Memories haunt, words remind, fears remain, but I will survive.
When people warned me that he wasn’t a good friend, I just smiled sheepishly and shrugged. Sure, he was not perfect. Yet, a quirky, introverted, socially-anxious preteen girl took the friends she could get. So, I told myself repeatedly, “It’s not a big deal.”
It’s not a big deal if he tells me to shut up. I do talk too much.
It’s not a big deal if he belittles my dreams. They won’t come true anyway.
It’s not a big deal if he slaps my face. It was a gentle hit to keep me from being too weird.
Nervousness about being in trouble always plagued me when near police. Respect for authority is very important to me, so taking the officer’s time sickened me at first. “What happened to you was no big deal,” I kept repeating, shaking inside from guilt and horrid memories. Yet, others helped me to realize that seeking the law’s help was important.
Filing a police report and trying to help track down the suspect was not a weakness or overreaction on my part. Instead, it was a brave step taken to care for myself and future girls who might be hurt. If my case had not been important, the officers could decide not to follow through with investigating it. Instead, they took me seriously and did their best to help me.