I never thought it would happen to me.
I was 17.
My boyfriend had broken up with me a few month into college. After a month of isolating myself and not wanting to hang out with my friends, I decided it was time for me to start living my own life again.
A friend of mine texted me and asked if I wanted to go watch a movie. He said it’ll help with how I’m feeling. I agreed.
We went to the local theater we hung out at once and he bought the tickets while I got the snacks. He suggested we sit in the back row since there was a crowd of loud teenagers in the middle area. I agreed because I wanted some peace and quiet.
Halfway through the movie he started touching me and everything went wrong after that. I don’t want to remeber everything he did, but I remember freezing up and crying. I remeber begging him to stop. I remember not being able to scream out for help because his hands covered my mouth. I remember wishing someone, anyone, would see this and help me.
But no one came to my rescue.
I went home that night and took the longest shower I had ever taken. I felt empty. I wanted to scrape every inch of my skin off. I wanted to erase what he did to me. I wanted to go back in time and change what had happened.
But I couldn’t.
So I blamed myself. I blamed myself for putting myself in a situation of that sort. I blamed myself for not being able to yell for help. I blamed myself for not knowing better. I blamed myself.
I was afraid of telling my uptight parents because I know they would have yelled at me, I was afraid of talking to my friends because they all seemed so preoccupied with their own lives. And everyday he would walk by me in the hallways and wink or make a comment about how I looked that day. And everyday I would pretend everything was fine and what he did didn’t bother me.
4 months after the incident I finally broke. I reached out and learned that what I experienced was sexual assault and it was NOT my fault. I learned that statistically, I’m one of the few woman who ever seek help and one of the very few who let what happened empower me.
I realized I am my own person and he can’t take that away from me.
My body is not his. It’s mine.
I’m not ‘damaged’ .
I am strong, beautiful, and loved.
Just as you are too.