11 years ago, after a couple of drinks with an acquaintance, I was raped and left on the side of the road. I remember having a few beers but he kept persisting that I drink the hard liquor he brought, and I eventually gave in. The reason I was even alone with this person was because I thought we were going to end up at a party where my crush was. The next thing I knew, I was waking up in the hospital. That is when I found out I was raped, and a stranger saw me stumble out of the car, and left on her street alone. That was when she called 911. My underwear and socks were no where to be found.
The last 11 years have been a long hard road. A road that, if you asked me 9 or 10 years ago, I would have not wanted to be on. After my rape, I resorted to alcohol. I used it as a vice to forget. Even though I do not have recollection of the actual rape, I wanted to forget everything else; the trail, the pain, the hardship, the depression, the eating disorder that resurfaced from high school. I ended up not going to trial myself in fear that I would be blamed and just hoped that by not testifying everything would go away,(Now that I am older and wiser, I wish I could have told my “then self” that I am strong and I could do it and I would be O.K. if I did.) I couldn’t be intimate without being bolstered with a few drinks. And when I thought my life was on track for once, something would come up that would throw it off. For example, I got engaged to a guy, and everything was wonderful, but I realized speaking about my rape was helping me heal, and he didn’t like that. He felt I should stay silent. I couldn’t. And after that relationship, I dated a girl because I felt safe there. I didn’t feel threatened like I felt when I was with a man. But in the long run, my attraction towards men came through. It wasn’t until I was able to learn to love and forgive myself, that I found my husband. It wasn’t something that happened overnight. Loving myself took along time. A lot of counseling, establishing a healthy lifestyle, and finding quirky ways to express myself, such as seeing Lady Gaga 7 times in 1.5 years and dressing up for every show. One day I finally realized all I needed was me. I am strong enough. I am still healing and healing will always be a part of who am. Once I realized this, I knew I was going to be able to love someone with the full capacity they deserve. And that is when my future husband and I began dating. He was accepting of all parts of me, the rape, the eating disorder, the fact I dated a girl, and that I wanted to be an advocate to end sexual violence. I knew he was not only going to be my husband but my soulmate and best friend, and we now have a beautiful 1 year old son.