So this entire story starts at the beginning of this summer. Before the summer started I had been dating around and seeing a few guys casually but there was no one I liked. All of these endeavors were super innocent as we would do things like go to the movies or dinner then go home and not even hug or anything. I used to be incredibly hesitant about physical touch of any kind. So going into that summer I could never find anyone that I actually wanted to date until I met this boy from my university. He and I started “dating” in May and that’s when it all started.
He and I started out really good together as we were super similar, I was attracted to him and I thought he had a great personality. I say that we were “dating” because I found out later that he didn’t consider what we were doing as “dating” and said that we were always just friends even though we actually were going on dates regularly together for months. Anyways two months into our relationships everything changed. When we first met he was one of the nicest, most innocent people I’d ever met and I thought he really cared about me but one night he decided to tell me the truth.
We had gone out with a group of our friends to a bar downtown and we all only had a little to drink and everything seemed to be fine but then one of my friends asked me about a past relationship that I had been in four years ago when I was in high school. I told her that in this situation I had cheated on my boyfriend and I regretted it a lot and would never do it again. For some reason that story set off my boyfriend/friend/whatever and he proceeded to attack me verbally. He called me a whore and told me that he never wanted to see my disgusting face again after the summer was over. He screamed at me in front of all my friends and told me that all he wanted to do was have sex with me then leave because I was pretty and probably good in bed. I was actually a virgin at this point and didn’t want to have sex yet so I told him no.
At this point my heart was broken because I really felt like I had started to love this person and he told me that it was all a lie. Needless to say we “broke up” or he said we were never even dating and I was crazy and making it up. The next week was awful because we were living in the same apartment for our university program so we had to see each other every day. He verbally abused me in public at every opportunity he got. He would call me stupid, trashy, annoying, a terrible person etc. I was devastated because I thought that he was finally someone I could be with but he was a huge lie.
The week after we had “broken up,” a new boy started coming around me. He was absolutely gorgeous and I had never had frat type boys interested in me so I was really flattered. He was notorious for being a party boy/player but I planned to go out with him because I wanted to make my “ex” jealous. He immediately asked me to go out with him for dinner and I suggested that we go out for drinks. He agreed and met me at a bar downtown. At this time we were all living in a university apartment in a program that gave us a curfew. If we didn’t make it back to the apartment by a certain time then we had to find somewhere else to sleep for the night. We were at the bar when our curfew came around and he asked me if I wanted to go home and hang out in his bedroom. Because I thought he was so attractive he made me nervous but I did not want to have sex so I said no. He said okay I can get us a hotel then and I said okay as long as you promise all we are going to do at the hotel is sleep and he said that’s all that would happen.
I started to trust him and I felt safe so we started drinking. I am a fairly heavy drinker so normally I can drink a lot and not feel drunk but tonight was different. He bought me drink after drink and I told him repeatedly no I can’t drink anymore and he just kept pushing so I kept drinking because I didn’t want him to think I was being rude. We left the bar in the middle of the night and I blacked out. I woke up a little bit later with him in the back seat of a cab. I woke up then threw up all of the alcohol in the taxi then we were kicked out on the street. I’m not sure what happened the few hours after that but I know that I threw up again in the street and different cabs throughout the night while we were trying to find a hotel.
I woke up a few hours later with him on top of me and inside of me. He had sex with me then took off my clothes and put me in the shower. When I got out of the shower I went and got in the bed with a towel. He came in the room and asked me if I was on my period or if I was a virgin because there was blood everywhere. Again I still wanted him to like me so I lied and said I must have started my period that night. He said okay then got in the bed with me and told me that my towel was too much and to take it off. The entire time he never put on clothes so I agreed.
I was finally sobering up and in order to act like the rape didn’t happen I decided to have sex with him again because then I would feel in control of the situation. We had sex again then we feel asleep. I woke up the next day in a panic because I had no idea where I was or who I was with. We went back to our apartments then went to class like nothing had happened. After that night I was so ashamed that I felt like I needed to have control again and the only way I could do this was by having sex I actually wanted to have. I hooked up with this boy every day for a week after then he never called me again. He ignored my texts, calls, talking in person, everything. Later I found out from a friend that he knew about my recent “break up” and was taking advantage of the situation and that’s why he came on to me in the first place.
After this happened the next few months were hell. We didn’t use a condom on the night that he raped me and I was terrified of getting pregnant. I had a negative pregnancy test and my period but I was paranoid still. Eventually that fear subsided and I wasn’t pregnant but the heart break from losing my relationship with that boy is still here. I am so sad that I don’t have that relationship or the relationship before that one and I have never felt more alone. None of this makes sense because I have so many people who love me ridiculously and would listen but I don’t talk about it. In addition to feelings or loneliness I also am filled with shame and guilt. I feel shame that I let myself drink that much and I blame myself occasionally for the initial rape. I feel guilty because I think it isn’t normal to want to be with your rapist. I think I should hate him but instead I went in the opposite direction. I have never wanted and hated someone so much at the same time. It is incredibly perplexing and I don’t understand my own reaction.
To this day it has been six months since that night and I haven’t told anyone about it. My personality has changed entirely and my relationships with everyone have suffered. I went from being as innocent as possible and wanting to wait for marriage to hooking up every weekend with guys in bars in order to feel good again. I know that what happened wasn’t my fault but that’s the problem with the actions of others, everyone else has to live with the consequences as well and I just wish that I felt normal again.
— Survivor, age 21