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The Night That Changed My World

I was raped at college just after turning 21. Off campus at FSU. It was New Year’s Eve, 1979. He got in & blindfolded me. I was raped repeatedly for hours. There were no roommates or neighbors, no cell phones, nothing but a pair of scissors I was fixated on across the room, 3 drawers down in the dresser. I went into shock, my legs shook uncontrollably, I bled, fingerprints all over my throat where I was choked. He put the pillow over my face to smother me. I played dead to survive. I wouldn’t move for hours not knowing if he was still there. I called the police, they came, said it was my fault because my friend left the door unlocked. The intense, overwhelming, shame permeated every aspect of my being for countless years. My personality changed, unwise choices, my heart was cold. After a devastating divorce, I went for help. The healing… Continue reading »

Becoming a Warrior

It all started when I chose to attend Frostburg State University for my undergraduate studies. It was a compromise of sorts; my Father wanted me close to home, while there was enough distance to allow me the chance to flourish and be on my own. I knew the moment I stepped on-campus that I was where I wanted to be. I saw my first day as a chance to adopt a clean slate; a new me in the sense that I could leave the quiet girl I was, all through school, behind. Eventually, I had even hoped she would become a distant memory and fade away all together. In time she did as I became involved in the campus and community. Joining the Student Government Association (SGA) offered me so many opportunities to voice the concerns of my constituents and be the voice of reason when students were being overlooked and not advocated for. It… Continue reading »

Shame

I was at a fraternity party with a date in February 1989 at Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It was a beach theme, so we were all wearing bathing suits. I distinctly remember choosing a one-piece because I thought that a bikini would cause problems. I was wearing denim shorts as well. Two “big brothers” visiting from another school followed me upstairs when I went to get my cigarettes from my coat. They dragged me into on of the rooms. They took turns holding my arms down while the other raped me. I remember looking at a reptile tank on the dresser to avoid looking at them. I remember telling them that I didn’t want them to do this. I wasn’t screaming; I wasn’t fighting. I was numb. I couldn’t believe that they weren’t respecting my wishes. Afterward, I went into the bathroom & cried. I went to a guy friend’s dorm & asked to shower… Continue reading »

I Am Still Standing

Being taken advantage of isn’t particularly new to me. From the ages of four to eighteen I was neglected and abused by both of my parents in many ways. When I left for college in August of 2010 I fully planned to leave my old life behind and fight to build my own new life. My father had all but disowned me (that would come later in my freshmen year) and my mother was all but non-existent. The fight for my own life, however, was only going to get more complicated. A month into my freshmen year at my university I was raped by a new acquaintance – an international student from Jamaica who had claimed he fully understood we could be nothing more than friends (I was dating long distance at the time) – in my dorm room. Because of my previous experiences as a child I froze. I didn’t scream, but remember saying,… Continue reading »