As many of you are probably aware,”me too” statuses are appearing all over social media. Women are standing up and standing together with other women that have been sexually assaulted and/or harassed. In order to join these women, I thought I would share my story here.
I was nineteen and in my second year of college when my sexual assault happened. At the time I was so incredibly lonely despite having a boyfriend (who turned out to be emotionally and mentally abusive). I longed to have friendships, but due to my social anxiety it was difficult for me to branch out. Eventually (through my boyfriend) I befriended a lot of international students and never felt more accepted in my life.
I became friends with a girl from Southeast Asia nicknamed Birdy. She was such a wonderful outspoken person with a love for life. In fact, I thought she was one of the coolest people ever. Birdy had a European boyfriend that was on one of the college’s track teams…in fact he was the star. He was outgoing and nice, and he never really treated me any differently than her other friends.
During winter break that year, Birdy and a lot of our mutual friends ended up going overseas to visit their families. Her boyfriend, who lived in the dorms on campus, ended up staying behind while his roommates also drove home for break. One particular morning he asked me if I would come pick him up so he could get his license. I figured it would be no problem so I did.
My boyfriend lived down the street from him, so I opted to walk to the dorms after parking at my boyfriend’s house. He told me that I would be using his roommate’s vehicle to take him to the DMV since that would be the car he would be frequently driving. I got there and off we went. We drove all the way to the DMV, which just so happened to be closed for the holidays. He said since I drove all that way for nothing, we might as well go back and play some Nintendo at his dorm. I thought nothing of it, but maybe I should have…I thought that him having the knowledge that we were both in relationships would be enough. It wasn’t.
We arrived at his dorm and we both sat on his loveseat. He made some excuse that his Nintendo was missing parts and asked me if I’d rather watch a movie instead. I said sure, and we started watching Walking Tall (2004). I remember I was wearing a purple v-neck and skinny jeans that had zipper pockets on the front. As we were watching the movie he started messing with the zippers. I thought he was just being goofy at first. He would zip one zipper down, and when I zipped that up, he’d zip down the other. He stopped for a little bit, but then after that, he went for the zipper on the front of my pants. He would zip it down, and I would zip it back up. Of course after him touching my front zipper I started to get really uncomfortable. I was too scared to know what to do. To be honest, I don’t remember if I said stop at this point. I wonder if it would make any difference…
He ended up scooting closer to me, and then he pulled down the neck of my shirt, pulling my bra down with it and revealing my breast. I was so in shock that I froze. That was when he put his mouth onto my nipple and sucked. I pulled away and pulled up my shirt and told him that I wasn’t comfortable and that this wasn’t okay . He got up and told me to leave, making sure to insult me on the way out. He said that “I was too short and smelled (my boyfriend at the time was a chainsmoker) so I wasn’t his type anyway”. I ended up walking back to my boyfriend’s house as it snowed pretending that nothing happened.
I felt so ashamed and was disappointed in myself. In fact, I blamed myself for such a long time. I thought that I should have seen the signs, that I should have never gone back to his dorm in the first place. For awhile I thought that I was asking for it….which is incredible since I never had that mentality towards other victims. I wish I reported him, but I never did since he was the star of the college’s track team.
The worst part about it all? A few months later he texted me and messaged me, begging me over and over to come have a late night visit with him. When I brought up what he did to me last time, he played dumb. He never admitted what he did…he acted like I imagined it all. I used to wonder if I did.
I no longer blame myself, and have since told people that are close to me about my experience. Having people that actually care listen and support me has helped me heal so much. If any of you are out there think you are alone, you are definitely not. I love you all for your tremendous strength, and you are NOT at fault.