Today I'm going to write about something that I've wanted to share on here for some time, as I am in desperate need of support, but I've felt so ashamed for so long. I ask that you please leave your judgement at the door.
I am a victim of sexual assalt. It's weird to call myself that: "victim". When I was a teen, people portrayed rape as situations where a woman is beaten unconcious and taken into an alley by a stranger. Everything else, all other forms of it, were the girl's fault for being too promiscuous, for dressing "inapropriately", or for turning someone down/putting them in the infamous "friend zone". But I feel that society has progressed a great amount since I was a teenager and women aren't being blamed for being victims as much as they once were. All three of my incidences occurred when I was in high school- two of them during my sophomore year and one during my senior year. All three were different people and they were all unrelated occurrences.I knew all of the boys that did it and one of them was even supposed to be my friend. His was the worst and the most aggressive. He took everything from me.
[WARNING: The following three paragraphs feature brief and very censored versions of what happened to me- however, if you are easily triggered, feel free to scroll past.]
The first boy was not someone that I was friends with and I hardly knew him. I only knew that he'd had an on-and-off crush on me for a couple years, but he wasn't a nice person so I just ignored it. We both ended up being in drama club and one day when I was between rows of curtains by myself, setting things up, he found me and launched himself on me without warning. It took my several minutes to finally get him off, but it felt like it was happening in slow motion. He ruined my top and my bra, but luckily he wasn't able to get my pants off. I slapped him hard across the face and went back to the group in the other room, playing it cool so that no one would suspect anything. He never tried to do anything else to me or speak to me again after that.
The second assault was grosser and a lot more violating that the first. This boy was someone that I had known better. We had started talking a month prior and I developed a crush on him. However, he only wanted me for sex and so I told him that I don't do that, severing any remnants of affection I might have felt towards him. Later, backstage during drama club (again), a large group of us were standing in a circle talking and joking around. This boy sidled up next to me and started talkign with everyone while he casually slipped his arm behind me and stuck his hand up the back of my costume.I was wearing a toga with spandex shorts underneath for my costume, giving him easy and discreet access. He put his hand inside my body, roughly, and when I tried to casually move away from him, he positioned it so that it hurt very badly for me to move. I was terrified and couldn't do anything because we were surrounded by people.
The last incidence is by far the worst, and while I had suppressed the previous two until very recently, this is one thing that I could never forget. For that reason, I am going to be very brief. When I got out of the hospital my senior year for being suicidal, I had no friends when I got back. I was lonely and terrified of being home alone after school for the first time several weeks after I got out. A boy that had once been my friend reached out to me and said he wanted to be friends again. I was so grateful and I confided in him, telling him of my fears. He said that he could come home with me after school and that we could just work on homework or play video games until my parents got home. Well, when he came over, he didn't want to do either of those things. He raped me twice before I had enough strength to get up and yell at him to get out. I was on sedatives for my anxiety, so I was weak and he knew it. He raped me fully and completely. I always thought it was 100% my fault because I let him in, but the reality is that a man should be able to be in a room with a woman and not feel the urge to force her into sex. I didn't ask for that.
[END OF WARNING]
It wasn't until that last couple of years that I was able to admit that I was raped and it wasn't until this last week that I was even able to remember the first two incidences. Even though I know in my heart that none of these were my fault, I feel this extreme sense of guilt when I think about it. I think about what a gross, broken person I am that these things happened to me and it makes me wonder, "Why me?". I wasn't asking for it, I wasn't promiscuous. I literally feel as if I am being crushed.
It is the only secret I have between me and my parents. I've decided that I'd like to learn how to tell them, while also emphasizing that I don't want to report these (the efforts would be futile since it all happened so long ago and our justice system is so very flawed) and that I'd like to move on. There is a mental health facility in my area that offers a wide variety of free services for victims of sexual assault and the message on their website is so comforting, but every time I try to call them I start having a panic attack and I give up. I'm ready to start talking about this, but it's not easy. I eventually want to use my story to inform people that sexual assault comes in all shapes and forms and that it is never justified, no matter how you know the person and no matter what they want. I just need to take some time- it's going to be a slow, long journey and I'll take all the support and positive vibes I can get.