What rape feels like.

I don’t know what the worst part is, but one of the more obdurate consequences of rape is this looming awareness that I can never be untouched. Sometimes I’m just minding my business, going about my life, and I remember that every inch of my body is contaminated with his fingerprints. I feel them there. I remember how his hand felt in my hand, on my chest, around my ankles. I am interminably cursed with knowledge of the tact of his slightly dry lips, his spiny cheeks, his delightfully soft hair —

I hate hair. I have nightmares about hair. Sometimes I’m just standing on the subway and I remember how the hair on his legs scraped against my legs. Sometimes I’m just sitting at my desk at work and I feel his whole body pressing me against a wall in the dark. Sometimes I get to just savour the sensation of nice hands gently stroking my shins, but sometimes I have to swallow down bile at the mnemonic of his long, spidery fingers marking their scent all over my skin, evaluating my body with his every touch.

Rape itself was a knife to my psyche. The memories of it are a constant nagging creepy crawly tingle permanently affixed to my body, a visceral prison from which I can’t detach, a reminder that keeps me everlastingly repulsed by my own anatomy.


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