I Said No And You Didn't Care
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Health and Wellness

I Said No And You Didn't Care

I am not a statistic.

22
I Said No And You Didn't Care
sites.duke.edu

I've been staring at this screen for about ten minutes now unsure how to begin this. I could throw in a statistic about how many women are sexually assaulted per year or how many per hour. That's when I noticed something. I felt like a statistic; a fact; something you could Google and get a number as an answer. It was then clear to me that my story had value just as everyone else's.

I had the opportunity many years ago to witness a Take Back the Night event. I sat in the grass amongst friends and dozens upon dozens of others. The bravest of us all stood in front of that stage, faced an audience of strangers, and told us their stories. They mustered the words through a face full of tears and conquered a fear that was probably very deep routed inside them. It was amazing and to this day I still remember these women.

Last semester a friend of mine was doing a project on stories about women who have experienced being sexually assaulted. I happily agreed to share mine and send it to her via voice recorder on my iPhone. One day when my roommate was out I sat on my bed, phone in hand, and prepared what I was going to say. Just like beginning to write this article I came up empty. I knew exactly what I wanted to say but I choked and never sent it.

It was until today that I realized it was because I was still afraid of what had happened. I still felt like a number you would research and my voice got lost in a sea of stories. I was so envious of those brave ladies I forgot that my story mattered just as much. Here it is.

It was someone I knew. It was a man I had known for a while. It was someone I thought I could trust. I put so much effort into preparing his visit. I cleaned my entire apartment. I did my hair just perfect. I tried on several outfits until I finally found the right one. I left and greeted you outside the train station. I didn't feel it to be an oddity that you didn't want to kiss me hello. I wasn't taken back that you didn't show me any affection at all until you had something to drink. It didn't bother me you seemed to feel more love for that glass of liquor than for your long distance girlfriend. Nothing jumped out at me as being off-putting or wrong. Not even when you woke up and asked if you had "hooked up" with your girlfriend of five months.

I like to think of myself as a very opinionated female who doesn't take shit from anyone; especially a boyfriend. However, I had never been treated this way and all my experiences with asshole men went out the window. Unfortunately that day my inability to be prepared wasn't the only thing I lost contact with.

He had been drinking, day drinking. I'm not a prude and I've had my fair share of beers before 5 P.M. This was different. He clung to that bottle and I knew he'd never cling to me that way. When he got undressed and spoke to me about going all the way I climbed up into my bed and wasn't really sure what was happening. The total three sixty initiative confused me so much and it was most likely due to pure shock that he finally wanted me.

Once I was sitting next to him I realized then that I had it all wrong. It was me who didn't want it. Any of it. Regardless of the fact that I voiced that loud and clear, he didn't care. And he did something anyway.

I blamed myself for weeks after due to the fact that he wasn't completely sober and I did crawl up next to him. I was acting like a statistic, like a victim. It took me a while afterwards to understand I hadn't done anything wrong except be silent. My friends knew, my family was outraged. However, I had a chance to tell my story and get my closure. Well not anymore. To anyone who has experienced anything to this severity or worse, please do not keep yourself bottled up. I promise you you will feel such a sense of relief when you get it out, to a therapist, at a rally, anything. Get your closure and understand you didn't do anything wrong. You said no, they didn't care.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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