I Thought It Was My Fault..I had just turned 14, and I was going to my first real high school party. My best friend's boyfriend had the ba
Like most 14 year old girls, we put on our "hottest" and tightest pants and shirts, making sure they show just enough of our new cleavage, and straightened our hair out with an iron. We put on make up, me for the first time, and went on our way.
For the first 2 hours, everything was great! I was having an awesome time, and was getting a lot of compliments (something I wasn't used to - after all, I had been the girl everyone teased all my life). Then one of the boys I had been talking to asked me if I'd like a drink, and I automatically said 'yes'. Worst. Decision. Ever.
He was only gone a few seconds, at least thats how it felt, when he came back with what looked like a Coke in his hand. He gave it to me, I drank it. The first taste that hit me was Coke, the second, the strong taste of rum. The third, an odd taste I couldn't place; it left a weird, dry-like after taste in my mouth. I immediately designated that taste to the rum, since this was the first time I had tried it. I didn't like it, and I wanted to stop drinking it. But I knew that if I did, everyone would laugh at me and either call me a baby, or a light weight. Either was like social suicide to me at that point, so I kept drinking.
I had about 1/3 left of my drink when I started feeling... odd. The room was warpy and spinny. My head was pounding, and I just needed to lay down. I inwardly cursed myself for drinking that rum - it obviously didn't agree with me. I went to A and told her how I was feeling, and she led me into a bedroom at the end of the room, right beside the drum kit. We went in, both lied down on the bed, and I fell asleep.
When I woke up, everything was silent and my vision was fuzzy. My head still kind of hurt, and I couldn't gain focus. Where am I? I remember thinking, as I looked slowly around the dark room. Wasn't there a lamp on before? I slowly sat up to get a better look around the room, when I felt a sharp pain run from my clitoris all the way to somewhere deep inside. When I finally looked down, the first thing I saw was blood, everywhere. All over my thighs, my lower tummy, and the bed. Did I get my period?, I remember thinking. Then I fully woke up to the realization that my pants were off, and my shirt was ripped half off. I had bruises along the inside of my thighs, my butt cheeks, around my hip bones, and a few tiny ones on my boobs.
It was like slamming my head into a brick wall. Everything went black, my stomach turned upside-down and all I could do was lay back down, curl up in a ball, and stare. I wanted to cry, but I was too tired. Too scared. What had I done?
A knock at the bedroom door startled me, making me jump back up. Please don't be back. "Yes?" A's voice in response sent a wave of relief over me. "Your mom's here to pick us up, you okay?". Of course I lied, quickly put my clothes back on and opened the door a crack. "I ripped my shirt somehow, can I borrow a sweater from C?"
I got the sweater and jumped in the back seat of my mom's car. I didn't talk the whole way home. Or the next day either, for that matter.
Before that, I had always been a very happy-go lucky, outspoken girl. I always searched for the bright side of things, kept my room filled with sunlight, and could never stop talking.
Afterwards, I felt nothing. No happiness, sadness, anger, resentment... Nothing. I walked through the school like a zombie, and didn't feel comfortable at home when my mom wasn't around, leaving me with my dad and brother. They had never touched me inappropriately my whole life, but after that incident, something just felt off.
And for 6 months, I didn't tell anyone that I had been date raped. I didn't even want to admit it to myself. After all, it was my fault, wasn't it? At least, thats what I had thought for a while. It was my fault. Everyone always told me and my other classmates to never accept a drink from someone you don't know, and I did. And worse, I was drinking alcohol, something my mom would definitely not approve of. So I kept it hidden, until it finally came out during a session with my psychiatrist.
After that, I repressed it. I didn't want to talk about it, think about it, or be faced with it. I wanted so bad for my virginity to have been given away by me, and not ripped out by 3 teenage boys whose faces I STILL can't remember, that I pretended like it didn't happen. After all, I didn't remember much. It wasn't until I was 20 years old, and in my third year at university, that I felt forced to deal with it: I began to experience visual, visceral, flashbacks while asleep. Every night, the same dream. A and I walk into that dimly lit bedroom with dirty white walls and a cheap white comforter with small pink and blue flowers on it. We lay down, and then before I know it, my clothes are being ripped off, penises are being shoved into me, and three boys are passing me around like a shiny new toy. Sharing me, even though one guy said I was 'his'. How "kind" of him.
Three years later, and I'm further along my recovery than I ever thought I could be, way back then. I still have triggers, I still have flashbacks. I still feel awful when I think back to what happened to me, regardless of my virginity, regardless of my age. How it is that people can use others in such a violent and violating way, I will never understand; that experience killed me. I still feel like I am an entirely different person than I was previous to that happening, and I felt that way since the moment I realized what had happened. I died, and had to become someone new. I changed my name, my hair, the music I listened to, and the clothes I wore.
I'm happy with who I am now, and how far I've come. But I wonder if I had a resource to help me feel not so alone, not so ashamed, not so used and dirty, maybe I could have coped, and gotten through it, a bit better than I did; maybe I could have skipped the countless cuts on my wrists and the suicidal attempts.
That is why I'm writing my story. So that people can know what I didn't: it is NOT your fault. But it is your responsibility to pick yourself up, with the help of those who care around you, and begin to rebuild after the destruction and mess they made.
Good luck, and I hope that I can help in some way.