I know what it’s like too

TW: Sexual assault

Michaela James-Thrower
Executive Staff

I was screaming in a corner
I was crying and yelling
And no one heard me
And he had already been through me
Before you heard me
He had already hurt me
He had already turned my body into a community center
By the time you got there
I already thought my body was only good for one thing
I already thought that I was nothing
I already believed I was nothing
Once you got there
I had been used
Once you were there
I was nothing
After we left
I was still nothing

And I felt there was no God
No one rushed in to save me
No one opened the sky and gave me his hand
I didn’t see an angel
No one asked me why I wept
No one cared what he had taken from me

And if God existed
If he sat there and watched
Being the prostitute he is
Why didn’t he help me
He didn’t
But you did

So when they asked me why I love you
Over everyone else
When they asked me what made you
Better than others

I tell them you were there to bring me to life when I needed you most

Some women don’t have a stranger or a friend
Some women have nothing but the end
Some women can’t breathe or escape or cry
Some women like me want nothing but to die

Because they know what it’s like to be a stranger in your own home
To be a guest in something you have known your whole life

I have only known this body

I only know these 10 toes and 10 fingers
I only know this back of a hand

They know what it’s like to go to sleep one night as yourself
And wake up the next morning
Look in the mirror and not know who you are

To not recognize your eyes

They know what it is like to no longer be sure of things you’ve always known
Like your bra size
Or the length of your hair
Or the way you spoke
Or your middle name

They know what it’s like to cry
Because you feel disgusting
Because you have become dirt
Because you have become a pile of shame
And nothing can make you feel the same way

Because you are now a new person
With a new face
With a new smile
You have to learn how to walk again
Learn how to speak and blink and stand
You have to become you again
Because we have been used


  1. The strength it took to write this is jaw dropping. I am moved to tears. I feel you. I hear you.

  2. You were in a dream I had last night, Michaela. I met you in a hallway by an old, ceramic water fountain and I tried to tell you how brave and strong you are.

  3. Michaela, thank you for sharing this. Your voice is powerful. I see you and your courage in speaking this truth.

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