TRIGGER WARNING: This story contains details of a rape.
When I was a freshman in college I was sexually assaulted.
I had just gotten to this small university where I was dorming and was met with a roommate who really disliked me from the jump. Ideally, I wanted to become best friends with my roommate so that line of communication would be there since we were sharing a small room. Me being a very sensitive shy person I didn’t know how to make it better so I just ended up in a little clique that was made beforehand through direct messages on social media. Those first 2 weeks I felt something I had never felt before, I felt like I fit in. The girls in the clique were fun, funny and we all for the most part had the same cultural background so we had things in common. I told myself “Cool these will be the life long friends that I’m going to make in college like everyone else who attended has.” Boy was I wrong.
With college comes drugs and liquor, that’s a given and I was ready! That’s where I went wrong. I was smoking weed every day, there wasn’t a day that I wasn’t. The school’s environment was eh because we freshman knew we had the worst dorms with the tightest supervision, I mean we couldn’t even throw real parties or else we’d get fined. But we made the most out of it by meeting and mingling with the entire co-ed building.
I used to have a type, A tall, dark, handsome basketball player so when the most attractive (in my opinion) basketball player from the team took interest in me, I was ecstatic since I was a naive hopeless romantic at the time. There was just one problem.
Before the basketball player who we will name Aaron expressed his interest, one of the girls in the clique, we’ll call her Joanna, had a crush on Aaron and lowkey had “marked her territory” on him when we were discussing all the freshman guys. Joana had a boyfriend though so she was doing it in a slick way. I couldn’t tell you her exact words but the gist was “if it doesn’t work out with my current boyfriend, this one is mine.” I won’t be able to quote direct quotes because I suppressed a lot of my memories in college but I was conflicted when she had said that. I follow the girl code strictly if a friend of mine has a crush on a guy, I won’t even look his way romantically because I don’t want to step on any toes and I understand how that can cause a rift in the friendship. So even though to me it sounded morally wrong of her to feel that way, it wasn’t my place to scold her, and I still was like okay I’m not going to shoot my shot; which is what I actually planned to do.
I was still excited when he had expressed interest because my self-esteem could have used any boost it would get at the time. I used to be painfully insecure about how I looked so that kind of validation where I’m surrounded by women I deemed prettier than me, in my eyes, was everything. I decided to come clean and tell her that Aaron had shot his shot and I actually was interested because I also had a crush. All Joana did was show me her ring and she said that she didn’t care but I felt like that wasn’t the complete truth because I recall her always talking about him in a desiring way. Either way, I took her word and began talking to Aaron.
Aaron and I had a very short-lived “romance”. The first time he wanted to hang out with me he wanted to smoke weed and then hang out in his room. Don’t get me wrong, I knew very well that it could’ve just been my first hookup at the college, but I wasn’t ready for that and I didn’t want to have sex. I made it extremely clear beforehand I said “Look, I know I’m going to your room after but I don’t want to have sex with you. At least not yet. I don’t know much about you and I’m here for us to vibe out and for us to get to know each other.” Like I said, I cannot give you the exact details due to my foggy memory of the details but I figured he respected me enough to take my word as bond. I told him that sometimes when I smoke very strong weed I tweak which means I start acting weird. Not weird like annoying but weird like disconnected and on autopilot. So I told him if I don’t feel well I’m going to go straight to my dorm afterward.
Well as foreshadow goes you already know that the weed did not affect me well and I started to disconnect. I knew I did not feel well but as if I was in a trance I walked straight to his room behind him. I remember looking up the stairs knowing I should just keep going up to my room and yet I followed because I was under the influence of a drug. When I got to his room I laid down on his bed because I was high and to Aaron, my body language was my consent.
I remember having a conversation where coercion was happening and after that, I remember kissing which I was cool with but I didn’t want things to get too intense with it so I would stop and he would be like “come on.” but to make a trauma story shorter than need be; before I knew it he was on top of me having sex with me. I remember at the start of the intercourse just laying there looking off into the distance which is something I never do while having sex. My thing was, I had told him to chill when he had pulled a condom out and I had told him to chill when he was taking off my pants, at least i think I said it out loud? I hope I did. Regardless All I know for sure is I said beforehand i did not want to have sex and I remember reinstating that notion in his dormitory vividly.
Afterward, i remember walking like a drunk person because I was still so high in total shock of what had just happened. I remember entering my dormitory just to be walking in on my roommate on FaceTime with a girl back home discussing me in a very hateful way. Basically roasting me. Reminder I was extremely high still and had just been raped. I remember wanting so bad to speak up and defend myself but I knew that my voice would break as I tried and my tears would pour. So I just laid there and heard every word, wishing it was a hallucination but knowing it wasn’t. She didn’t stop making fun of me, if anything it only got more intense once they saw I wasn’t fighting back.
After about maybe 5 minutes of hearing her nasty remarks I ended up going to see my friend group and at first, I wanted to hide it. Not tell a soul, I had just got to this college and I didn’t want to already be “that girl.” It was a label I never wanted to be.
“That girl” as in the girl who says she was raped by an athlete. A part of me had a feeling nobody would believe me because it wasn’t a traditional aggressive rape. So that was my reasoning on that thought process but the minute I stepped into the room, the girls knew something was wrong. it was visible. I was crying and they asked me what was wrong. I told them about what happened with my roommate and they comforted me but also noticed that I was crying too hard for that to be the only case. I guess I had told them I was going to hang out with Aaron and forgot I told them because they asked me how it went with him and that’s when it all came pouring out. I couldn’t hold it in because it hurt emotionally too much. I had known that even if it wasn’t “rape” in other people’s eyes that I had gotten taken advantage of for sure. So when they asked me, that’s what I told them. That I got taken advantage of. I never used the word rape to them, the girls had told me I had been raped.
So the next day when Aaron texted me I literally texted back “Was I the only person there yesterday?” As in do you not know what you did? This is when Aaron started to gaslight me into believing that I wanted it because I was wet and because I was laying down in his bed and that I was bugging out. He did it in a way that I actually believed that I had imagined that whole scene, that I had imagined my own feelings. That I was high so I was just bugging out. At that time, I had no trust in myself already that stemmed from childhood trauma, and like I said my self-esteem was low. Essentially I hated myself so I trusted his word over my own experience because I knew that weed always made me trip. Not like a psychedelic though! Anyways this is where the lines continued to blur by my doing. I continued to have sex with him, this time consensual. Obviously in secret, as I knew that I would seem like a liar. I told my friend group that I didn’t want to tell anyone about the assault and wanted to keep that information a secret. Pretty much I told them I wanted to protect him because he played basketball and I did not want to ruin his College Basketball career because I felt at fault but as we know secrets in a friend group of 5-6 people are unrealistic.
This is all happening in a 2-week time frame by the way. The girls find out I’m still having sex with Aaron and they call me in for an “intervention.” At the time I thought we were going to drink and hang out as friends but they surprised me with this “intervention” which was more like an attack and it was probably one of the cruelest things I have ever in my life been through. Till this day I can’t speak about it without tearing up and this happened almost 3 years ago.
They had told me to pull up to the dorm of one of the girls where we would all hang out which was the biggest out of all of our dorms. When I walked in I was confronted with 3 basketball players, one of those players being Aaron. Now as you can imagine, after I told them about what happened with Aaron they all had said they don’t fuck with him anymore so him being there, immediately, I knew this was a setup. I felt like Denzel Washington in training day, the king kong scene.
Although I felt like Denzel because of feeling betrayed by who I thought were my people I didn’t act like Denzel/ Alonzo at that moment. Once they started confronting me I remember trying to defend myself but not being able to because I was in shock and the tears had already begun forming. I couldn’t believe my eyes. They had set me up and they were attacking me instead of asking me without the presence of those basketball players. They made it as if I was in court and they were the judges. Made it kinda like a tv court. One girl, we’ll name her Maddie was going so hard on me telling me she wanted to fight me. Joana in particular had a lot to say, I speculate because she was jealous that his first option was me and not her and she still fantasized about being with Aaron while having a boyfriend.
Do not get me wrong I understand till this day why it got confused since I continued to have sex with the boy but looking back it was a form of stockholm syndrome. I wasn’t able to defend myself correctly because I was caught extremely off guard.
Unfortunately, due to me suppressing my memories of these times I can’t tell you specifically what was said I just remember nobody coming to my defense. The closest thing to it was one of the girls telling me that she didn’t think I would lie about something like that but if I did I was sick in the head.
Well i’ll tell you one thing after those experiences that I just shared with you, I did become sick in the head, out of the trauma it left me. I’ve always dealt with anxiety and depression to a certain degree but I found my symptoms getting worse due to isolation afterwords. I might be giving that situation too much credit though because even though that was traumatic and a sad period of my life what had happened after that situation is what put the nail in the coffin on my PTSD diagnosis. That story I am not ready to share. That story will come when I am.
I’m sharing this for all the men and women, girls and boys who may fall upon my website or this blog post; just to tell you that in this world that we live in almost every woman can tell you she’s been in a situation which could be similar to or literally sexual assault. A fair share of men can say the same. To me, that is extremely scary. So when people joke about hating women or rape or when people literally treat the women in this world like literal shit I hope its understood that just like it happens to girls you don’t give a fuck about, it can happen to girls you would die for. And it might already have.
Rape isn’t inclusive to only women but I just say that because of the fact that too many women can tell their own experiences. It’s not right, It’s not okay. This world is scary and until we reset this mind state of seeing women as disposable, or even, people as disposable sex toys, the cycle of dehumanization will never end. The thing that confused me to no avail from that experience was the fact that it was girls who set up that encounter. It was girls who I had considered my friends who treated me nasty and couldn’t speak to me in private. It was girls who couldn’t understand that I had been gaslighted/ manipulated and in turn so were they because they were just tools used to keep Aaron’s reputation in tact.
Regardless of all of that, I forgive every person involved in this situation, I have never received an apology except from one of the girls in the group who felt bad for not defending me but I still forgive them all. I forgive them because I already forgave myself and the last step to complete my healing is to forgive and move on. It took me 3 years to speak out about it and to be honest I never planned to share this truth of mine. Mainly because I’m not a person who likes drama, maybe seeing it but not being involved in it. I still don’t, which is why I guess you can say I’m still protecting these people by not revealing names or information. I’m not that type of person either way.
What I learned through that situation was many lessons that in hindsight are things I already knew but I needed to bleed for the lessons to really stick
1. College Freshman boys want one thing (Sex! Duh.) *Face palm*
2. Cliques can be the most impersonal fake friendships. It’s not always like that and it depends on what bonded you together. if the reasons are shallow, don’t expect it to last.
3. No matter what listen to that inner voice. Always listen to yourself and your emotions. Never let yourself get gaslighted/manipulated into believing something didn’t happen when you experienced it/ when you saw it happen.
By writing this I’m letting this trauma go. By sharing this I’m putting it behind me, no longer attached to it.
(I found this article that i really relate to and brings a little more clairty into what was my situation im going to quote the paragraph and attatch the link to the article.)
Every single person experiences rape differently. Some of us hate our rapists, and some of us can’t. Sometimes people sleep with their rapists. Sometimes we date them. Sometimes we even marry them.
We seek healing in myriad ways. We don’t always find it, but we always, always deserve it.
We deserve it even when we try to heal by hurting ourselves, no matter what kind of hurt it is. Self-harm can be in the form of cuts on your thighs or orgasms on your rapist’s futon.
You can’t consent in hindsight, and no amount of sex — consensual, amazing, mind-blowing sex — you have with your rapist will erase your sexual assault.
You could carve the letters Y-E-S into their back a billion times, but it won’t make you forget that you once didn’t get a chance to say yes.
Writer Nayyirah Waheed once wrote, “Apologize to your body. Maybe that’s where healing begins.” I try to apologize to myself for willingly entering such a confusing and harmful situation. Maybe one day I’ll stop apologizing and begin healing again.”