Ex: You Raped Me, I Forgive You

You didn’t expect this, did you? Well, neither did I till about ten months ago. I had so wonderfully repressed the cold hard facts of that evening; our first and only sexual experience together.
I was visiting you over the weekend. Our plan to just enjoy each other’s company. Our whole relationship, the courage to make the first move eluded me. Each time we huddled underneath the sheets, there would be me — capable only of pressing my body against yours for warmth and comfort. My facade to you was that of a confident, young woman. The paint and mortar on that cracked every time I lay there and did nothing.

But, then you forced your hand down the grey tracksuit pants I borrowed from you that evening. You who brought me into your home, which I assumed, was a safe space. Unquestioning your behaviour or motives leading up to this moment, my trust towards you was automatic and unconditional. When I realised what was happening, I trembled a brave ‘no’ and attempted to dig your hand out. You shook me off with a sly “Come on, it will feel good.”

Unable to move, and not knowing how to act, I lay there, thighs rattling against your arms as your fingers ferociously dug inside of me. I had given my body over to you to keep you somewhat aroused. In the end, I hope you were satisfied.
And it was done. You fell asleep quickly enough, which gave me the entire evening to reflect and argue internally about what the fuck just happened. I managed to create a protective wall between myself and the trauma from that day. I even deluded myself into experiencing an emotional state one would (I thought) feel after losing their ‘virginity’.

The next day, we continued our lives as usual. I even spoke about the evening to my best friend, at the time. She was excited for me, which only further validated my delusion that the sexual violation against my body had been consensual.

Here we are, six years later, I’ve begun to peel back those layers. Buried deep with that memory was an immeasurable amount of shame that I had been too fearful to confront, because that shame goes against the defining streaks of my personality, of being a strong, confident and bold woman.

Years later, I would find myself at a house party in Belgrave. Curled up against a wall while two women unfastened my corset. Again, the word No skirted around my mind, but I couldn’t articulate it. The green light, in their perception, had been given by my silent willingness to follow one of them into the room.

It’s true, the intoxicated version of me had been willing enough, until we had finally reached our destination, and she asked me, “Do you like to be raped?” I don’t remember if I managed to say No, or said nothing at all. To this day, it eludes me whether there was consent in this second experience that I’ve termed as assault or whether I’m still healing from the many wounds you left open within me?

It took years, but I started to confront and then let go of the trauma of our first sexual experience — my very first. The darkness that began to stir in me that evening does not define me. To experience such a horrible thing has somehow opened me up to lessons to which I had previously been oblivious.
There is no point in clinging to a memory that occurred so long ago. You and I were very different people. I forgive you.

 

Credit: Lead image made by Anjul Dandekar in collaboration with TLC

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