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A quick background on me: I’m an asian-american, grew up in a religious home, and grew up in a community that consisted of mostly caucasians and latinos.

My story happened in 2011, I was 17, a senior in high school, and it was the day UCLA sent out their acceptance/rejection letters.

My friend (also asian-american) sent me a facebook message telling me how bummed he was about getting rejected (I also did too) so he asked if I wanted to go hang out at a shopping center to get our minds off of our rejections. I agreed to it because it just seemed like something friends would do. Soon enough, he drove to my house and picked me up in his red truck, and the first thing he said to me when i got in the car was, “you look really nice,” which was strange because he never said anything like that before. He started driving, but it wasn’t the way to the center, and I asked him where we were going, and he said “you’ll see.” It was a narrow road that led to a dark parking area behind a retirement center. Once he parked the car, he all of sudden he forced his mouth onto mine. I told him to stop, but he said “you know you want this.” He continued to force himself on me, kissing my neck. He tried to take off my top, but I said no, p ulling down my sweater. He starts touching me below the waist, putting his hands down my pants, took out his hands and continued to touch me in that area over my clothes. I told him to stop and he stopped, looked and me, and started undoing his belt and said “let’s just do this already.” From that point on, I raised my voice and he did stop. He was angry though, saying that “all the other girls just gave in.” It horrified me to hear him say that he does this to other girls. He ends up driving me home and dropping me off.

I quickly ran upstairs to my room and as I looked in the mirror and i saw marks on my necks, hickeys, from him. I called one of my friends that night, but I don’t really remember what I said to her. I kept this on the down low, telling my close friends, but they never talked to me about it, or even understood the situation. The next day at school, I avoided going through the back of the school where he usually parks his car, avoided seeing him, and it was really hard for me to be touched.

Sometimes I think I’m overreacting because it’s not like I was raped. My story isn’t that important. Sometimes guilt would come in and I would say to myself that it was my fault for not doing anything in the car, that maybe i came across like someone who wanted to be engaged in that kind of stuff. Sometimes I think it wasn’t a big deal and I avoid thinking about it because it “wasn’t that bad” and it “happens in 1 in 4 girls.” Since I never got the validation from my friends that it was an issue that I should’ve reported, and after telling someone older in college about it, she didn’t validate my situation either, brushing it off since I wasn’t raped. I’m just not sure what to think about this situation, and honestly, the assault seems really hazy now and I don’t really remember too much other than some glimpses of images.

I’m 21 now, struggling with depression (stemming from an abusive relationship in high school, the sexual assault, and poor self-image/self-worth). I….I…don’t know how I should respond to this. Is this really considered a trauma for me?


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