Shared Stories

“Why can’t I drink as much as I want and still not get raped?”

By an Anonymous Contributor to the Campaign

I once wrote a line in a poem that “All of Southern California smells like the same boy.” And it’s true, it does, and it probably always will. Why can’t I get this one boy out of my head, even though years have gone by and I am happily with someone else? Because he sexually assaulted me.

For the longest time, I would have felt ridiculous to even call it that. Part of me still does, which just makes me angry. It is what it is, right?

He was a nice enough guy. Not that cute, and one of my close friend’s (AJ) good friends. We’ll call him X. AJ was best friends with X’s ex-girlfriend, who had just broken up with him for sleeping and subsequently getting chlamydia from a stripper. So it goes without saying he was not on the top of my to do list that night. But it was his birthday, so we drank and drank and I was so drunk, so drunk that it stands out to me as being one of my most drunken nights out I’ve ever had. We left the club, 4 of us altogether. AJ and a guy she met, and me and X. It was obvious that AJ wanted to hook up with her guy, and so it was suggested that all 4 of us head back to X’s place who lived alone. I was so drunk I don’t remember ever getting to his place or what happened in the moments leading up to what I do remember: this guy with his head in between my legs. It was a complete and utter violation and I felt that as it was happening. I felt it and I wanted to act but I just couldn’t. I couldn’t because I was shocked, because I was in and out of consciousness, because I wasn’t sure who I was with or where I was. It was all very just: shocking. And I remember the things he said to me…about how I was “tight” and now his words literally haunt me…follow me everywhere I go…and it doesn’t feel right to have this stranger’s voice constantly in my head.

The toughest was feeling like I didn’t belong in any kind of category. It was my fault, I was the one who drank so much alcohol, and who knows if when he asked (or if he ever did) for consent I said yes. I very well could have said yes, the problem being that I don’t remember. So who’s fault is it? The fault feels like mine, and still feels like mine, for getting too drunk. I was feeling so bad about it, especially since he had performed sex acts on me that no one ever had done before. It made me feel ashamed and embarrassed and now even years later when I think about it the urge to hide my face in my hands and cry is strong.

After a few weeks of feeling awful I decided to tell a friend. Not the same friend that introduced me to him, but a different one. She immediately called it rape which completely threw me for a loop. I think I even told her “you’ve got to be kidding me.” But then it started to all add up…why I was feeling the way I was feeling…and then I felt worse. Why did I feel worse? Because it felt like I let my friend talk me into believing he raped me when he really didn’t. Was he really such a bad guy? Even though all signs pointed to yes, I still struggled to accept that. Maybe I had wanted him to do that stuff, even if I don’t remember, and who am I not to believe him if he says I wanted him to do it?

But I never gave him the opportunity to say anything. I never asked him what happened. I woke up the next morning naked and alone and afraid and managed to gather up all my belongings sans underwear and leave. AJ assumed I had as good as a night as her, and I let her believe it. I even blamed AJ more than X, because she was the one who trusted him and promised me he was a nice guy. I realize now the blame should go to no one, or to me. But not to me, so no one.

Do I have any advice? My advice seems sad. Don’t drink too much. What kind of advice is that? Why can’t I drink as much as I want and still not get raped?

I guess I’ll never know.

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