For those who wish: the original story of my sexual assault.

Today I found out the man who raped me moved across the country. I never thought I’d feel such incredible relief. I never thought about the possibility of never seeing him again. I thought he would be a constant in my city. In my life.

Whenever I would see him, I always would get a chill. Whenever I saw him, I always felt like I was being watched. Always.

I hate that being raped affected me. Before I was invincible. Now I am vulnerable.

I was raped by a friend, not a stranger. Not some peeping-tom creeper. But I still check all the doors, windows, and cars to be sure they’re locked at night. Somedays I feel insecure being in public. It’s a control thing. Knowing what to expect and when to expect it feels comforting. It’s my new normal.

It’s like wanting to have all the lights on, and simultaneously have them off. You want to see what’s in the shadows, but you want to hide in them too.

You want to sleep, but only in the dreamless sleep exhaustion brings. When Chris is out of town it’s the worst. I stay up way too late busying myself with chores until I’m beyond exhausted. Sometimes I sleep in bed with one of the kids, or just have them all in my bed. My kids will save me from the boogyman. That’s how I roll now.

I’m sure this will always torture me, but that might begin to heal now that I won’t see him. Ever.