I just read an op-ed in the New York Times that I could have written myself. The author, Dorri Olds, was raped as a young teenager and she relates how, more than 30 years later, she decided to “friend” her rapist on Facebook. The only way she was able to gain the freedom that comes when you can let the past go was by sending him a private message that read: “I hope that night has haunted you. I was naïve and a virgin. I see you have a teenage daughter now. Better keep her safe from guys like you.”
She then defriended him and exhaled.
This is the kind of closure that I’ve dreamed of, schemed about and rehearsed over and over in my head. This fantasy makes me run faster or smile bigger or hug my child closer. Somehow I would make him finally understand what he did to me. Then, I would be free. I’m still coming to terms with the fact that no amount of closure or revenge will erase what happened. It will stay with me until the day I die.
I look at my daughter sleeping serenely, her little hand clutching her stuffed rabbit with an absolute trust in the safety and security of the world around her and tears well up in my eyes as I think about how easily that trust could be shattered. I think about my rapist’s little girl and wonder if he is tortured by thoughts of what could happen to her. I hope, for her sake, that he never sees the hollow stare in her eyes that comes when you feel like your soul has been scooped out of you.
For me, my freedom, my closure and my revenge feels a little bit closer each day that my daughter falls asleep secure, present and hopeful.