A Letter I will never send.
I told you what happened to me that day. I thought it would help. I'm not sure that it did. Do you look at me and feel sorry for me? Or do you look at me and think "Who would do that to her? She's ugly". Perhaps you don't think anything at all. Perhaps for you, life goes on as normal and it's never crossed your mind since the day I told you.
It isn't that way for me, M.
We're not friends, we're colleagues and you're my boss. Everytime I see you I feel exposed, you know this thing about me - you know - but my parents don't! That feels wrong but I can't change that - not yet anyway. Should I behave differently around you, am I behaving differently around you? Why do I care if you believe me or not? On my strong days I know 'It happened', on my not so strong days I think if you see me laughing you will think I'm a liar.
When I told you I asked you not to treat me any differently, then I asked you to forget I'd told you. You told me you didn't see me differently and it was all in my mind. I asked you not to behave differently but when you tell dirty jokes in the staff room and talk about dirty things, it hurts. Maybe I flinch when I hear those words, I try not to - I even laugh along sometimes if it's not too bad, but it hurts that you still talk this way and it seems to have got worse since I told you. Maybe it's because I told you not to treat me any different so you're over compensating, or maybe it's all in my mind but whatever it is, it hurts when you talk that way and you talk that way a lot.
I think even though I told you not to behave any differently, I did think you might tone it down a little. I know you're not a mind reader but it feels like you don't care about what happened to me. That's ok, why should you care? - but it would be nice if you showed a little compassion, a little understanding. I should be straight with you, I should just tell you how I feel but that is too difficult for me. I'm learning to be more assertive, to try and communicate my needs but it's going to take time, I'm learning this from scratch. I wish you could see inside my head just for a short time because this is so hard. For now this will have to do and even though you won't see it, maybe me sending out this letter in to cyberspace will help me to some way process my feelings around this mess.