My attacker had not only been a friend but a close friend and one that I had a crush on for so many years. Time had changed that and I was clear but it doesn’t matter. I still closed my eyes and begged god she would end it. That some force would push him off but my arms stayed limp. #metoo mostly because I’d be pretty hypocritical if I didn’t share and because I’ve been really proud of how open I’ve been about it lately. Sometimes I can laugh about small details like how his mom said hello to me as I left their house. Thinking about how she had no idea her son was now officially a rapist. It might sound sick but it helps take away from the blame I’ve always put on myself. Why didn’t I fight? Why did I just close my eyes and pray? Questions I’ve slowly started letting go of. Questions I hope we can all let go of. He’ll probably see this and might not even realize it’s about him. Another thing I’ve officially decided I need to let go of. So when people say that I’m slutty and don’t respect myself, I think about all the power I’ve gained from allowing my trauma to fuel my personality to grow into my true full self. Because he took my body and used it for himself, for power for pleasure, who even knows? I feel so powerful with the comfort I feel in my body in spite of him, in spite of the man who tried to get me into his car with his dick out while I was walking home from the bus stop in middle school, in spite of a lady in the Asheville mtb community telling me I’m not a “real woman” because I had my shirt up in a photo on a mountain bike ride with good friends. In spite of being banned from the mechanics station in a bike shop I worked at because I was “too distracting” and the only female employee. In spite of people constantly telling me to stop using my own body to model the underwear I make so I can get some “real models.” I already knew almost all of the women I know have been assaulted. To see it in a hashtag is intense. I felt alone for many years after I was raped. I don’t feel alone anymore.