*I originally wrote this in March of 2013 for another blog I had at the time, which is why some of the media events I refer to aren’t current. I wanted to share this post on my new blog, because sometimes it helps people understand me a little better and it’s a story that I’m sure everyone can relate to – whether it’s a personal experience or it happened to someone you know. What happened is a part of who I am, but it doesn’t define me. I am stronger because of what I went through. Always know that silence is never the answer.*
I didn’t think the day would come where I would feel “ok” talking about this publicly…….10 years later and I think I’ve finally fully accepted what happened. I was raped by two men at the age of 19. I had to come to a public place to write this blog, because I knew it would be a difficult one to write. I didn’t want to just sit in my apartment crying as I recounted that evening and the way I felt for years after. I don’t cry because of what happened. I cry because I waited two long years before I told someone what happened to me. I did nothing to stop those two men from potentially raping another girl in the future. This blog might be too graphic for some of you…..those of you who don’t like to face the truth and understand that our views of what is “acceptable” in society is fucked. The recent rape in Steubenville, OH is what prompted me to write this blog. Maybe this will be the last step I need to take to put this all behind me. Letting the public hear my story. Having a voice can make a difference. There are certain memories of that night that will always stay with me. Memories that I will never forget no matter how hard I try.
I was really, really drunk when it happened. Pretty much black out drunk……drunk to the point that I had to crawl on all fours just to get to my bedroom. Both of the guys were named Jim (weird, I know). I remember the last name of one of them, but only because I had a crush on him. They were part of the Hays Larks Summer baseball program, so they were only in town for a couple of months. One went to school at Notre Dame and the other I can’t remember. My three roommates and I went to The Home (a local bar) that night, like we always did. We were friends with the bouncer, so he gave us all 21+ bands that allowed us to keep drinking once inside. A bunch of the baseball players came back to our house with us at bar time. Like I said, I was so drunk that I had to crawl on all fours just to make it to my bedroom. I remember laying on my bed, one Jim was sitting at the end of my bed and the other one was standing near the head of my bed. One of my roommates was standing in the doorway talking to us, about what I have no idea. After a few minutes she shut the door and left me in my room with Jim squared. Should she have left them in there with me? No. Was I angry at her for it? No. Did I blame any of my roommates for what happened? Absolutely not. They were just as drunk as I was and probably had no idea what was going on. They didn’t force those two guys to rape me. The roommate that shut my bedroom door that night is still one of my best friends and I will love her until the day I die. I can blame no one for that night, but the two guys named Jim.
After my roommate shut the door the next thing I remember is that one of them had put their penis in my hand….I was still laying on my bed at that point. I kept fading in and out of consciousness. The next time I came to I was laying on the floor with my shirt and bra off……..then I passed out again. Then I was naked and Jim #1 was on top of me……inside of me. I passed out again…….then Jim #2 was on top of me…….inside of me. I remember Jim #2 telling Jim #1 that he “was having a hard time getting inside of me because I was too dry.” That was the last thing I remember until the next morning when I eventually woke up…..on my bedroom floor…..naked……with their dried semen all over my stomach. And the somewhat faint, but definite, knowledge that I had just been raped by not one, but two men.
That night ruined me, for a long time. I had zero self worth. I felt disgusting and dirty. What happened was all my fault….if I wouldn’t have been that drunk it never would have happened. I shut down mentally and emotionally. I started sleeping with anyone and everyone that paid attention to me. I was able to grow some sort of feelings for a couple of the guys I slept with, but not many. For a good two years I was on a sexual downward spiral, sleeping with nearly 40-50 guys. That was my way of dealing with what happened. I was on academic probation for three semesters after that……I drank, all of the time. Any money I had was spent on clothes, shoes, alcohol…..anything that would make me feel better about myself. Anything that would make me feel like I was anything but an empty shell of a person. My life was falling apart and I did nothing to try and stop it. I just wanted to die. I am so incredibly lucky to have four amazing parents, because without them I would be dead. Jim #2 actually had the balls to come up to me about a week after it happened and apologize for what he’d done. I told him apology not accepted and I hoped he fucking died. I never saw either one of them again.
The only thing I did wrong was not tell anyone about what happened for two years after the fact. When I finally told my mother and sister they both just cried for me. My mother was so sad that she couldn’t be there for me after it happened…..that I had to go through it alone. My step-father felt rage, but there was nothing he could do. If the two guys were standing in front of him he probably would have killed them for what they did to his youngest child. Upon suggestion I went to counseling for a couple of years to deal with what had happened in a healthy way. I needed to get to the point where I understood that NONE of what happened was my fault. That whether I had been drunk or sober what they did was wrong. It took a while, but I am in a place of peace now and have dealt with the fact that it happened. I still think that the rape plays some sort of hand in my inability to choose healthy relationships to be a part of. Eventually that’ll work itself out, too, and someone that is completely worth my time/love will come along.
It saddens me and makes me sick to my stomach when I read stories in the news about the girl from Steubenville, OH. It makes me sick to my stomach how quick people are to blame the victim in these cases. It makes me sick to my stomach to hear that there are people in the community standing by the side of the two rapists. It makes me sick to my stomach that there are people who will label her as a slut because of what she was wearing or say she deserved it because she was drunk. Under absolutely zero circumstances is it ok for someone to do anything sexually to another person without their SOBER/UNIMPAIRED consent. Rape is rape, regardless of the circumstances. If I want to walk into a bar naked and get shitfaced I should be able to without having to worry about someone raping me by the end of the night.
I was lucky that social media didn’t really exist 10 years ago. I can’t imagine the humiliation and shame that young girl felt when she saw the pictures of herself on Facebook. I can’t imagine how helpless she feels right now. It pisses me off that CNN and other news sources keep focusing on the two rapists, and how their lives will be over with. How they will have to live with the fact that they will be registered sexual offenders for X amount of years or the rest of their lives. I DON’T GIVE A FUCK ABOUT THEM! HER life is ruined. SHE is the one that will have to live with what happened for the rest of her life. SHE is the one suffering severe emotional and mental damage. It’s not just what happens here in the US, either. The young girl that was brutally raped and killed in India was unfortunately a statistic. Things like that happen all too often in countries like India. I came across this news article the other day: India’s Brutal Rape Problem Is Beyond Out Of Hand and cried for these three little girls. I fear for our youth and the children of tomorrow. Their future is looking very bleak and violent. Something has to change…..this has to be stopped, but how do we make that happen? If our government isn’t on our side (i.e. guys like Todd Akin) then how are we ever supposed to put an end to all of this sexual violence?
If you’re reading this post I hope by sharing my story it’s motivated you to be a part of the solution and not a part of the problem. There is probably someone you know that has been a victim of a sexual assault and is too scared or ashamed to tell anyone. I hope that if you’re reading this blog post and you are going through or have gone through something like this you know you aren’t alone. You never have to be alone. If I can make it through the storm, so can you. I will help you.