A social club for the sexually abused…


“Fuck you” she said “say that instead of I’m sorry. Then you’ll be like ‘shit!’ and it will train you to stop saying it.” She laughed sucking on the end of a half smoked cig and tossing her hand over her knee.

She was beautiful. Not classically. No ‘best dress and lipstick’ Taylor Swift moment for her. But her tattooed covered arms and lanky figure held a pair of ripped jeans and tank top very well. Her and Joy and myself sat outside her back yard on the North End. They were smoking and I was drinking.

I say sorry too much. I know I do. Sorry for everything. I laughed with her criticism all the while thinking ‘shit!’ she offered me a cigarette and I apologized for not being a smoker. Who’s sorry for not being a fucking smoker? Fuck.

I blame myself for everything.

She used to.

Being abused all your life will teach you to say sorry. Sorry for speaking, sorry for having an opinion, sorry for being too much and not enough. We’re just sorry. Sorry that we exist. I think we hope that if we’re sorry enough someone will be sorry to us. Until we reach this point, the point of anger and exasperation. And then we say fuck you instead. 

That point came in waves for me. Liam had reached hers a long time ago.

Joy wore the only clothes she had left: black gym shorts and a sports bra.  The rest had disappeared into a series of unfortunate moves, crashing with friends and semi roommates who eventually kicked her out and stole everything she owned…Or did she abandon it? Her story kept changing but we didn’t care. Or at least we cared enough about her person to not care about her insanity. We wanted her to have the same freedom we wanted…the freedom to live without being fucking sorry to the world.

We know we don’t belong in it. In case you were wondering. We find our home in the margins. With the petty drug dealers, and the hippy, artistic alcoholics–the ones who have been forgotten by a society too busy keeping with the joneses to see the pain.

“I know,” Hanna confessed “I’m listening to Eminem.” She pushed the button to restart the album from the beginning. “Sorry.”

“You don’t have to say you’re fucking sorry.”  Liam stood up and put both hands on Hanna’s shoulders to assure her. “Your existence isn’t bothering me.”

“I get it,” I added nonchalantly “You’re angry.”

It was a self revelation, as if she hadn’t named her own rage and anger. It’s hard to admit you’re angry, when you’ve accepted what happened as a way of moving passed it. If you accept it you never have to face that it was wrong.

I have seasons of hardness where I look at men and all I can think is Fuck You. What are you going to do to make it better? Huh?? What are you going to do? Coming so proudly, so confidently…insulted that I don’t coddle your insecurity or live within your fantasy. Fuck you. Why? Because I’ve been sorry all my life.

So had she. So were we all.

There we were: smoking cigs, drinking beer and telling our own stories. The social club for the sexually abused. And in an odd way we’re glad we’re there, if just be in the first place we’ve ever been accepted…the first place we’ve ever belonged.


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