I'm beginning to look just like you. I mean, my hair's the wrong color, and of course I still have Dad's round chin and small mouth. They say it happens to all girls when they reach a certain age- they start to look like their mothers. I've always resembled you, but lately, sometimes I see myself in a mirror from an off angle, and I could be you, twenty years ago. Don't get me wrong, I'm not worried. You are one of the hottest moms out there. I seriously think you are the prettiest mom I know. I could be biased.
When I was little, I always wanted to be just like you. I used to wrap myself up in a sheet like a wedding dress.
I never wanted to let you down or anything.
What I mean to say is; Everbody lies, Mom. Lawyers lie, salesmen lie, but especially children lie to their parents. I know I was a mysterious kid, and really, I'm still pretty secretive. Sometimes I fibbed because I didn't want to get into trouble. This was mainly when I was younger. Sometimes, it was that I didn't want you to worry about me. Everyone I talk to says that you and Dad did a really good job raising us kids. I didn't want you to think that there was any way you could have done better, because you did it the best way. But I guess that parents want to protect their kids, even after us kids are all grown and flown away. I know, and you know you can't really do that.
So what I mean to say is that there's something I've been keeping from you.
I was raped.
In college. It was someone I knew and trusted back then, but he's gone now, and he's not ever coming back. I thought about trying to lead up to that with some kind of explanations, or trying to hide in euphemisms, in descriptions of what happened. I didn't want you to have to process the details. But there is the truth, in text. This has to be a letter because I still don't know how to say it out loud. I don't like thinking about it, and I especially don't like telling anyone about it. I'm afraid, you know? I'm afraid that I'll have to go to court and get humiliated, or that you'll want to know who it was, what all the details were. The when, what and whys that even I don't have all the answers for. Sometimes when we try not to think about something so hard, we really do forget the details.
And I know what you're going to ask, but I don't want to ruin his life. I think people think I'm pathetic when I say that. One of my friends said to me "What if he's out there raping other women right now?" And maybe my friend is right. That guy could be, and I'm just sitting here typing whiny letters. I just tell my friend that I'm not responsible for his actions. He is. He was.
So, I'm sorry, Mom, that I didn't tell you about this right away, it must hurt you to think that I didn't feel safe enough to tell my own mother, or that I've told other people first, before I told you and Dad. It's not like that. I couldn't even admit it to myself. It took another victim, survivor, whatever is the politically correct or popular word for someone who's been forced, it took him telling me about what happened to him, before I could even start admitting it myself.
Someday I'll have the courage to tell you all this, Mom. Just...not yet.
This is not fiction. This is not rare. This is not female or male.