A Year Later [trigger warning]

It’s been a year since my assault.

It’s been a year since he came to my room.  It was after AcadeMix.  Every time I see one of those fucking shirts I’m brought back to that fucking night one year ago.

I was a freshman.  I had slept with my fair share of people freshman year – more than my fair share.  The blackout board didn’t stand a chance.  That’s part of what kept me silent, both during the assault and after.

My hall just asked me why I didn’t black it out.  They still don’t know. I guess that’s when I stopped being close with my customs group.

I’ve been remembering a lot lately.  I remember that the condom broke.  I said something – I don’t remember what I said.  I heard it break.  He didn’t stop; he kept going.

I prayed.  I don’t remember for what.  Forgiveness for having put myself in that situation, begging God to make it end quickly, to make me forget.

I had internalized so much victim blaming.  I used to think girls cried rape after drunk sex because they couldn’t deal with their regrets; they couldn’t own their sexuality.

But I used to be able to own my sexuality, love my sexuality, be proud of my sexuality, until that night one year ago.

I get it now.

He didn’t notice my crying when he came back.

I don’t know if what happened to me was legally rape.  But I do know that I am not the same person I was a year ago, before this happened.  I know that I have flashbacks and anxiety.  When I hear presidential candidates saying that rape victims (cause they’re not saying “survivors”) shouldn’t be able to get abortions, I think about what would have happened if I had gotten pregnant.

I don’t know exactly what happened that night but I know that I wanted to kill myself after.

I’ve spent this past year blaming myself for what happened, afraid to go out, to drink.  Afraid it will happen again.  I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to stop blaming myself.  In this past year I’ve changed so much and I’ve gotten stronger.  I don’t think my assault is something I’ll ever “get over” and I don’t know if I’ll ever feel comfortable or happy at Haverford again. I’ve been trying to think of a satisfactory way to end this post but the truth is, I don’t have a satisfactory ending.  Rape, assault, nonconsensual sex, shitty communication between partners, people taking silence as consent (even though we don’t confuse moments of silence and consensus in our nonsexual situations…), doesn’t really have a happy ending.  And it all happens at Haverford.

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3 thoughts on “A Year Later [trigger warning]

  1. There is no happy ending, and there is no happy reply to your post. All I can say is that I read it. That you made me think for a moment what that experience could be like, and how politics unfortunately now wants to intercept into our role and our rights as women. Thank you for sharing something that must be extremely hard to share and just know that others are reading your work and internalizing it…

  2. You took the words out of my mouth. I had an incredibly similar experience at Haverford a little over two years ago and I think about it every day. You are so brave for writing this. Keep on keeping on, and know you’re not alone.

  3. I’ve also had a similar experience at Haverford. I suffered silently through flashbacks and endlessly blamed myself for what happened. I can’t thank you enough for writing this and saying all of the things that we are too afraid to utter. You are so strong

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