A Survivor Story
***TRIGGER WARNING: ASSAULT***
I am a survivor. It's a title I never thought I would have; a title no one ever thinks they will have. I have been sexually assaulted three times. All three times were by different guys and I knew them all.
The first one was by my boyfriend at the time. We were at his place celebrating his birthday with his friends. He was getting extremely drunk, drunker than I had ever seen him before. I was sober. He was so drunk he dared his friends to duct tape his arms together to see if he could get out. He started to get really riled up and very unlike himself.
When I look back, the best way I can describe the way he was acting was like a rabid animal people were egging on. I took him up to his room to try to calm him down and sober him up a bit. I did this because I feared for his life and what would happen next when I saw things continue to escalate.
We went up to his room and sat on the floor next to his bed. He lay his head on my shoulder and said he was sorry. He felt bad for the way he was acting downstairs. It was like something possessed him. I had never seen anything like it in my life. I saw it start to return while we were up there and continued to try to soothe him. I kept telling him that everything was going to be all right, that he was in control of his body, that his friends didn’t decide who he was or how he acted. I felt the tension leave his body.
We sat there for a while longer. I’m not sure what had happened between that and when the assault started. Next thing I remember was him pushing me on my back and him kissing me aggressively. I told him this isn’t the time to make-out, when he is clearly not in control of his body. I felt him unbutton my pants. I told him no. He told me yes. He pinned me down and kissed me harder. I kicked him in the chest and rolled him off me. I ran downstairs not knowing where I am running to. I passed all his friends, get outside, and froze on the side of the road and started to break down. I couldn't reenter the house. I didn’t know how I was going to get back in to get my keys.
Two of his friends came out, not knowing what just happened upstairs. I sank down to the ground and had my first real panic attack. One friend (we’ll call him Jack) went inside to see my boyfriend and to get my stuff while Kim stayed with me to listen what had happened. I told her and Jack. I finally calmed down enough and said, “I just have to get out of here.”
Jack told me that my boyfriend had no idea what happened and why I left. I got in my car and started to drive. I stopped halfway to my dorm and called my best friend to see if I could come over to talk. After he said yes, I started to drive, not knowing I was heading to the second assault I would face that night.
I got to my friend Todd’s house and told him everything that just happened, completely aware that his friend Jim stayed outside listening to me speak even after Todd asked him to leave. Todd was in shock almost as much as I was. He comforted me, told me he supports me, and that we will figure it all out in the morning, but first I need to rest. I decided to sleep on this big, comfy bean bag chair. His friend, Jim, and I talked for awhile and I fell asleep while talking to him.
Next thing I know, Jim was pulling me off the bean bag chair. He tried to kiss me. I tried to fight back, but I have no more fight in me. I felt trapped.
I couldn't move, couldn’t speak, couldn’t scream. I begged my body to just let me do anything. I fought to try to open my eyes. My eyes refused. He pulled off my shirt, pulled me on top of him, and starts to thrust. I don’t know how long it lasted. I don’t know when it stopped. The whole time I was trapped inside my body. I begged it to move, to twitch, to do anything. It won’t. I woke up to his voice. He was speaking to Todd’s roommate.
“Dude I didn’t get a lot of sleep last night. Can I sleep in your room?”
I didn’t get a lot of sleep, either.
Fast forward a few months, I confronted him. I had Todd give him a letter I wrote explaining what he had done, and begging him not to do it to anyone else—to never change a life like he changed mine. He messaged me on Facebook. He said he did remember, but hoped it was a horrible dream. I wish it had only been a dream.
Two assaults happened to me on September 27th. The following June, I would be assaulted again by the one person I had thought could never do it, a person who worked in the same nonprofit organization I did; a nonprofit organization that fights against power-based violence. A person that saw the effect the first assault of my life had on me.
We were at Pride tending a table for the nonprofit organization we both volunteered for. That night we all went out to celebrate being at Pride and all the hard work we had done that day. Jack and I were hanging out at the club. We talked, danced, and he comforted me with some problems I was having with my boyfriend at the time. I walked back to the hotel with him after he got sick at the club, our friends close behind. When we got to the hotel I made a bed for him in front of the bathroom just in case he started to get sick again. His friends that he was rooming with were already passed out and didn’t seem like anything could wake them up. I decided to make my own bed near him in fear that he would need help and wouldn’t be able to get it. We fell asleep.
I’m not sure how long it was until it all started. I felt something press up against me and pull me tight. Jack pulled me around to face him and tried to kiss me while having a very firm grip on the small of my back. So firm it hurt. I tried to tell him to stop, tried to push away, tried to do anything, but I was frozen, unable to move or speak . . . once more. He kept begging me to kiss him back. I begged my body to do anything. Wiggle a toe, shout, bite him. At one point I even tried to kiss him back just to see if that would unlock me from my prison. Nothing worked.
The assault continued and escalated throughout the night. I woke up the next morning with my clothes spread around the room and Jack asleep next to me. All I could do was pull my clothes back on before I blacked out. When I saw the rest of my friends, they made a joke about if Jack and I had hooked up or done anything the night before. I said I didn’t, but Jack did.
I have been sexually assaulted three times in my life, all by people I knew, all by people I had cared about. I will live with this title for the rest of my life while my assailants get to move on, get to start anew.