In light of the Kavanaugh case, it is hard to constantly have sexual assault on the news. To constantly be reminded of what happened to you. To see all of these people not believe Dr. Ford. It is hard. And it brings back shit you didn't think it would. It makes you go back to when it happened, the depression, the not wanting to do anything. It brings back the questioning you did when it first happened.
"Could I have done something more?". It concerns me personally that so many people are unsupportive of sexual assault survivors. But, then you see those that are supportive, those that do believe. It's helpful to know that but to still see so many people who aren't, it hurts and brings back a little bit of that trauma. I've always thought talking about it helps. Writing helps. It lets it all out. It reminds me that I AM NOT ALONE, and neither are you.
Heres my story.
The first people I told about my rape made me feel invalid. "He was crying after I told him", "It was a mistake", "He was really drunk", were the first things I heard after I told someone "I didn't want it". I was also told "sorry that it happened, it shouldn't have". I spent the next few days talking to these two people confused, hurt, and feeling violated.
I was afraid to tell anyone else. How would they react? What even happened? I didn't say no, so is it my fault? I told those two friends how violated I felt. I stayed home all week, sleeping for most of it. They knew that. But they did nothing.
I remember asking for my phone back and him jumping at me and kissing me. I remember him telling me he could treat me so well and how beautiful I am. I remember telling him "I have Billy, I have Billy". He told me he could treat me better than Billy. After that, I froze. I couldn't move.
I also realized that if I did move, it would be no use. I am tiny. That is a fact. I am 5'2" and 130 lbs. The "friend" who was on top of me was 6' 3" and probably over twice my weight. I couldn't win. At my first chance that I could get up, I did. I went up to my other friends. They knew something was up, I later found out that they heard the whole thing and didn't come down to save me. That was when I should have known.
I had one "friend" stay with me for the rest of the night, pulling an all-nighter with me because I was freaking out too much to go to sleep. I didn't want to be alone. We drove around for an hour and ended up at my apartment and I held his hand the whole night because it was hard.
I knew what happened but I didn't want to know. For over a week after it happened, I still said, I had sex with someone I didn't want to. I couldn't muster up the word "rape". It wasn't someone in a dark alley holding a knife to my throat, it wasn't at a frat party where someone drugged me. It was with my best friend at the time. It was someone I trusted. Someone I considered like an older brother, who just knew a little too much about my life. I told him everything, he did the same with me.
After it happened, he knew he was wrong. He avoided me at work, and I did the same. We didn't text how we used to. We didn't text at all really. I felt hurt and lost. I didn't know who I could tell. The "Friends" that were there that night kept saying "it was a mistake", "you both were drunk". But they weren't down in the basement with us. They didn't know what I said. They didn't know what HE said.
The next week I asked the person I was closest with, the one who stayed with me that whole night, "Was it rape?". His response was that he couldn't deal with this right now but no it wasn't, I had to hear the other side of the story. I was confused by that. Did that mean my side didn't matter? Did that mean that it only matters if we both believed it was rape? It didn't make sense.
He got fired. Everything changed. I got mean texts. I got blocked and deleted from all social media and phone. But they were my friends? They knew what happened. They comforted me. They helped me. I was so confused. I was angry too. I felt extremely alone. I was told by my "friends" I was ruining his life. Those "friends" cut me out of their lives. The people who I considered my best friends all said screw you.
They took his side, that was evident. They only spoke with me those following days to see what I was going to do. They wanted to protect him and had no interest in protecting me. They asked my feelings, what I was going to do...etc. I told them everything. They were my friends, right? They were just looking out for me.
Once I pressed charges, once I filed the PFA, they were right there on his side. Telling the police that everyone was super drunk, he was probably drunker than me. "Nothing happened". So the DA wasn't able to press charges because we were both "too drunk", according to my "friends" standards. But, when I get very drunk I throw up. I throw up for hours and don't stop and always end up falling asleep, mostly in the bathroom. I didn't throw up that night. The "friends" I was with just wanted to protect my rapist.
Also, this was the first time they've seen me anything but sober; considering I was the only one in the group who was under 21. Every time I get drunk, I start stumbling. I am a huge klutz. That night I was pointing at something and ended up spilling my bottle of rum. But that doesn't mean I was too drunk. The next day I kept saying I still feel drunk. But I now know it wasn't me being drunk. It was me being traumatized.
I was standing outside the courtroom. Petrified after I saw him there. I then saw my ex-friends walking down the hall. I later found out they were his witnesses. They were there to say nothing happened. I broke when I saw the boy I was very close with sitting there. At first, he wasn't there. I had hope. Maybe he did believe me after all!! But when I saw him there, I cried. I cried and I couldn't stop. He didn't believe me.
None of them did.
They all took the side of a rapist. But they knew my side. What could he have possibly said to them to make them believe all of this was a lie? Did they think I wanted to get back at him? Did they think I just regretted it? What did they think? How could they have not thought that this was rape?
I am sad that they left me and took his side. It sucks when you lose a whole group of friends. It really does. But, they weren't really my friends. I realize that now. They couldn't possibly be my friends if this is how they treated me. I realize that now. I still wish none of this happened, but I'd still be friends with them all. I'm glad I'm not. The overwhelming support I've gotten from not only friends and family, but strangers, people I haven't talked to in ages, is incredible.
I just want fellow survivors to know that you are not alone. Yes, your closest friends might screw you over literally and figuratively; but they weren't really your friends. I still miss all the fun times we had. I miss them as people. It hurts to know that they don't support me. But, screw them. Obviously, they are not and were not worthy of my time, and neither are the friends of yours who take his or her side.
To all survivors out there; it fucking sucks. We have to be the strong ones and keep fighting. We got this.