• I needed to stop hiding: I was raped. It was time to honestly be exactly who I was. I saw—the shame wasn't mine, it was his, and I could stop misrepresenting myself, and I could accept myself

    Aspen Matis
  • I didn’t know if I was brave or reckless

    Aspen Matis
  • The trees were friendly, they gave me rest and shadowed refuge. Slipping through them, I felt safe and competent. My whole body was occupied. I had little energy to think or worry

    Aspen Matis
  • I was safe in this world. This was a place for creatures—I felt I had become more of a creature than a girl. I could handle myself in the wild

    Aspen Matis
  • She told me that my rape was not my fault, that I should feel no shame, that – simple as it may sound – I hadn’t caused it. No one causes rape but rapists. No one causes rape but rapists. No one causes rape but rapists. It was true. And it had not been obvious to me. And hearing it from someone else, a professional, someone who should know, helped me believe that soon I would believe it

    Aspen Matis
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