I was 18 when I was raped. I went on holiday with my friends to a Greek island. It was my first holiday without my parents and it was supposed to be a celebration of finishing our exams.
To get to the beach we had to walk through a beach sidebar. A nice local man who worked in the bar started talking with us and we had a few drinks with him. He seemed nice and said he was lonely. He pointed to the bar at a much older man and said he worked there with his brother and that was his only company.
The next day we were out chatting in different local bars. We had maybe two drinks each. My friends started arguing and I was sat quietly alone. The local man came up and asked if I wanted to go swimming in the sea. I said yes, and he said he would meet me at his bar. I met him there and he said to come upstairs for a moment. I thought he was just getting a towel or something. Upstairs was a room with rails of clothes, a bare mattress, and his brother.
They both kept saying in broken English ‘No problem, no problem’. I understood what kind of situation this was now, so I said in a bad Greek accent ‘Problem, problem’ because I didn’t know any Greek, but they both just acted calm and ignored me. They raped me, sodomized me, and then urinated down my throat. Halfway through the rape I remember going limp. It felt like my brain had given up. I wasn’t scared or angry – just empty.
When they were done they gave me back my clothes and walked me downstairs. A large group of older men had clustered around the bottom of the stairs even though it was closed. I had a feeling that some of them had been watching. They gave me a bottle of water and sent me away. My friends found me crying trying to walk back to our hotel, and they told me to stop crying in case any one saw. They were still arguing. I think they know what happened to me, but they never asked or talked about it.
I suffered from severe PTSD for three years. I twitched involuntarily, had extreme fatigue, flashbacks, night terrors, and found it hard to process any new information. But even so, 5 years on and I have a Masters degree in Physics and I am a trained teacher. The hardest thing about being raped is how isolated it makes you feel, because no one wants to talk about it and no one wants to help. It makes you stronger, because you have to do it on your own.