Shared Stories


By Eva

I remember 8 shots

I remember not wanting to take the 9th

I don’t remember when I stopped 

I remember blinding lights

I remember melted ice cream

I don’t remember eating it

I remember laughing 

I remember incoherent sentences 

I don’t remember what I said

I remember kissing her

I remember not liking it

I don’t remember asking to do it again

I remember texting her

I remember saying I love you

I don’t remember what else I said

I remember more bright lights 

I remember the painting at the top of the steps

I don’t remember walking up them

I remember the oak night stands

I remember my phone layed on the one to the left

I don’t remember why I went upstairs 

I remember her turning on the music 

I remember a white sheet of paper

I don’t remember why it appeared 

I remember my bra was off

I remember theirs were too

I don’t remember how we got that way

I remember I had no clothes 

I remember they didn’t either

I don’t remember how we got that way

I remember remembering a yes

I remember not wanting to be there

I don’t remember saying yes

I remember time moving to slow

I remember a pungent smell

I don’t remember why

I remember wanting to leave

I remember I didn’t

I don’t remember why

I remember being dressed

I remember not having my socks

I don’t remember getting dressed

I remember texting her

I remember her not answering 

I don’t remember how I got my phone

I remember darkness 

I remember cold stone

I don’t remember going down the stairs

I remember sleeping in a large bed

I remember wanting to leave

I don’t remember getting into the bed

I remember 3 am

I remember her taking away my phone

I don’t remember where it went

I remember waking up before everyone else

I remember leaving the bed

I didn’t remember why

I remember showering 

I remember not being able to find a hairbrush 

I didn’t remember why

I remember avoiding the downstairs 

I remember finding my socks

I didn’t remember why

I remember finding the ice cream

I remember not really helping clean up

I didn’t remember why

I remember leaving as fast as I could

I remember an empty vodka bottle next to me

I didn’t remember why

I remember driving away

I remember a text

I remembered why

I am 17 and I see the girl who did this to me every day in history. I have yet to tell my girlfriend because she herself just experienced a rape. The girl who did this doesn’t know I don’t remember. I have never felt so alone before.

Shared Stories

20 Years Later

By an Anonymous Contributor

I remember parts of what happened like clips from a movie.  I still remember it was Spring of 1999 and I was 18 and a freshman at Cornell.  I remember I was partying hard, as usual, binge drinking and smoking pot.  I remember not many girls from Kappa came to the mixer.  I remember I went alone to see my old “friends.” I remember I stayed later than the other girls.  I remember realizing it was time to go home.  I remember waiting for the bus to go back to Class of 22.  I remember realizing I missed the last bus.  I remember going back inside and asking for a ride home.  I remember being told “I’m too drunk to drive,” repeatedly.  I remember I didn’t have money for a cab.  I remember thinking walking 20 minutes in the cold on the hilly road from Beta back to my dorm on West campus while wasted seemed like a bad idea. 

I remember being back in Beta on the tan textured couch upstairs in the 3rd floor common room talking.  By now I was very drunk and high.  I do not remember how many drinks I had or how much pot I smoked.  I remember I was with you and L. I remember early in the morning L finally went to bed leaving me alone with you.  I remember you suggested I stay over, so we walked from the common room to the bedroom you shared with D. and A.  I remember the room being messy.  I remember the position of your bed in the room, to the left of the door.  I remember your bed was wood.  I remember you said “you sleep in the bed and I’ll sleep on the couch.”  I remember looking up at you questioningly and I remember you saying “Nothing will happen.” 

I remember I trusted you. I remember thinking you were my friend.  I remember I climbed into your bed.  I remember the soft white sheets.  I remember feeling tired and wasted and relieved to be going to sleep.  I remember I went to sleep fully clothed in your bed and I remember you went to sleep, fully clothed on the couch.   I remember when I woke up, the sun was shining into your bedroom and onto the white sheets.  I remember I was naked in your bed. I remember that confusingly you were on top of me and I remember staring at your bare chest.  I remember you rubbing my naked body.  I remember I couldn’t comprehend how you had wound up there. 

I remember I was totally confused and scared and frozen.  I remember I whispered three words “use a condom.”  I remember being shocked because I didn’t undress myself.  I’m still confused to this day.  I remember you smiling at me.  I remember you rolling off me after you finished and removing the condom.  I remember I was relieved that it was over.  I remember both D. and A. were in the room that morning.  I don’t remember if S. was, as well.  I remember afterwards looking for my underwear. I remember we each put our clothes on and you drove me back to my dorm.  I remember just sitting in your car the sun reflecting off the console and I remember staring at the car seat, I remember I didn’t want to look at you.  I remember I was confused and wanted to cry.  I remember I burst into my dorm.  And I don’t remember any more.

I must have looked pale as a ghost and Abbie remembers asking me “What happened?”  She remembers I replied “I’m fine. I slept with E.”  She remembers saying “Are you okay?”  and “do we need to call the police?” She remembers I said no and then I took a very long hot shower.  You never called me again and Abbie remembers instead R. called her and asked what happened between you and I the night before.  She remembers R. telling her that you were bragging to the other brothers that you had fucked me.

Shared Stories

No one believed me

By Jannise Lewis

It was my grandmothers boyfriend no one believed me for 3 years I did nothing wrong and I know it it was his fault and he was in the wrong and he never got in trouble.

Shared Stories

I Can’t Forgive You Yet

By Angelina

It’s been almost three years since the day you destroyed every essence of my being. A part of me always knew what kind of guy you were, and maybe that is why I still feel so much shame around what you did to me in your grandfather’s house. You see, you were my first everything.

My first boyfriend, my first kiss, the first boy who ever stuck their hand up my skirt, and many boyfriends and three years later, the first boy I had sex with. Not even three weeks after that you were the first boy who raped me.
I never thought that something like that would happen to me, but I knew your reputation. Hell, I knew the kind of man you were going to be when we were in eighth grade and you decided what was up my skirt was the most important thing about me. Maybe that was when I decided
my worth to men too.

It was New Year’s Eve 2016 when I really should’ve known what kind of guy you were. You had finally convinced me after weeks and weeks of wearing me down to go to your parents’ cabin. I knew what was going to happen when we got there and so did you. But I went anyway. I trusted that you had changed, you had seemed genuine and nice up until that day. I’ve always tried to see the best in people and maybe that’s what hurts me the most. While we were at that cabin one thing led to another and I was about to have sex for the very first time, but I got scared. I didn’t know if I was ready. So, I told you to wait, that I wasn’t sure. But you said, “It’s too late”
and that was that.

I went home that night and toasted to the New Year with my family, none of
us the wiser of what that year was to bring. After weeks of me convincing myself that’s just what sex is, that I would have to get used to it, (after all, that’s all I’ve ever been shown: hands up skirts and yoga pants in a crowded school cafeteria) you texted me. You told me that you wanted to talk, to apologize for my first time going the way it did. You said you still wanted to be friends, that you wanted to fix what had happened between us, so you asked if I could come over. Again, thinking that you had changed and were being genuine, I told my mom I was going to work and drove to your grandfathers where you were staying.

It was 6:20 in the morning and I was tired, but I parked my car and knocked on your door anyway. You opened the door in nothing but a pair of blue basketball shorts and asked if I wanted to watch a movie. Confused, I agreed, thinking that was your way of apologizing and showing me, you still wanted to be friends. So, we went to your room, sat on your bed, and watched the movie. But I fell asleep. I was tired and you took advantage of that. I woke up to you kissing on me, telling me that you missed me. You said, “I know what’ll wake you up.” I was still half asleep, but I told you to wait. Then I felt your hands slide to the button on my jeans, I tried to push your hand away, but you were too strong. I told you that I didn’t want to, to stop, but you didn’t.

You pulled off my pants and underwear, your shorts. You pinned my arms above my head with one hand, spread my legs apart with your knees, and used your other hand to guide yourself into me. All the while I repeatedly told you to stop, but you didn’t. I gave up. You weren’t listening to me and I was tired of fighting. I spent the next hour and 25 minutes staring at the
clock on your nightstand, silently crying, and weakly trying to get you stop.

To this day I’ll never forget the words you whispered in my ear before you finished: “your face is telling me no, but your body is telling me yes.” I felt as if my body had betrayed me. After you were done with me you rolled out of the bed, smiled at me, and asked me if I wanted to take a shower with you to clean up. As if you just now remembered that I was a person and not a body to use. I told you I was tired, and you left to take a shower.

I laid in that bed and cried quietly, blaming myself for not being strong enough. Telling myself that it wasn’t your fault, that it was mine because I fell asleep in your bed. I quickly got dressed before you came back, you took a short shower; probably scared that I was going to leave. Did you think about what you had done to me? Did you feel any remorse at all? Did you remember that I used to be your friend?

I was about to leave when you came back and asked if I wanted breakfast. I didn’t want you to feel bad or hurt your feelings, as if somehow agreeing to breakfast with you meant nothing happened. When we walked out of your room, we ran into your grandfather and he said, “sounded like you two had fun in there,” and winked at you. I couldn’t help but wonder if he knew what his grandson did to me, if he would’ve been proud, if he would’ve just shrugged it off and called me crazy. But nonetheless I smiled at him and drove us to a nearby burger king. We went inside and you ordered your breakfast. When you ordered I couldn’t help thinking that the
cashier knew, that everyone knew that I was an easy girl. I looked at the floor. When you got your food you scarfed it down, I didn’t eat anything. You acted like nothing happened, like I didn’t have bruises on my thighs or arms from you.

I dropped you back off at your grandfathers and drove home. That day I went with my parents to the hospital to visit my grandma because she was sick, not that you would’ve known. I wore jeans and a hoodie, making sure to cover any possible markings, and I hugged my grandma in a body that wasn’t my own. Nobody noticed or asked me how I was doing so I never told a soul.

Two weeks later I was out with my friends when you texted me and said that you were sorry, you begged me not to report you. You promised you’d never do it again, I believed you, so I never reported you. Besides, who would’ve believed a girl who kept going back to the same guy that hurt her? Though, my best friend found out the next week when we were camping because the smell of his cologne made me freak out. He begged me to tell someone, but I never did, and he never wore that cologne again.

I ran into you last year at the dollar store in town with my boyfriend at the time. I hadn’t seen you since the incident and I dropped everything that was in my arms on the store floor. I quickly tried to pick them up, but I kept dropping them. You smiled at me and walked away. Do you remember that? That day I became a shell again though my boyfriend did his best to calm me down. Even though it has been nearly three years I still turn a light on at night to remind myself that I’m not in that room again. I’ve learned though that it wasn’t my fault what you did to me.

You were greedy and felt entitled to a body that was not your own. It’s not my fault that I wake up in a cold sweat every January, it’s not my fault I still can’t fall asleep until 5am, and it’s not my fault that I can’t lay with another man yet. I just hope that one day you will stop running from the person you are, that you’ll face it and get help. I hope that one day God will show you mercy and forgive you because I know that I can’t yet.

Shared Stories

Ten Months Ago

By an Anonymous Contributor

Ten months ago I met you. My friends had taken me to go smoke with them in the parking lot of your apartments. Everyone greeted you and then you pulled a pipe out of your pocket. I remember I was the first one to take a hit and you lit it for me since I was still a beginner. Moments later I was sitting down on the sidewalk of the parking lot because I could not keep my balance. You kept staring at me with a grin. You walked up to me as me and my friends were about to leave and told me you were a “plug” and I added you on snapchat. Five months passed and the only relationship we had was that I was a frequent customer. 

On July first I got a message from you. I thought this was odd because we never talked unless I was going to buy from you.

You told me “ Aye so I know we don’t know each other that well but you’ve been looking really pretty and I was wondering if I could take you out sometime?” 

I replied with “Thank you. If I do agree to hang out with you can I bring some friends along?” 

You said “ I was really hoping it could just be me and you. Ever since I met you there’s just something special about you. 

Looking back on that day I got that message I wish I would’ve just blocked him then and there. I told my friend about it and she agreed that it was weird since he was in high school and I was in middle school. A part of me was flattered that this older guy was giving me attention. Boys my age would give me attention but would compliment me on things like my butt and made me feel like an object.

You called me beautiful and acknowledged my personality… or so I thought you did. The next day I lied to my mother that I was going to my friend’s house and you picked me up at the corner store near my apartments. When you pulled up to the store you got out of the car and opened the door for me like the nice guy I thought you were. You told me I looked “stunning” and then we began to talk about random things. I learned that you were already out of high school. I knew it was wrong for me to be riding in your car at that moment.

I thought to myself “maybe if I indicate to him that I am still in middle school he will rethink this whole “date”. I told him how I got suspended from my middle school because I got caught with weed . He simply laughed and said “I remember I used to get in lots of trouble at that school too”. He didn’t care that I was in 8th grade. We went to a parking lot and smoked a blunt. He began to try to kiss me and touch me in inappropriate places. I told him to stop because I felt weird that he was 19. He stopped and told me there was “no pressure” and took me out to eat. When we would stop at red lights he would look over and admire me, I guess. He drove me to my favorite fast food place and bought me everything I wanted. Then he drove me around while I drank my shake. In all honesty it made me feel special.

He asked me “why won’t you let me get close to you?” I told him “you just want to use me like everyone else, I know how boys think”. He replied with “You only feel that way because you mess around with the wrong type of boys. It’s because you’ve been messing with little boys and not “a man”. He told me that he had already played those games back in the day and he was over playing games. In a weird way it made sense to me at the time. I believe maybe I had been “played” so many times because I needed someone older and more mature. I let him hold my hand as we cruised around. He played music and dedicated songs to me.

For once I felt secure and loved by a man. Then we went back to the same parking lot and smoked another blunt. Next thing I know I was in the backseat making out with this man because I thought he liked me. Then he wanted me to give him oral and I kept saying no but he kept tugging at my arm making me touch his penis. I finally said “stop forcing me” and he got very bothered that I said that. He put his penis back in his pants and it was silent for a while. I asked “are you mad at me?”.

He looked at me calmly and said “ of course not baby” and proceeded to kiss me. He took me home and I was so happy that I spent the day with him and he asked me to be his girlfriend. I wish I saw the signs and how wrong the whole situation was that day, but I was blind to what I had gotten myself into. The next day he picked me up for another “date”. I thought we were going to go smoke, eat, cruise, and makeout like the day before. Instead we ended up at his house. Him and three men began measuring pounds of marijuana in the living room. I felt awkward and invited my friend over.

She pulled me aside and said that she felt a weird vibe but I was just in a haze that I ignored her. He took us upstairs and put on a movie. He told me to lay on the bed while my friend sat in a lounge chair. He laid next to me and began to touch me. He told me it would be better if my friend left so we could make out. I noticed she was uncomfortable so I told her she could leave. She told me to be careful and to call her if anything. I assured her that I had my phone charged and nothing bad was going to happen. Once she left we began making out and touching. Then he began to try to pull down my pants. I told him I did not want to have sex. I struggled as he pulled my pants down and I tried to pull them up.

He managed to pull them off and throw them across the room. He grabbed my phone and put it in a drawer away from my reach. I was scared. He told me to relax and began to give me oral. I tried to calm myself and thought “maybe this is all he wanted to do, just stay still”. He took off his pants quickly and pulled my thighs towards him. I scotted back, I tried to put my legs in between us, I told him “no!”, I told him “I’m not ready”, “stop!”. He just smiled with that same grin from the night I first met him. He pinned my hands to the bed and proceeded to rape me. My whole body shut down, I stopped fighting and closed my eyes. I screamed in pain. I suppose he noticed I was not enjoying it and said “i’ll stop if you want me too”. I couldn’t talk, I just nodded.

I grabbed my phone and put on my pants and ran to his bathroom. I could hear laughing from the other room. I sat on the toilet while the blood coming out of me dripped into the toilet bowl. I finally came out and he told me “don’t worry I’ll take you to CVS and buy a plan B” with a smile. I called my friend while he went inside to get the pill. With tears in my eyes I told her what happened and hung up shortly after because he was coming back. He dropped me off and gave me a kiss as I got out of the car. I took the pill and walked to my apartment. I went to my bathroom and cried as I peed. Then my sister banged on the door and demanded to know where I had been. My cousin had seen me get out of this man’s car and told my sister. I lied that it was my friend’s cousin that gave me a ride home. I got in trouble and was not let out the whole summer. I wanted to tell my family but I would have to admit that I smoke weed, and I feel like they would have blamed me because “something bad is bound to happen to bad kids”.

Although there were many other factors as to why I didn’t/haven’t told my family the main reason is because a part of me still doesn’t feel like my “story” is valid. My mother was assaulted when she was young but that was because she couldn’t defend herself. I felt like at 13 I was physically strong enough to defend myself. I wasn’t a 6 year old, I didn’t have a gun to my head, I was aware, and I was sober enough to fight back… yet it still happened. I thought “how dare you compare your story to others. You let the man touch you and kiss you, that means sex is in the deal if you let him do that”. Nineteen days after that happened I turned 14. I started cutting myself, taking hot showers, and stress eating. When I was finally let, out some boys in the neighborhood started telling me that everyone knows that me and this man had sex. Looking back on it the sad part is that I was shamed, not the 19 year old man. I texted him about it in anger and he ignored me. I became suicidal. I opened up to my friends about it and most were very supportive. Although I did have one “friend” that told me “someone can’t take your virginity without you letting them so you let them, we all make mistakes, well you were doing bad things so maybe it was your karma, you were starting to smoke weed and do bad things what did you expect was gonna happen to you, you put yourself in that situation,

I know how you are you probably had sex with him and then people started finding out and you made up this story, own up to your mistakes”. I believed them. The beginning of freshman year he texted me that we should hang out and he picked me up at my apartment again and took me to the same indoor parking lot and we smoked. We had sex in the back seat multiple times then he would drive me to school. I felt dumb, disgusting, and confused as to why I was going back and now “consensually” having sex with this man. I found an article written by a strong survivor and it said “We’re taught that rapists are monsters. Maybe this is why I didn’t expect to feel human feelings for my rapist. In some ways, those feelings were a form of denial. When I scrubbed away my memories of the assault, what remained was the attraction I’d felt toward him before.I constantly thought to myself: What if I could relive the first night? If I went back in time and consented, it would have been a great story instead of a tragedy. Every time I said yes, I was trying to consent retroactively. For me, sleeping with him was the ultimate denial that he ever raped me.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.Y ou 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. 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”. I felt that. By having sex with him I tried to pretend that the first time never happened, but it did. It’s been about 10 months since it happened and I am turning 15 this year. I am still working on not blaming myself, on forgiving and loving my body, on trying to figure out who I am but it’s a hard journey. My innocence was robbed by a man 6 years older than me. I felt anger and disgust towards myself. I cut my wrist and thighs praying that the pain would stop. I wanted to die. I became promiscuous and did sexual acts for every guy I liked because I thought that was all I was good for. I hated myself. I now realize it was not a 13 year olds duty to be fighting off a grown man’s hands off her body. It was not that 13 year old girl’s fault. I accept my flaws and all and I’m working on loving myself again. Thank you to whoever read this whole thing you have no idea how much it means to me. And to the now 20 year old man that raped me, I hope karma gets you good for what you did to me ten months ago.

Shared Stories

I wrote a poem yesterday

By Ruby

It’s funny how the cursor flashes, pulses like a heartbeat. I stare at it. Blank. I’m not sure how to start. 

I wrote a poem yesterday:

I am angry.

It curls and folds like burning paper.

Then, it reaches up 

and crushes my heart. 

I am angry. 

It teases my nerves


until I can’t stand still.

And then

I obliterate myself

into nothingness

so that I don’t have to feel 

the anger

that you 





I didn’t know you very well. You told me I was beautiful. You were older. I was 14. We were hanging out with a group of friends. We were in the bushes near your house. We smoked a joint. I hadn’t smoked before. The bushes and leaves surrounding us turned bright, bright green. Fluorescent. They were glowing. We were huddled in a circle, everyone looking inward. Everyone’s big faces against the bright green leaves. At some point, I imagined that elephants came down from the sky and took me away in a hot air balloon. I felt dizzy. 

We all went back to your house. I remember seeing everyone sitting on the couch in silence. You took me to your room. You put me on the bed and took my clothes off. I remember you above me. I remember looking at your penis in shock because I had not seen an erect penis before. I could not speak. I wanted to go home. I did not want it to happen. I didn’t know much about sex. I wanted to go home. I had my period and I had a tampon in, but my voice didn’t come. 

I don’t remember the rest of it. I don’t remember how I got home. I sat on the toilet and tried to get the tampon out. It was so far inside of me that I could not reach it. I did not want to tell my parents. Later, I tried again to get it out. It was hard to grab hold of it because it had turned sideways. 

I did not tell anyone. Instead of asking for help, I had a lot of sex. I even had sex with you a second time. We drove to the beach and this time I could speak but this time I let you do it while I looked at the sky. My vagina was dry and it was painful. I looked at the sky and ignored the pain. 

This is when I started to hate the world. I was angry with everyone. Before you raped me, I had only loved the world, I had loved school and I had loved people. What you did changed that. 

I had sex with lots of different people for the next three years. I was no longer an innocent child. I was choosing to do this. I ignored myself and I gave sex to others. It was always dry. I thought that’s what sex was, and I thought that was what men wanted. I was a slut, I was bad, and it was a choice. I got in trouble at school, I let my marks drop, I lost my appetite and I lost weight. 

Over time, and with the help of alcohol, I blocked out the event and my feelings. I became really good at numbing and ignoring myself. Memory loss became part of my norm. 

Eventually I decided I needed to change myself to prove that I was not bad. As I tried to drink less at social gatherings, I started to feel more anxious. When I’m inside and with a group of people, everyone’s faces reach into mine, peering in too far. I start to sweat. It drips down my back. My heart is pounding and the back of my neck is tightening up into the back of my skull. Thoughts are racing, racing through my head. I’m watching everyone’s movements, who is going to the bathroom, who is speaking to who, who is outside incase I need to go out there. Everyone is having a great time. I am very good at putting on an act. I can feel sweat coming through my clothes but I can still smile and play the part. It is tiring; managing my internal state. I hate everyone for having a good time. I am jealous. I can’t hear what anyone is saying, I can’t focus on anything other than pretending that I do not have thoughts racing through my mind. Sometimes I leave and I cry. These days I simply avoid social events. 

When I am in the car with other people my mouth turns dry and my thoughts start to race. The others are having fun and I hate them for it. I spend the whole trip trying to keep my hatred inside and I focus on changing my voice so they can’t hear my anger. 

At work, if I become stressed, I ignore the stress signals and I push harder. I do not speak up. I do not ask for help. I put on a fake smile, I ignore the racing thoughts and my colleagues tell me I should speak up. But my voice won’t come. I can’t string the words together to ask for help. My work is jumbled, just like my head. I wake up in the middle of the night, feeling nauseous. I can’t concentrate because of the racing thoughts. I cry. I cry in bed. I cry in the shower. Someone accidentally gives me a fright, and I cry. I am driving, and I start to cry. I hold the steering wheel and I howl at the highway, “I want to go home!” I imagine swerving the car at 100km’s an hour. 

I am lucky because I have a supportive partner. I have not told my family or friends, but they support me with anxiety and depression. Sometimes I want to tell them, sometimes I want to explain what my body is doing, but, right now, I do not want to tell them I was raped. 

I have a therapist who has helped me to see how my system is stuck in a loop. Yesterday I cried and cried, and I let out my anger. I am going to learn how to turn towards the part of me that is asking for my attention. I don’t know how to do this yet because I have been ignoring that part for 18 years. I’m in a habit of turning away from it. I don’t know what to do with that part of me, so I ignore it. The therapist tells me he will help me to learn what to do with it. 

I remember when I was in my twenties and visiting my home town, I walked past you. You were sitting on the ground. I am pleased that you were on the ground, lower than me. You looked like a child. We made eye contact. It confirmed everything for me. You are nothing.