So why the name Dear July? I know I’m going to get this question at least a few dozen times in the future so might as well make a post about it. In July of 2014, right before I moved into a dream studio in LA, I was drugged and raped on a first date with a rocket engineer. Literally, he works on rockets that go into outer space for a living. And besides being raped, which was horrible in of itself, it wasn’t even the first time I’d been sexually assaulted by someone I thought was reputable. I’d been assaulted by an ex boyfriend when I was trying to break up with him and I had a sheriff molest me when I was ten. Then there was my first boyfriend who would grab me until I bruised if another boy talked to me or even looked at me. Or shove me down onto the ground and kick my shins for disagreeing.
And this isn’t even accounting for the numerous times I’d been followed late at night or to my car by a strange man so that he could ‘make sure I was safe’. But this time in July was different. I fell apart and I was incredibly self-destructive. But deep down inside, I knew it’d be the last time I took my safety for granted. And I started writing again, a series of letters to both myself and to him; fully knowing I’d never send any of them. But the weird thing about letters and writing is that soon, you start feeling yourself start to heal. I wrote about the experience to admit it happened out loud here and the changes I saw at the one-year mark. It wasn’t until then that I realized just how powerful words can be and how monumental it can be to read that somebody else you know has gone through the same thing. That what you went through, no matter how gray or complicated it seems, is real and valid.
But I came up with the name because in July of 2014, I was raped and violated. And I realized when I decided to start actively healing, my way, that I would never let another month, let alone another July, like that happen again. And I refused to let it get me down any longer. So in a sense, Dear July is my way of saying ‘fuck you’ and letting my shine come through.