story of a broken college student
when i was 17 years old, i was dating a man who forced me to have sex regularly. at the time, i did not think it was possible that this was rape. he was my bf, how could that be possible. with time he became more aggressive and forceful. if i complained he would reassure me “i’ll be quick”. several times a week i would silently sob as i waited to be done. this process made me believe the only thing i was useful for was my body, which no longer felt like my own. a few months after ending things with him, i was drugged at a party and woke up with no pants on and an unfamiliar man in my bed. the last thing i remember was telling my roommate this man was making me uncomfortable. it took me a very long time to accept that i will never know what happened that night, to stop blaming myself, and to feel comfortable in my own body again. the self-blame is the worst thing about trying to heal. i constantly think “well if i had just fought back” or “maybe if i recognized it was rape in the moment” or “maybe if i hadn’t drank i wouldn’t have been drugged” or “maybe if i wasn’t so nice he wouldn’t have taken it as flirting”. but that’s the thing: the maybe if’s are doing nothing for me. i am alive on the other side of the violence i experienced. learning to silence the voice of self-doubt and self-blame has allowed me to reclaim my body and my life. i will never get to go back to before this happened but i am finding a way to survive with that fact.