Repetition.

If you repeat something over and over again it loses its meaning.
Or so I’d heard.

So I repeated those words
I’d been so afraid to say out loud,
hoping that they would actually lose their meaning
like I pretended they had.

I was molested as a child.
I was molested as an adolescent.
I was molested as a teenager.
I was molested as an adult.
I was molested.
I was molested.
I was molested.

No, it didn’t work.
Not entirely.
The words may have lost their meaning
but their meaning has not lost its significance,
because it still haunts me
even when I’m not actively thinking about it
because it has already cast its shadow over me
and I have never lived without its weight on my shoulders
because I don’t know how to,
it’s all I’ve ever known,
even when I convinced myself to believe otherwise.

Every time I touched my body,
whether it was to run my fingers down my arm
or to rest my palm on my thigh,
I could feel your hands where they didn’t belong,
and for that moment
no matter how short it was,
I felt scared and dirty,
like my own body didn’t belong to me
and I had no right to it,
no command over it.

Every day I wondered
how much of myself was a result of what you did to me.
Which pieces of my broken, damaged self
were from the impact of your assault,
when you shattered my childish innocence
with your invasive hands.

Every day I thought
that you were only a few years older to me,
still a child yourself-
lost and hurt-
you didn’t know what you were doing,
you didn’t realise you were a molester.
I made all these excuses
and convinced myself that I had forgiven you,
that it no longer affected me-
but I still cannot be alone in a room with you
without feeling the need to scream and sprint away.
I thought I was healed completely,
but in reality
I couldn’t even say the words out loud:
I was molested.
I was molested.
I was molested.

No, I was not molested.
You molested me.
You molested me
when you decided to attack my lips,
you molested me every time you groped me-
I beg to know
what was so uncontrollably arousing
about an eight year old’s unformed breasts.
You molested me every time
you accidentally brushed your hands against me,
you molested me when you decided
that shoving your hand down my shirt every chance you got,
unfazed even in a crowded theatre,
even in your own living room
with my sister a few feet away
and the possibility of your mother walking in-
Oh how I hate that woman for having given birth to you,
and not to have abandoned you
when she had the opportunity to do so.
You molested me in my own home,
you molested me in my own car.
And there was nothing I could do about it,
because I didn’t think anything could be done,
after all,
I wasn’t even safe in my own house anymore.

If you repeat something over and over again it loses its meaning.
You molested me.
You molested me.
You molested me.

No, it hasn’t lost its meaning.

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