Yesterday I wrote the overview of how one of my characters, Rachel, was a rape victim and then bullied literally to death. She committed suicide because she couldn't handle having no support to get through what was one of the most painful and humiliating experiences of her young life. It took me more than an hour to write the post from last night because I cried the entire time.
Rachel is, in part, based on me. She suffered at the hands of someone she thought was a nice guy that took advantage of her and her naiveté. She was ashamed and afraid, then when she tried to defend herself from the backstabbing lies no one believed her.
I went to the police. I told my parents and my boyfriend but the charges ended up being dropped so he was never held accountable for what he did to me. I am still alive but I had the support I needed, especially after he was let go.
Every word I wrote brought back my own memories. It still hurts a decade later and when I wrote the part where she died I almost couldn't get the words out. She lives in me every day and I am killing a part of myself when she dies but for me it is killing the part of me that blamed myself for what happened.
Yes I am a victim but I am also a survivor. I made it through and while it has taken me years to have the strength to share what happened to me, at least in part, I hope that it may help someone else to know they are not alone.
After Rachel dies there is a scene in the book where Jasmine and Kyle sit at a park talking and she reveals that she thought about killing herself as well but couldn't go through with it. Rachel's death becomes one of the driving forces for Jasmine and destroying that shamed and painful part of me I am hoping will become a stepping stone to finally moving past the frustrations of my past.