Friday, February 24, 2012

My Story: The first few days following my rape

I apologize that some of this is redundant information from previous posts, but I am trying to create a version of my story that has continuity. To view other parts of my story, please click here.

I awoke fairly early the next morning. I felt light and carefree. Maybe I was still a little drunk from the night before.

I had no recollection of what had transpired once I had returned to my dorm room the night before. But I wasn’t really trying to remember either. No reason to, really. As far as I knew, I had had an okay night. Uneventful.

I went to the restroom and noticed spots of blood. Immediately my attention zeroed in on an uncomfortable chaffing sensation that was present between my legs and parts of the night started to come back. 

A.T. ejaculating all over my stomach. Me asking, “Were you just INSIDE me?”

A.T.’s unemotional response of “no.” He wasn’t even looking at me. He grabbed his shirt, quickly wiping his semen from my stomach and putting on his clothes. Abruptly, he left my dorm room, never speaking another word.

What the hell? That can’t be right. First of all, he is always so polite, overly polite almost, described as a politician by some. He seemed so cold. He wouldn’t have responded like that. I wasn't even touching him down there. Why did he ejaculate?

I felt a pit in my stomach. Had A.T. seen an opportunity and just taken it? Even though I had been explicit in stating that wasn't in the cards just weeks prior....sober.

No, no, that couldn’t have been the case. A knows that I don’t want to have sex. He really likes me and wants to postpone physical stuff, ALL physical stuff, until we return from break.

I kept it together, at least superficially, in the days immediately following that night. I was going through the motions of my life, but I wasn't connected to my life. I could have essentially described my life to someone objectively, but it wouldn't have felt like mine. It was almost like my life was a dream. Like that night was a dream.

Wait, could it have been?!

The only thing preventing me from completely succumbing to denial was a chaffing sensation that permeated both my vaginal and anal area. I had paid little attention to the sensation until my first trip to the restroom. Now it was the only thing grounding my disturbing memory of that night in reality. 

I wasn’t ready to accept what I knew to be true. I was still trying to piece together the night through the lens of my old self. My naïve self. The self I would have to learn to let go of. However, for the time being, I needed to settle on suspecting the truth, but hoping it was false. I needed to turn my attention to finishing the semester.

Yes, just get through exams, go home, and sleep on it. Sleep until it all goes away. This will all make sense later, and then I will feel normal again.

Preparing for exams was a joke. I remember trying to write my final art history paper and only producing three disjointed paragraphs. The words were present on my computer, but they were completely void of meaning. I soon realized I was in danger of failing my exams.

What the heck is wrong with me?!

I knew normally I would have been upset by the circumstances, but I didn’t really feel upset. At least not in a sad, distraught way. No, that would come later.

I felt so weird. I tried to turn my attention to school work, but my mind always returned to analyzing that night. I was fixated on figuring it out, but there was a very clear time segment that was missing. A crucial time segment. One that would determine whether my “friend” had knowingly taken my virginity without my consent and then lied about, or whether he had respected my desire to wait until marriage.

Sleeping was almost impossible. When I think back to those few days, the image of me vacuuming frantically is what immediately comes to mind. I kind of felt like if I stopped moving, something bad was going to happen. I was a wound-up mess. Looking back, I was likely running from the truth.

What the heck happened that night?!

No matter how busy I kept myself, my mind always wondered back to weighing my memories and speculations to my beliefs regarding human decency. It was driving me nuts that I couldn’t remember. It was weirding me out. Adding to my feelings of being crazy. Of being out of control. Perhaps I appeared okay, but I was spiraling out of control and fast.

I walked into the student counseling center on campus and told an available counselor that I felt completely out of sorts and was unable to take my exams. She asked me what I meant by this, and I confided in her that I didn't feel anything but anxious energy, that I suspected something really bad had happened when I had been drinking heavily a few nights prior, that I had reason to believe a “friend” had taken advantage of me and that I knew I should be upset, but instead I felt completely removed from everything. And a little hyperactive.

The clinician listened as I was telling the story, and then asked if I would like to "go to the hospital and sleep for a few days." She added, "it will make it easier to excuse you from exams." There was no mention of the psychiatric ward.

Call me naïve, but it never crossed my mind that the counselor was suggesting that I be admitted to the psychiatric ward. I honestly pictured myself asleep in a hospital bed having Jello-O brought to me after I awoke from a long medication-induced nap. It sounded wonderful. Just what I felt I needed.

If I could just sleep, I could feel better.

I was asked if I was ready to go over right then, and I told her that I needed to go to my dorm to pack some things. She told me that it would be better if I went ahead now and had a friend bring over my stuff later. Although I was a little annoyed and confused as to why it mattered if I took 15 minutes to grab some stuff, I agreed to go ahead and walk across the parking lot to the hospital. Hell, anything to not take exams. Anything to sleep and not feel so weird.

She told me to head over to the ER and she'd let them know I was coming. Still no mention of the psychiatric ward.


  1. I am sorry for all of the M., I wish it never would have happened.

    It's not easy to reexamine what happened and rehash old memories and emotions. I am glad that you are able to with less difficulty now than you have been in the past.

    I wouldn't have thought that the counselor was suggesting admittance into a psych ward either. If you were naive, so am I. I imagine I would have felt angered and in someways violated again. It does seem like the counselor violated your trust.

    Again I am sorry for all of this, but I am proud that you are finding your voice and making sure it is heard. (((hugs)))

    1. Thanks so much, Jaime. I do get very frustrated when I think about how this whole scenario played out. I think my admission to the psychiatric ward set the stage for me not getting the help I needed immediately following my assault. Because of this scenario, I still frequently feel nervous during therapy that my therapists are going to misinterpret what I am experiencing and admit me to the psychiatric ward and that they are going to be "sneaky" about it. Thanks so much for the support and encouragement. It really means a lot.

  2. this is such a horrible story. i am so sorry any of this happened. we suffer so much for the deeds of others. how is it that they get to continue living, and we deal with anxiety and secondary violation?

    1. My only answer is that it's because we have human decency (though that doesn't touch on secondary violation). Thanks so much for reading, Iris. Your comments mean a lot and are so helpful. xx

  3. I can totally identify with the not knowing what really happened to you but in your subconscious you do know what happened. The second time I was raped by my boyfriend and one of his friends while I was past out. I ended up having someone tell me what had happened but they heard it was consensual. I wish I would of told someone, you are so brave. It totally helps in my healing process to hear from other survivors to relate to. Thank for being so raw and honest!

    1. Thank you so much for reading and commenting. It is nice to know that I am being heard. It has taken me so long to finally put this "stuff" out there, and it is so very helpful to have people like you to help encourage me along the way. I am so sorry to hear that you can relate on such a personal level. Thinking of you, too. xx