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I regret not fighting back. I regret not telling people what happened to me at home, work and at school. I regret not admitting to being raped. I regret not standing up for myself: I regret that I allowed traumatic experiences to comatose me into a silence that I never deserved. I regret blaming myself and taking all of this pain out on my precious body. My pain, that I kept secret, was one I thought people couldn’t see or that they wouldn’t have to know about. I thought the pains I had withstood were best to be suppressed. I didn’t want to be a bother, but I regret that I was further ridiculed for being quiet. I regret letting strangers convince me of what was best for me, only for many of their decisions to bring me even further harm. I regret being a victim. I regret that this is my past. It was a role that enabled many harmful people into my life to use and accept me as a condition to my being weak and abused. I regret that not enough people did anything about it. I had learned that a victim was who I was and all I was ever expected to be. I would get no support in trying to prove otherwise. I regret any circumstance that caused me to suffer unnecessarily. I regret that I had to go through all of this in order to tell everyone that they had been wrong about me. I didn’t think I needed to say any of this out loud or else I’d have said it years ago. I regret that because of all of this silent agony, that I have lost most everyone I have ever known or cared for. I do not regret that I can see things clearer now, today, this evening. I realize that the last part, the letting go, was necessary for me to ever have a shot at happiness in what I have left of this life.

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