This is a pretty fucking personal post, even for me. I will pretty much tell anyone, anything about my life because I consider sharing information one of the best ways to connect with people.
However, this story is not one that I’ve shared with anyone except my husband. Up until today, I didn’t even consider talking about it because I really didn’t think it was that big of a deal. I wasn’t raped, I don’t carry huge emotional scars from what happened. It’s still happened thought.
However, today I started seeing my Facebook wall and Instagram stories fill up with the post “Me too” and I realized how fucking important it is to share.
In case you don’t know, Alyssa Milano tweeted this out last night to spread awareness of how prevalent sexual assault and harassment is.
If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet. pic.twitter.com/k2oeCiUf9n
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) October 15, 2017
I want to tell my story because up until recently, I didn’t even really consider what happened to me to be sexual assault. I chalked it up to me being a stupid drunk girl who didn’t know any better. In fact, I still feel weird talking about it because I’m still not sure I would consider it assault and god, so many women have experienced so much worse. I feel weird sharing it because I don’t want sympathy, I don’t want to make this dialogue about me. I don’t want it to look like I’m seeking attention. I’m fortunate that I don’t live with the repercussions of what happened every day (mostly because I barely remember what happened).
However, that’s exactly why I’m sharing it. If someone like me, whose life is pretty much an open book, feels this way, imagine all of the survivors out there who have experienced something similar, or worse and don’t feel like they can talk about it. I was “lucky” enough to walk away from it relatively unscathed but most survivors are permanently scarred.
Before I go on, let me say this. Any physical contact (sexual or otherwise) that is not consensual is an attack. I don’t care how short your skirt was, or if you were flirting or if you were wearing a revealing shirt. You matter, your story matters and it is NOT your fault.
Ok, here goes:
I was 18. I was at a party of a friend of mine who had just moved to a new apartment and they were having a kegger. I was pretty new to drinking beer (well, drinking in general) but I was feeling super excited. Every time someone I knew showed up to the party I was insist we go chug a beer together.
Needless to say, by about 10pm I was 10 sheets to the wind, fucked up drunk. I found the nearest bathroom and parked myself in front of the toilet. Not exactly my proudest moment.
There was a knock at the door and a guy I had been flirting with earlier that night was at the door asking if I was OK. He came in and sat on the floor with me. He locked the bathroom door behind him.
I was still throwing up into the toilet. He got me a glass of water and offered to to me. I drank it and rinsed out my mouth. He started to try and kiss me. I turned away to throw up again and after every time I finished, he would try and kiss me again.
I honestly don’t know if I said “No” or not. Part of me was probably sickly flattered by the attention and thinking “How nice this guy I barely know is here to take care of me” Ugh.
When I wouldn’t/couldn’t kiss him, he started groping and fondling me…WHILE I WAS STILL THROWING UP.
Luckily, some of my friends noticed I was missing and came to check on me. When they realized the bathroom door was locked, they freaked out and started banging and pounding on the door. The guy said “it’s ok, I’m just taking care of her” and I was like “yea, it’s ok” *insert barf noise*
Luckily, my friends were relentless and wouldn’t leave until I opened the door. They told the guy to leave me alone and took me to bed. I never saw or heard from that guy again. I don’t even know his name.
Here’s the fucked up thing – I didn’t think anything of it. I was like “well, I was really drunk and probably was asking for it.” I literally never told one person about it because I really didn’t think anything wrong had happened. It wasn’t until I was thinking about that party one night that I even remembered what had happened.
Even now, I make excuses for him like “Well, he was probably really drunk too and didn’t know what was happening”
No. Because if a guy I was into was throwing up into a toilet, my first instinct (no matter how drunk I was) wouldn’t be to try and make out or grab his dick. None of that would even enter my mind.
So there it is. I still feel weird even talking about this as assault because in my mind, nothing THAT bad happened.
Guys, that’s fucked up. If I had a daughter and this had happened to her…or if I found out O had done this to another woman…I would probably go to the cops.
Also, this has really gotten me to thinking of how I want to raise my sons. How I want to teach them about respect and boundaries and consent. How, if someone doesn’t want your affections that you have to respect that. However, if you don’t want to give someone a hug and a kiss, you don’t have to. No means no, no matter what the situation.
Anyway, that’s my story. I’m starting to loose my nerve to post this, so I’m just going to go ahead and do it.
I just want to say this again – no matter what has happened to you, no matter how small or insignificant it seems, it was not ok. It’s not your fault. Whatever your gender. If you had sexual advances made on you that you were NOT consenting to, it’s an assault. You don’t have to speak out, but you also don’t have to suffer in silence. Talk to a trusted friend, partner or hell, even reach out to me – firstname.lastname@example.org – YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
https://crcvc.ca/links/ for a list of resources.