Despite my general tendency to dissect every piece of my own narrative, this was possibly one of the few places the blade of my consciousness would invariably evade. After all, as is the unfortunate reality of many women, this wasn’t where my history of sexual assault ended and a number of other incidents seemed to, in a peculiar way, eclipse this particular one.
The truth is, there is no way around it.
Because even in this moment, I have to turn around and see if anybody in the room noticed that my breath is asthmatic, uneven. Because though I’m usually accepting of all the things that occurred to me, every now and then, I’m still filled with rage that I don’t have the freedom to experience life and intimacy in ways that seem to me gratifying. Because to this day, being woken up by the gentle touch of the one I love will inevitably infuse me with disquiet and fear.
I don’t harbor the hopes to forget, neither do I truly think that that would make things right. But today, I can trust myself enough to announce that no matter how compelling it may seem at times, this cannot possibly be the definitive element in my internal structure.