Haunting memories hurting new relationship
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|Wed, 02-22-2012 - 6:41pm|
Hello. I'm 28 and perhaps just now really dealing with being date raped at 16. Just saying that is a big step for me. It was supposed to be the dream teenage experience: a summer backpacking through Europe (it was an unofficial school trip). The 3rd to the last day we were all drinking at the bar in our hostel. I was drunk, and a boy who was at the time my friend said he'd take me back to my room. Instead he took me back to his. I knew something was wrong, but was too intoxicated to argue the point. I told him I didn't feel comfortable, that I didn't want to. His last words were, "Shhhh...". My friends thought something was fishy and came by to check up on me. They knocked on the door but the damage had been done. He told me to put on my clothes and I was half-way dressed when they got in. The room was chaotic and I don't remember much beyond that. I do remember the next morning my friend asking, "Did you guys have sex? Because if you did that could be rape...". It was when I heard that word that I shut down.
For the next few years I went into extreme denial. I befriended a girl at my school who was very religious and joined her church. I thought of what happened as shameful, that I was to blame for putting myself in that situation. I pretended it didn't happen and became a big proponent of abstinence. Underneath the preaching I was depressed, smoking too much, drinking too much. When I transferred into university I did a complete 180. I started hooking up with a lot of guys. I used sex and my sexuality as retaliation. I honestly believed all guys were ultimately out to use girls for sex and made it a point to make them feel used first. Other times I would hook-up with someone just to feel in control, thinking that if I did it enough times under my terms it would somehow make what happened go away. I now feel bad for the decent guys I hurt along the way. I was a mess and developed an eating disorder and a drinking problem. When I was 21 I finally went in to counseling but only for those two problems. I never talked about the rape. I wasn't consciously aware that it was an issue. Either way, I cleaned up my act. I'm proud of the responsible person I've become. Friends who know me now describe me as "the sensible one".