On October 29 2016 I was raped after a Halloween party. I had gone back a dorm with my friend and the guy she had been seeing, I was very intoxicated at the time. I stupidly had a threesome with my friend and the guy. After a little while my friend had gone into the main area for some reason, I can’t remember why, I walked in on them making out in the room, I told my friend that Mark*, the guy she was talking to, wanted her to come back to his room, she went back into the room and when I tried to leave his suitemate, I think his name was Brett*, grabbed me and started to kiss me. I remember trying to leave to but sense I had just had sex with Mark and was intoxicated, I had not put clothes back on when I went to find her. He took advantage of the fact I was extremely intoxicated and vulnerable and made me have sex with him on the couch in the main area. For awhile I denied that it was rape. I told myself that even though I didn’t want to that I was drunk so he probably didn’t know I didn’t want to have sex with him. I pushed it down into a deep place and tried to never think about it. I told myself it was just a misunderstanding, it wasn’t his fault, and I couldn’t talk about it for a while but it was his fault. He took advantage of a young, intoxicated, vulnerable girl who didn’t have the strength to fight back or the mental capacity in that moment to realize what was happening. My grades suffered because I knew it was wrong, I knew it was horrible, I knew I should tell someone but I couldn’t. I was numb. I carried on as usual making sex jokes with my friends and talking about my past experiences. Every time I had to laugh about sex, talk about sex, think about sex took away a piece of me but I couldn’t let anyone see what I was going through. I had to keep it inside because the though of talking about was just too much. Every time one of my friends jokingly called me a whore or a slut or made a joke about my sex life, I smiled, I laughed but inside all I could about was October 29th. I wanted to tell someone, I knew I should talk about it but I was always too afraid. I was scared I would be called a liar, that I was asking for it because I was drunk, that it was my bad decisions that caused him to rape me. I was scared that people would say I wanted it because I was drunk, I was afraid about what people would think about me, that they would blame me and say it was all my fault. And that’s how I felt, that it was all my fault. I would stare at my wall for hours at night thinking over and again about how it was all my fault. I went weeks on only 2 hours of sleep a night. I tried to study, tried to get involved in my senior year but every time I felt happy I would think I didn’t deserve to be happy, every time I tired to be alone and study all I would think about was October 29th, all the what ifs that could have happened and how I thought I was smarter than that but I wasn’t. I wasn’t smart enough to not get raped, I wasn’t smart enough to tell someone after it happened, I wasn’t smart enough to know how to deal with it and not only blame myself. It took me almost a year to finally be able to tell someone and even then I couldn’t share any details. I don’t know how to tell my mom, I don’t know how to deal with it and mentally accept that is happened. I am afraid to have sex again, I feel like I am ready but what if I freak out during it and scare them, I don’t know how to tell them it feels like I am reliving the whole thing over and over again. I cant have a drunken one night stand, I know that is not what I need and the trigger it could be. I need help but I am afraid I am not ready to speak about it yet. I don’t know how to say it out loud. Halloween use to be my favorite holiday, I never cried about until the beginning of this October and it hurt, feeling those emotions and having the deal with them alone hurt.
*names have been changed
— Survivor, age 18