subject line: you're not invited anymore.


4,600 miles away from london

I wish I could tell the story to a place that isn’t an anonymous secret email board. But here goes nothing:

The boy I first loved convinced me that we were going to be together forever. He told me that sex wasn’t anything special and that if I loved him I would let him touch me. I let him. Does that still count as sexual assault? Because the nightmares won’t stop and the panic attacks only get worse with every military uniform I see.

Their baby’s face pops up over my Facebook all the time, but I don’t have the heart to block them because he’s living the life I always wanted with a girl I always hated. They have a baby and live in London and I don’t even have a college degree or the legal ability to buy alcohol to down my sorrows in. Come to think of it, that’s probably a good thing.

Sometimes I’m convinced that I made the whole thing up. That I wanted you to be rough and force our hands in each others pants. But then the panic starts and my body shakes. If you didn’t rape me, then how come I can’t sleep in the same bed with a guy anymore? If you didn’t rape me, then why do I have panic attacks when I see someone that looks like you.

If you didn’t rape me, then maybe I wouldn’t be afraid to talk to you. But I’m terrified. I’m terrified. I’m terrified.

But all my therapists tell me I’m overreacting. My psychiatrist tells me I don’t have PTSD. And my mother just thinks I’m a slut who gives her body away to all the guys that promise her a ring in a few years.

Is it bad to ask you how you’re doing? Is it bad if I hope you have these nightmares, too?