I have spent countless hours watching the victims of Dr. Nassar’s sexual abuse coming out and testifying against his sour actions. After each video, I left feeling like I finally had someone to relate to, and not just one young woman, but hundreds. I was straightforwardly reminded of the afternoon you took advantage of me in vulnerability. The way each woman abused described how uncomfortable that disgusting monster had made them feel afterwards finally gave me some relief that I was not the only one dealing with this silently. All this grief I felt was exhaled at the voices of those wailed their testimonies. How they dealt with this strange action was exactly what I felt inside after you drove me home. It never occured to me at the time that you would commit this belittled crime alone together upstairs instead of taking me out to dinner. Every “date” we went on was upstairs in that stupid game room, each moment bloomed with you making moves on me until the doomed day you abused me. Although this may seem like a letter to make you feel guilty for stealing some of my innocence, I would actually like to use this letter as a genesis, a thank you, so bare with me. You knew from the very beginning that you were my first boyfriend; you knew that I had spent my whole life saving myself for a man of God who deserved my heart and whom would later take me as their wife. You knew that I had loved you since I was 14 and had prayed that one day you would treat me like your queen. The sad thing is- you still chose to use me. Thank you for showing me that you ARE NOT the man that deserves my heart- that you are hiding a dark monster inside the perfect facade you put out for the world to be in awe. Thank you for teaching me that not every person is who they portray to be. Thank you for showing me how to look for a godly man who would rather take me hiking hand-in-hand, instead of settling for a christian boy who would rather but his hand inside of me like I’m just a common toy. You have shown me how important it is to date a man who doesn’t think of all he can do to me every time we lay down together, but instead will hold me in his arms to protect me from never meeting evil men out there like you. I will never forget the way you used to move my hands along your pants as if to reassure me that it would grant me access to your heart. When in reality, we should have been watching the movie you put on to drown out the sound of what you were doing from your parents ears down stairs. Thank you for showing me how important it is to save myself for marriage, for a man who would never do me that much wreckage before an “I do”. The way that the victims of Nassar’s abuse claimed as if they were forced to think his penetration was “okay”, but still felt disgusted, sick, unworthy and dirty on the inside- it had felt like they were dyed the darkest shade of black. I was scared to go to sleep because of nightmares you would bring in my head. I couldn’t share what you did to me- no one would believe the tears I had cried; you made yourself a high reputation and used it to hide your dark side. I grew anxious and was unkind, afraid to go near you and see your face in my mind. Did you know how sick I was when you took me home that night? You acted as if nothing had happened and kissed me goodnight- that kiss that made me run inside and puke all the dirtiness inside of me up; my purity no longer felt white. Thank you for being an example of what a lover should not be. I had began to convince myself that it was only me- that every girl’s boyfriend eventually makes a move or two on them, but what you had done to me was disgusting and violated the trust I had in men. Thank you for teaching me that just because you save yourself for that tall, blonde boy with the long, flowy hair doesn’t mean he is the one for you- at all. I wish my first instinct after you hurt me wasn’t to keep you, but to assert myself in confidence. I hoped that one day you would see the pain you caused me at just 17 years old. Thank you for forcing me to learn that my first boyfriend will not be whom I marry but the man who will burn away the idea of a once in a lifetime love. I used to imagine how your lips would feel on mine, but I quickly found out that you would force them on me for a long time, long enough to make it sore so you could somehow distract me from your hand that would soon shatter me to the core. I couldn’t stop you in that moment, I didn’t want to hurt you, didn’t want what we had to be broken. I did not want to admit that my high-school crush was anything but perfect. This deep depression that was planted in my life by your hands that evening were the bands you squeezed my heart out with; no prescription drug could replace the gaping hole you left in my heart. Thank you for teaching me that when there is a gigantic void in my soul, Jesus is the only one who can make it feel whole. Running back to you only made it dull. Remember the night you broke things off? My life did not feel like my own. You dumped me in the church parking lot due to this guilt that had blown up inside you. A truck filled with happy memories was now poisoned with your terrifying screams of, “I’M NOT OKAY” and “I’M TAKING YOU TO THE HOSPITAL” as I panicked and lost my ability to breathe. I’m still haunted by the way you left me on my face at my own place to lay passed out from the lack of oxygen in my system. Thank you for showing me that the man who deserves my heart will use all his strength to keep it beating and not risk it losing the strength to keep me alive because of mistreatment. You took away a special part of me I had to offer and you ran with it. How does it feel to be a thief of the most valuable treasure there is in this world? My innocence was ripped out of me, but My God returned it to be my testimony. Thank you for forcing me to get on my knees and beg God for forgiveness. I found myself sitting in front of a counselor months later, but no treatment was working for me; the payments to the doctor were being thrown out the door. Little did you know that I had set aside all the tools I needed to kill myself because of you. That week, God saved my life right before I ended it. Thank you for pushing me into the deepest pits of hell; it has taught me how to stand up strong and fight against the darkening shell forcing its existence over my mind. Without you, I would not be sitting here today full of excitement to work in women’s ministry. Thank you for paving the way for my future. Now, many women will be saved by our Jesus Christ in numerous crowds. No longer do you lies and horrible care of my heart sit heavy in the dark. I am free from the bondage you held on me through 9 months of depression. Thank you for making me want to end my life so that I could lend a hand to those who want to choose death, too. You made me feel dirty, but my savior washed me clean with His blood. Thank you for changing my life in ways I would have never imagined you could. I will forever be grateful for your selfish desires that have put a fire in my soul to change the world. Thank you.