I will start out by saying that I am a totally different person now than I was then at 18. I won’t say that what happened made me who I am today because I know better than that. You aren’t broken nor damaged from what happened, you just work on reconciling with your surroundings.
It was prom night. I don’t drink, I don’t party. It was my first time going to a house party after the dance. I was so happy to be out with friends for the first time like this. I really felt like I was grown up. But, knowing that some of the people there I didn’t recognize..I was still careful. I drank apple cider from a can and didn’t leave it around. At one point, I hand it to my best friend because I needed to use the restroom.
It took me months to remember more of what happened that night, but after coming back from the toilet…I remember flashes of the suspended mountain bikes hanging from the ceiling as I laid on one of those Costco tables. There were different boys there. I remember feeling like my insides were burning and might fall out of me. I remember being bent in positions that hurt but I didn’t have the control to get up. I remember telling them to not step on my dress, which somehow I guessed was on the garage floor. I felt like my whole body was swollen, my brain….my head. I couldn’t think of saving myself, but I knew what was happening. It’s scary to think now how cold I emotionally felt being there.
I know that my date was the one who drove me back home. He didn’t say a word to me and told me to not think about anything. It’s not what you might think, he didn’t do it. He has been one of my closest friends since I was a child. He knew what had happened and knew how it could possibly wreck who I was if I knew. He was and still is as tortured as I am about this. But we never spoke about this again. I didn’t tell anyone, not my parents…. no one.
I went to college, and basically mutilated myself mentally about it. I wanted to know so badly what happened. Who, why, what. But sometimes, knowing that stuff doesn’t help you. You have to help yourself. I didn’t trust anyone. I refused to be too present. It hurt. Looking in someone’s face for too long hurt. Being alone hurt. Being with other people hurt too.
The truth comes out though. My best friend of 10 or so years was the one who handed me over to the stranger boys. She was jealous that the boy she liked, liked me. She was dismayed that I was going to the college I wanted to go to while she had to stay at the local uni even though she worked so hard in high school. It was probably so easy in that moment to put a pill in my cider and let it happen. She raped me, not them.
— Survivor, age 23