It happened two years ago.
I went out in manhattan with some friends. I was already drunk by the time we got to the third bar. I remember taking a drink from someone and then absolute darkness. I have one faint memory of standing outside the bar alone and the next thing I know it’s the next morning and I’m lying in a foreign bed in a foreign apartment with my dress pulled up. and then it’s blackness again. And then I open my eyes again, but only for a second before I pass back out. I don’t know how many times I awoke and closed my eyes again. I would open my eyes and look down but not be able to move a single part of my body. My body didn’t feel attached to my head, and my head didn’t feel attached to my brain. I couldn’t feel a thing. My brain couldn’t even enter into “emergency – help!” mode because everything was so foggy. I didn’t even know who was next to me, just felt hands on me and pulling my hands onto him. this seemed to continue for an eternity, each time reawaken with slightly more mobility and more conscious. I didn’t even feel alarmed because I couldn’t even process what was going on or what had happened. I finally managed to get up and say goodbye and walk out. As I walked out, I heard him say “well don’t just leave like a prostitute” as I shut the door. When I got outside I couldn’t even think to look to see where I was. The cab ride home I didn’t even have the ability to process that something bad had just happened. I couldn’t feel anything.
When I got home my roommates asked where I had been. “Oh just hooked up with some random” I said. I spent the afternoon throwing up and continued to feel this shadow over me. Instead of thinking through the situation, I met up with a friend that evening to have sex. In retrospect it was as if it was to create a more recent sexual encounter memory for myself because I wanted to shake the bad memory of the night before. Something felt off but I couldn’t really understand it. The more I thought about it the more confused I was. Why did I feel so physically and mentally paralyzed all morning? What had happened? Did anything happen? Who was that man? Had I wanted to do anything with him? Did he take advantage of me? My questions started becoming more frantic as I regained full momentum of my brain after 24 hours had passed. But thinking about it made me so uncomfortable that I just chose to block it off.
I feel as though over the past 2 years since, I’ve used the power of sex to prove to myself that it’s my choice, it’s my decision. Some times I find that I have sex just because I can, and because it’s on my terms. He’s not having sex with me, I’m having sex with him.
To this day I still don’t know what happened that night–if we did actually have sex or if he just made me do other stuff or what. Sometimes I think that I’m just being dramatic and I was just really drunk and that we did leave the bar together and it was consensual and that I was just as into it as he was and that I just must have been really hungover that next morning and that everything was fine. But it just doesn’t add up… When I’m of the mindset that I don’t believe it happened, I start believing that I’m just using it as an excuse for going through periods of sleeping with multiple people, or for being scared of intimacy in relationships. Some times I feel guilty that I think I was drug raped because I wasn’t ever physically hurt like some people are, I wasn’t left with bruises or scars. Some times I don’t even think it’s a big deal — so what some man touched me and made me touch him, maybe we didn’t even have se x, but he didn’t hurt me so what’s the big deal? It scares me how much sometimes I’m not even phased by it. Shouldn’t I be more scarred by this? Shouldn’t I think it’s a big deal?
Recently, I haven’t been thinking this as much.
In my current relationship, we’re very close but I still struggle with intimacy. I find myself frequently crying into my pillow after sex (I was a very rare cried up until recently). I still feel as though I haven’t yet emotionally dealt with what has happened and I feel a bit lost. I find myself crying myself to sleep after nights out with friends. Lately I find myself bringing up the subject to my few friends who know about it when we’re out and we’ve been drinking. The next day we pretend the conversation the night before never happened.
Reading these stories has started helping me realize I’m not the only one whose felt this way. I think that talking about it will help too, even though to talk about it in the first place makes me feel like I’m automatically making it into a big deal and that scares me. I guess I’m still in denial?