I’ve experienced sexual assault and harassment for as long as I can remember. It mainly started when I was about 3 years old and my brother’s friends molested me. I remember having to see counselors due to becoming violent…they passed it off as ADD.
Flash forward over a decade, I lost my virginity at 18 years old to a guy whom I was dating at the time. We started seeing each other on May 15th of 2014 and he raped me on that following July 7th. We were in his house, I said “no” more times than I can even remember, and I tried to leave. I tried to get up off of his bed, I tried to wrestle him off of me…I tried. I eventually relented. I even had consensual sex a few days later. It took a while to consider it a rape. I was thinking that this is what dating was like. I had no previous frame of reference. I guess even the second time wasn’t really consensual, it felt like what I had to do. T
here were emotional problems with me before such as depression, PTSD, and GAD, but it began to intensify. He even said when he raped me that no one would believe me. When I made noise, he gagged me-both times. My family and friends saw a change that I obviously was ignoring. I withdrew from activities, I was sleeping significantly more, my eating habits changed, my bulimia relapsed…everything just felt so dirty. When my friend, who he was cheating on me with, confronted him about the whole affair, he acted like he didn’t really know me and that he hung out with me once.
Finally, I called the counselors over at RAINN and they helped me realize that it was a rape and ensured that I was in decent frame of mind before hanging up. I get flashbacks whenever I hear the song that was on when he raped me: “Maps” by Maroon 5, my favorite band. Listening to them at all now makes me feel awkwardly dirty in a way, but “Maps” makes me blackout. When I blackout, I tend to self harm. I’ve also developed OCD from constantly feeling dirty. I have since had sex with 6 men and was sexually assaulted prior to moving onto my college campus. I was drunk and forced to give oral sex, no one believed me. I didn’t report either of these events, I feel it’s best to just help myself and make sure I’m okay. Sex means nothing to me. Dating scares me. I don’t feel that I’m worth dating or having meaningful intimacy. I feel unworthy of love and affection. My mind knows that I am worth it and it wasn’t my fault…but, in my heart, it still feels so.
I am still only 18, this is just the tip of the iceberg in my future with men, and it definitely was an awful start. I know my ways of coping are harmful and potentially dangerous, but I still do it. Over and over and over again.