I Felt Safe, Until I Didn’t


Trigger Warning

My body still shivers at the thought of your hands on it. My brain never shuts off, constantly replaying the encounter. Could I have made it different? Could I have avoided all this bombardment in my head, simply by handling the situation better? If I had continued to persist that my answer was “No” would you have backed off?

Because you weren’t backing off; the first 5 times I said it. 

I used to trust you. I think that’s what made all of it so much worse. I used to put you on a pedestal. Everyone told me you were not a good person, I made excuses for you. I stood up for you. I trusted you. You used to give me butterflies every time I saw you, time with you flew by as if time weren’t really a thing. Now? The butterflies feel like rocks in my stomach, weighing me down. Time with you now seems to never end. That night? Five minutes felt like 5 hours.

We had done it before. A lot. So why was this time different? 

1. I agreed only to stop the hail of gunfire that was your cruel words.

2. All trust I ever had in you disappeared the minute you said, “You’ve never said no before.”

3. I cried.

4. You yelled.

5. You are fine and have gone on with your life.

6. I am broken.

I have watched many of my friends push away good men. I never understood why, until now.

Never have I feared the company of a man, until now. Never has the touch of a man made me want to find the nearest corner to curl up in, until now. Never have I hesitated to trust a good man, until now. 

Is that how we are to go about life? In fear that our past will once again become a present? Constantly preparing yourself for the worst and shielding yourself from every possible thing that could hurt you?

That is what that night made me want to do. That is what that night has made me do.

Men were good to me until they weren’t. Men were easy to hang out with until they weren’t. Men were easy to trust until they weren’t.

I recognize that not all men are like this. But for right now, I have no intentions to risk it. Right now, I am scared. I don’t want to be scared. Right now I am going to focus on healing myself, by myself. Because as I laid there with you, I realized I was by myself.

I have me, and only me to take care of right now.