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He was my friend, until he wasn't.

  • a poetic reckoning of my experience living through a sexual assault.

  • If you'd like to watch my raw reading of this poem, please connect on my IGTV @carlen.costa or YouTube channel The Everyday Goddess. Video released December 15 2020.

He was my friend, until he wasn’t.

About a month and a half ago, I was sexually assaulted by a friend while on a date with him.

I’ve never seen that kind of thirst in a man’s eyes before.

I’ve never had someone pull out their dick multiple times,

after I said no, multiple times.

I’ve never felt afraid while being kissed.

I’ve never felt that I had to strategize how to get out from under a man, once he pinned me down.

I’ve never been with another human and thought, “I need to do something because he is about to rape me”.

He was my friend, until he wasn’t.

We had had consensual sex before.

We had also had dates where nothing other than a goodbye kiss happened.

It was fun, until it wasn’t.

And, I had developed feelings for him.

I told him that.

I told him I no longer wanted a sexual relationship and I was only interested in dating.

Let’s hang out sometime and be friends - let’s see where it goes, I said.

He never confirmed or denied his feelings for me.

Red flag.

He would never want to talk about us.

Red flag.

I started dating someone new.

I asked him to leave me alone.

He didn’t, really.

Red flag.

He was my friend.

It was ok, until it wasn’t.

My relationship with the other guy ended lovingly and, it almost felt like that set off an alert in his head, because that same night he messaged me.

He was my friend.

It was ok, until it wasn’t.

I told him I was happy to hear from him and that I’d like us to try dating.

He invited me on a date and said we would go out, eat and have fun.

The day came and our “plans” got pushed.

It became, “why don’t you come by for a glass of wine” at 9pm.

Red flag.

I guess that would be ok, until it wasn’t.

He was my friend, right?

I told him prior, a few times, I am no longer interested in having sex with him.

I told him I wanted us to explore a relationship.

He obliged and still invited me over.

I didn’t have wine, I had water.

I sat and watched a stupid musical while he sang.

Fuck Bradley Cooper. I used to love him and now I can’t.

Midnight came, no move was made and I gathered my things to leave.

He walked to the door.

He kissed me.

It was ok, until it wasn’t.

He took my keys and wouldn’t give them back.

He whipped out his dick and wouldn’t put it back.

He pinned me up against the wall and up against my back.

Red flag.

Red flag.

Red flag.

I was so afraid.

I was so confused.

I kissed him back.

I liked him.

I communicated my boundaries.

I was clear.

I said no, again and again.

I felt good until I didn’t.

I had to strategize how to be sexy, take my hidden keys and climb out from under him.

I’m good in a crisis.


I walked to the door and took a breath.

I hesitated.

I froze.

I was so confused.

I told him in text, I used my words.

I was clear.

I do not want to have sex with you.

He tried again.

I opened the door and left.

I never looked back.

I couldn’t breathe while I drove myself home.

My phone lit up. It was him.

He said, “I should just come to your place”.

I thought I was safe.

I thought it was over, until it wasn’t.

I ignored him and cried myself to sleep.

The next day he told me he didn’t want to be with me.

I’m not “his type” to date, but he’d to fuck.

My heart hit the floor.

He was being honest, right?

Until he wasn’t.

Blocked. Cancelled. Deleted.

That would be enough for now, until it wasn’t.

I withdrew.

I stopped working out.

I stopped cooking.

I stopped masturbating.

I stopped dancing.

I used my other tools.

I cried, a lot.

My anxiety hit an all time high.

I was ok, I thought, until I wasn’t.

It’s been a day by day assessment.

I didn’t think I would carry this if I named it.

But, I am. But, I did.

There’s no one way to heal fro this.

There is no clear path.

I felt ashamed.

I felt afraid.

I felt confused.

I felt betrayed.

I felt guilty.

I felt shame.

I felt nothing.

I feel everything.

I was so confused.

He was my friend, until he wasn’t.

It’s not your fault, it never was.

My Goddess, you are not alone - you never was.

You are still a source of love.

You are still a shining light.

You are still worthy of love and deserve to be loved in the most beautiful and sacred ways.

You are still a magnanimous, beautiful and intelligent woman.

Regardless of how you heal.

Regardless of what they say.

Regardless of whatever comes, you are and will always be -

in this life and in others,

a Goddess, as you always was.

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