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My 18th Birthday

I had been dating him for 6 or so months. We were in band together, and started dating on a band trip. Everything was innocent. I was very insecure about my feelings with boys because I was more comfortable in relationships with girls rather then boys. So even kissing and holding hands were big deals for me. I had never been touched intimately. The boy, who I will refer to as J, was a drinker. Even at only 17 years old, he was a hard drinker. He had been a bit controlling since the beginning of the relationship, always knowing where I was and who I was with. I should also mention he was very charismatic. He even had my entire family thinking he was as harmless as a fly. On the night of my 18th birthday, the day after valentines day, we were supposed to go out camping with a bunch of friends for the weekend.

J didn’t have a car, let alone a license, so I drove to his house to pick him up. Before I had gotten to his house I decided to be a typical 18 year old, and bought my first pack of cigarettes and a lighter. I was planning on sharing them with my best friend who had been smoking for the last 2 months. When I got to J’s house, he invited me in, and had a beer open and ready for me. So I figured, it’s my birthday, my friends could hang out without me for a few more hours while I drank a beer and watched a movie. That was the worst choice I could have ever made.

After a few minutes of taking my first swig of the beer, I felt my head start swimming. I noticed my vision getting blurry, then got really drowsy and fell asleep. I don’t think I was out for very long, but as far as the rest of the night went I did not have a clear recollection of time at all.

When I came too, the first thing I noticed was the loud music all around me. I was naked, and my arms were tied together, wrapped around a box with my back to it, in a some what sitting position. I was in the garage. J was sitting across from me. Staring at me. Staring at my body. It was sickening. When he noticed I was waking up he stood up, grabbed something from a table, walked over to me, and punched me right in the stomach. I started coughing, then started yelling at him to let me go. I’ll be honest, I was pissed off. It never occurred to me what he was actually up to. Not until he revealed what was in his other hand. It was a cigarette and the lighter. I told him to f*ck off, that I was 18 and if I wanted to smoke it was my right. He laughed. He just laughed at me.

Then lit up the cigarette, kicked my leg hard enough to get me to start tearing up, and then he started to put the cigarette out on my nipple. He used 5 cigarettes to cover the outside of each one. It was excruciating. I screamed so loud I can;t believe no one heard me. But then again the area he lived in was known to be a shady part of town. I was shaking, crying, and bleeding. But it wasn’t the worst torture to come. He unzipped his pants, stared at me, and said, “This is my present to myself. Your an object. MY object. Nothing more you piece of shit slut.” Then he raped me.

Before he could finish I heard the door to the house slam shut, and his mother call out his name. When I heard her voice I started screaming like mad. She rushed into the garage and almost collapsed to her knees when she saw me. J pulled his pants up and without even looking at me walked out and said, “clean up this mess” and left. His mother untied me and held me as I cried. When I begged her to take me to the hospital she pulled away from me and slapped me across the face. “If I take you, you will tell them you did this to yourself. I am friends with every cop in this town, my ex-husband works in the newspaper. No one would ever believe you, and no one would ever find you.” I was terrified, but still bleeding and in a great deal of pain, the likes of which I wish upon no living thing, so I told her I s wore on my parents lives I would not tell anyone.

She drove me to the hospital and as I opened up the door to get out she pushed me out, and drove off. I didn’t tell the hospital about the rape. I found out a few weeks later that apparently J had “finished” the task. I was pregnant. I made my decision, and chose an abortion. I did not want him to have anyone else to abuse. I went alone, and drove myself home after the procedure. I have never regretted that decision in my life, and never will. I told my parents I was depressed with my body, and they graciously paid for plastic surgery to help me feel whole again. The surgeon changed my life, he made it really look like I’m normal. Like I’m not a walking freak. Or a walking reminder.

Now, almost 10 years later, after watching Brave Miss World, I feel the need to tell my story. I said no. Over and over and over again. I wasn’t ready. It SHOULD have been MY choice. After 6 years of not touching another person, I found my soul mate. My current fiance. He was my first choice, and he was the perfect choice because he respects me. He has never pushed my boundaries, and knows about my past but accepts me for who I am. I am not a victim, I am a survivor. And life can go on. Living life for me is my choice. Don’t let anyone control you. And please, if you are a survivor speak out, press charges, and fight for change. Fight for a world rape is unacceptable in any way. Fight for our young sisters and brothers. Protect them from a world where survivors are afraid to ask for help. Because if I can keep on fighting, then so can you.

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