I was 19 years old and at a party in my home town. The thing about these parties was that I was always younger then everyone else when I went to them, and I was always proud of the fact that these "older guys" wanted to hang out with me and my friends. He was 25 at the time, and I had known him from other parties in the past. I paid no attention to him that night, which didn’t save me in the end regardless. I was a young girl who began the night drinking vodka and I realized I started to feel good and let lose more. I probably even became "sloppy drunk" as they like to call it. However that is what you did at parties that we went too. That is what the guys did, that is what the girls at the parties did, and we all had a "great time" doing it. I know now I am not the only one to ever black out at a party and not remember much of what happened. I know now that men use this as a way to make woman believe that they wanted it allalong, and that they were too drunk to even care. In my head, if they are too drunk to respond yes or no to you, the answer is ALWAYS NO. However, as I am seeing over the years with so many other woman coming out with their stories, that is not the case. So the shots are flowing, the music is going, my friends and I are dancing. I have little small memories of the night, tiny flashbacks even 10 years later that I can still see. Funny how you are "so drunk" but your mind makes sure you remember certain things about the night you are attacked. He approached me, I probably flirted because why not? I was single and enjoying myself. However, I remember being really drunk a lot faster than it normally happens. I remember feeling like I was floating outside of my body, and remembering I had left my drink unattended way too many times that night. I never believed it would happen or that I was ever at risk of being a victim. However the next morning I woke up in his truck that was parked in the backyard, naked and alone. I had no idea what happened to me. How my clothes came off, or how I ended up in this truck. He was also nowhere to be found which means he left me out there and went inside to sleep. Such a gentlemen, right? I felt ashamed, upset, wanting to just scream and I started immediately blaming myself. "How could I lose control like that, how could I do that to myself". That is always the first place your mind goes is to blame yourself. I was a party girl, I needed to start making better decisions. Right? Wrong! He was a 25 year old adult, who knew exactly what he was doing when he took me into that truck. He may or may not have drugged me, as I will never have proof or be able to say if it happened or didn't happen- but I know I have drank plenty of times in my life and still was able to remember how I ended up in certain places. In this case, I couldn't remember how I got into that truck or how my clothes came off. When he came back to the truck, he said good morning and thanked me for "such a fun night". Now at this point in my life I just want my clothes and I want to go home. I couldn't find my shoes and I still remember going back to my mothers house, with no shoes and muddy feet. I remember it clear as day. The worst part was when I got home I also got wind of all the rumors that were going around. "What a slut she is" "how drunk can someone get she shouldn't be allowed to drink anymore"- All blaming ME. He was just a guy having fun, and I was the drunk slut that should of ended it. So many of these rumors were from woman themselves which made me sad. But I can't say I never did that, that I never targeted another woman or shamed another woman for her actions. I try to be better about this now in my daily life, to support and uplift woman instead of tearing them down.
About 4 years later I saw him at the grocery store with his wife. I ended up in line behind him and I remember the sinking feeling my heart felt when I saw him. However, I stared at him, confidently, and brave- I let him know that I knew exactly who he was and he remembered me as well. He looked away very fast, and never looked back. That was the day I never looked back either. Now as a 29 year old, I can say to myself if this happened to me now I would report it. I would stand up for myself and fight back. I hope I never have to find out. However back then, 19 year old me was scared and felt shame. I blamed myself so much that I never truly dealt with the fact that I was in fact RAPED. After therapy, and taking the time to deal with so many of the things I went through when I was younger- I can proudly say now that although there are times I still think of it, I am proud of where I am today. I have done the work and I have truly healed. I know he is a dark soul and will always be a dark person with dark thoughts. I know in the end he will end up a lot more miserable than me, and I am okay with that being my revenge. I just wanted to share this because I hope anyone going through this remembers they are not alone. If you have the courage to speak out- you are amazing. And if you are afraid, you are still amazing. Being attacked isn't something that is so black and white that everyone can just say "why wouldn't she speak out". It may take years, and that is OKAY. It is your story, and it is your choice. Just know you are not alone.
Thank you for letting me share this.