An Open Letter to Administration
I can’t sleep sometimes, I cry and I cry because the pain doesn’t have words. It will not find peace; my body has a memory that I wish it didn’t. But my skin still remembers when you told me that sometimes men and women desire sex after they have prayed together.
I close my eyes when I look into the mirror. Your faces appear there sometimes: not his. You didn’t reach my spirit, but you haunt it. You hated me for sitting in your offices; you hated me for not knowing what to do. You hated me for my sin. My sin, for you, was that my body was naked and he saw my body, and my finger did not have a band. There was a band around my mouth, around no; there was a band on my tongue because all you could ask me was why I had gotten in the shower with him that night after he forced me into his apartment. You did not hear me tell you that he raped me in that shower. You did not hear me tell you that he would not let me get dressed under his blankets, and that I was afraid I’d never be able to leave that room. You did not hear his words that morning saying, I’m sorry- I can usually control myself at night because I know how my body works, but not in the mornings. You did not hear my fear, my fear, my fear that my voice would never be heard.
That is your sin. All you did was leave me naked in that room, made me tell you over and over and over and over again that I was naked naked naked naked and you never heard me say
No, no, no, no- stop. And the silence, the band I endured on my tongue, on my mouth for months. For months until he came to my home, he came to my home and threw my wallet and keys into his car and made me drive with him. And he took me to his home and tore my clothes off and raped me. And all I could think was that, this was my fucking fault and nobody will ever believe because my voice stopped being mine that night in November.
And you kept taking it away, and I hope you carry the guilt of turning the other cheek. I hope your own skin continues to carry the memory that you betrayed the truth, and my own skin will never forget the infinite pain you have caused me. You betrayed the women, the students that you are paid to defend. You made me repeat myself over and over and over again; you made him keep abusing me over and over and over again. He pinned me down all those times, he never listened, I died that night in November. And you pinned me down, stripped me of any dignity in your eyes. And you will carry those days that you violated my rights, and hated me for bringing you a truth that you chose to demean.
And I will not tell you who I am today, because I hope the memory in your conscience is the only voice you hear from me again. I will never again repeat to you the violence that he caused me and that you caused me. You violated my rights; you attempted to violate my dignity and my personhood.
May you never forget this. And I have promised myself to never keep silent again. My story will be known, and I will no longer keep this in the memory of my skin, of my eyes, of my mind, my spirit, my body. I will not stop speaking.