This incident wasn’t even a month ago and I am still very confused and trying to heal. I moved to school for college a couple years ago and was visiting my family in my home town for my little brother’s birthday and Thanksgiving. My sister and her roommate wanted to go out to a bar. I was excited because I’m only 20 and I’d never been to a bar before. My sister’s roommate had a fake ID I could use. I was nervous about going and was secretly hoping we would just hang out at my sister’s house, just us girls. On the way to my sister’s, the roommate told me she was going to have some guy friends over. I didn’t think anything of it. I was and still am in a relationship with this terrific guy and we have been together for almost 3 years. When they came over I kept to myself mainly because I’m shy and have social anxiety like that and I really didn’t care to know them. There was talk about wanting to go to the bar and I was really nervous but I wanted to fit in and be thought of as cool. So we went and it was a big rush getting in the bar, and I was excited to just talk with my sister because I hadn’t seen her in awhile. So I was drinking, having fun, really feeling like a badass because here I was underage hanging out with all these people I had never met before. And I just kept drinking. I wanted to have a good time and I was joking with my sister about how this one guy was kind of cute. He wasn’t even really that cute I don’t know why I said that, I assume the booze. I’d go outside to have cigs with my sister’s roommate sometimes, and we’d always go to the bathroom together and I was pretty tipsy, and having a great time honestly. At one point I was outside sitting on the railing smoking a cig and the guy I said was ‘kinda cute’ kept coming around. I thought he had a thing for my sister’s roommate but after I had several drinks he came out and kinda leaned up against me and started to put his hand like on my stomach under my shirt it made me really nervous, but I didn’t push his hand away. I’m confused about that because I was really uncomfortable but I almost liked the attention, because I wasn’t used to it. My sister has always been the one to get all the attention because she’s beautiful. I was still just trying to have a good time talking to people feeling pretty messed up at this point I think. And the gross guys my sister invited with us including this person talked about going to the strip club. I’d never been there before either and I was pretty tipsy so I was all for going, I guess I was trying to have fun and I felt cool or whatever. I’m pretty sure on the way over there that person rode with us and he sat in the back with me. He kept putting his hand on my leg basically touching my crotch and I didn’t push him away, and that really confuses me as well. It didn’t take long to get to the club. When we got there I was nervous and I was the only one that had never been there before. A couple of the guys suggested I go on stage. The dancer just had me lay down on the stage and she was topless which made me nervous and she pulled up my shirt and stuff and exposed my bra and the guys were watching and i just kept doing this weird nervous laughter that I do, and i eventually was like ‘okay before this chick tries to like undress me or some crazy shit I’m gonna get down.’ So I went back to the table where my sister and her roommate was and I was ready to go home to go to sleep. On the way to my sister’s house he rode in the back of the car with me again and did the same thing where he tried to damn near grab my crotch, and i knew i was very nervous but I didn’t try to stop him, I just kept looking out the window shaking my head and my foot was tapping out of anxiousness but I didn’t stop it. Probably to not be told I was a prude or something. I do remember he tried to stick his hand in my pants and I pushed his hand away, I do remember that. When we got out of the car I was hoping they would all leave but of course not. I was sitting on the chair and I texted my sister and said ‘can you please tell them to leave I’m just trying to sleep’ and she said ‘ok I gotchu.’ But obviously she didn’t because she didn’t say anything to anyone. I was sitting on the chair and he sat next to me, like Weasled his way in and kept saying ‘I just want to go lay down with you’ and to each time he said it I said ‘no I can’t I’m involved.’ Each time I gave a response he like aggressively put his hand on my mouth and would just say ‘calm down quit tripping stop freaking out’ and this went on for quite a bit. At one point he got up and went to the bathroom, and I texted my sister twice in a row. I said ‘like seriously he keeps trying to get with me and I can’t like I don’t want to tonight I just want to sleep,’ and she didn’t respond. I positioned myself on the chair so he literally had no room to sit next to me and grabbed a blanket to try and send the message like leave me the fuck alone I’m trying to go to sleep, but he weasled in right next to me again. He kept saying the same thing. I don’t think he had any intention of leaving me alone no matter what. It was just my sister and I in her house with these three guys, because my sister’s roommate went to some guys house. HE JUST KEPT BOTHERING ME AND BOTHERING ME SAYING I JUST WANT TO GO LAY DOWN WITH YOU. I HAD NO HELP I DIDNT KNOW WHAT TO DO I HAD NEVER BEEN IN THAT POSITION BEFORE. So I thought to myself maybe if we go in there, we really will just lay down. He’ll leave me alone if i just go in there and actually fall asleep next to him. I know that sounds so stupid but I was drunk and I had no help I didn’t know what to do. I went in there and he started kissing me and stuff and the first time he tried to pull down my pants I sat up and pulled up the small portion he got them down and I said ‘No I can’t do this’ and he just kept saying the same shit, like ‘calm down stop freaking out chill.’ I was drunk and it’s kind of blurry. I don’t know if I was pushed back down or not and he kept kissing me again and started to kiss my stomach and then he started to go down on me and I kind of just froze and gave in. And it all was happening so fast I didn’t even feel like I was in my own body, I felt like a puppet being controlled without me or like I was floating above my body or something. At one point he said he was going to put it in and it’s like I wasn’t even comprehending i didn’t say anything or ask about a condom because it was never my intention to have sex at all. And I don’t do casual sex like that’s not me, I have told people before I don’t understand how they do it because i’m too self conscious and insecure and sex is intimate to me like it takes a lot to get me in the mood. But once it started i kind of played into it. But it didn’t feel right, I didn’t enjoy it. I had my hand in his hair at one point and thought to myself this is weird it’s not my bf, and when my hand was on his back I was like this is weird it’s not my bf. It still haunts me every day and a majority of the times I have my eyes closed I just picture his face above me just looking at me really weird going back and forth extremely creepily. I’m extremely confused because I played along with it, saying shit that I don’t say. I was just waiting for it to be over but I didn’t just lay there, like I was just doing things to help him. Several counselors told me this is sometimes the subconscious’ way of just making it over, and in dangerous situations like these, your subconscious takes over and does whatever it thinks is appropriate to survive. I just know when it was over I was just staring at the wall and it’s like I didn’t really understand what just happened, I couldn’t process anything. It’s like I was unconscious for a couple hours after it happened but I wasn’t asleep. I just remember my eyes shooting open and having an instant panic attack and I grabbed my clothes and went to the bathroom. I was really confused and I went in my sister’s room and waited for everyone to leave so I could talk to my sister, and she almost made a mockery like she didn’t care. She just thought I cheated on my boyfriend because I wanted to, and even though I was having a nervous breakdown she treated it as a joke. I took a shower and was still having a panic attack and then I called my bf and told him I cheated, bc at the time that’s what I thought, and that was really bad he hated me so much and I was having a constant panic attack and my stepmom came to pick me up and I was literally acting like I lost my mind. I told my bf and my stepmom about how I tried to get away, I said I can’t multiple times and how he kept covering my mouth and stuff, but both of them made it seem like it was my fault for eventually giving in. I would tell my boyfriend these same things and he would say they were cop outs and excuses. Those three or four days after it happened were the absolute worst of my life, I literally felt like I was losing my mind. I was so disgusted with myself I genuinely wanted to kill myself or at least hurt myself really bad. I couldn’t even look at myself In the mirror, I didn’t want to, I wanted to cut off my hands and my boobs and didn’t want a vagina anymore, I felt so disgusting I hated myself more than I ever had in my entire life. I just kept telling my boyfriend and stepmom and myself that I don’t understand how this happened, I wasn’t me. I DIDN’T WANT IT TO HAPPEN AT ALL. IF I WOULD HAVE BEEN LEFT ALONE THE FIRST TIME OUT I SAID NO, NONE OF THIS WOULD HAVE EVER HAPPENED. It wasn’t until Thanksgiving that my mom came to see me because I shut her out, and I really wish I hadn’t. I told her my story and instantly she was so mad she said ‘that is not consent!!’ But I didn’t believe her at the time, bc she’s my mom she would say anything to make me feel better. I went to a hospital where my mom lives and on Thanksgiving I was told by the crisis counselor that I had been raped bc a very similar situation happened to her. And on Thanksgiving I had to go back to my home town and do a rape kit. And I never want to go back to my hometown ever again in fear I’ll see that person. I still blame myself and I’m still very confused about every aspect of my life. I changed my appearance, took off all my jewelry, threw away the pants I was wearing that night, threw away the tongue piercing I had for three years bc I gave him oral, and I have actually puked thinking about how that happened. He took my happiness and my identity. And somehow I still blame myself and I’m still very confused.
— Survivor, age 20