Two Tormentors

They were both your tormentors. They both had a hand in creating your current reality. One was a know troublemaker. The other, a model student who is doing well in adulthood.

One day, the troublemaker comes into your workplace. You know who he is. He is scanning you to see if he remembers you. He leaves, but something in his conscience tells him to come back. He comes back and asks if you’re who you are. You sheepishly confirm your identity. After some back and forth and small talk, in front of other coworkers, he looks down for what seems like an eternity and then it happens: “Hey man, I’m sorry for whatever I may have done to cause you pain.” You and your coworkers are both on the verge of tears. You say you have forgiven him long ago. He leaves and you and your coworkers cry about what has just occurred.

Bravery. Integrity. You sing his praises to your coworkers and your friends, exclaiming over and over again, “Fuck. That was ballsy.”

It’s been years since the model student and success story has had his way with you. You often wonder what he is up to. Does he feel any remorse for taking your innocence from you? That thing he did that dysregulated your nervous system? Does it even register in his? The questions keep gnawing at you. A PTSD diagnosis just makes the questions swirling around your mind even more pertinent as you work to deal with traumas long buried. One day, after the radio silence has become deafening, you message him on Facebook.

You never hear back.

But oh! He’s found Jesus, you’re told. He has a humble confidence about him these days and is unshakable in his faith, they say.

But deep down. You both know. He and you. You both know what he stole from you. He and you know he will never own up to the unconscionable wrong he committed against you and your body.

You even find out one of his relatives has made it her life’s work to weed out abuse like this in the very religious settings you and he were both a part of. She is quite well-known. In religious abuse communities, ubiquitous, even.

Surely she knows what her own family is doing?

Even still.


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