2017 seemed to be the year of the woman, and 2018 is no different.
Women are the loudest they have ever been in history. Our voices have either been ignored or we’ve been silenced for centuries, but our silence has been broken. And it is deafening.
I’ve recently been thinking a lot about the #MeToo movement since it seems like a new sexual assault victim comes forward each and every single day.
And as a society, we have continuously shamed the men and women that come forward after being the victims of rape and sexual harassment. Which is horrendous.
But I feel that the #MeToo movement and others like it are finally allowing these victims to have a platform to not only share their experiences but also have millions of people believing them and supporting them through their battle.
And all I have to say is #MeToo.
Back in high school, I went to a house party with all my girlfriends. Once we arrived we each went on the hunt to grab a drink. I chose to drink a can of beer because it seemed like the best and easy option since I didn’t plan on getting drunk that night.
A guy that was crushing on me asked if I would like another and I of course accepted. He went to grab me another beer but when he returned I noticed that he had poured my beer into a red solo cup. But I thought nothing of it because we were friends and we had been for awhile so of course, I trusted him.
But about halfway through my beer, I started feeling really intoxicated and that wasn’t normal for me after only two Natty Ices. I’m a lightweight but shitty beer take a little longer to hit me, so feeling this way had me a little suspicious.
And by the time I finished my beer I was already in the process of blacking out.
To be completely honest I don’t remember much more than that. All I can recall is me wobbling my way over to a comfy chair outside and nodding in and out of consciousness.
My eyes continued to keep rolling into the back of my head and I could barely speak when someone tried to talk to me.
The only memory I really have of the actual party is just bits and pieces of me trying to talk to another one of my guy friends. I’m not sure if my memory is correct but I remember him joking with me and putting his sailor hat on me a few times. Like I said, I was so far gone at this point I could have potentially made up that memory.
I also remember another one of my guy friends and the owner of the house trying to force feed me crackers to help “sober me up”, but I couldn’t even swallow them.
Once my friends that have driven me to the party finally realized something was wrong with me they decided to take me home. We drove home with my entire head sticking out of the window while I proceeded to vomit every couple of minutes.
Want to know the worst part?
The guy who had a crush on me decided that it was his responsibility to sit next to me in the car and rub my back the whole way home.
Returning to school that Monday was hard for me because a lot of people saw how fucked up I was. But after a few days of me blowing everyone off saying that “yeah I guess I just drank too much”, I finally decided to tell my girlfriends what I really thought happened to me.
I told them I had only drunk two beers and there was no way in hell that I should have blacked out. And then I decided to let them know that I think the guy who had a crush on me drugged my beer.
They didn’t believe me.
I remember telling them that our schools “drug dealer” was also at the party and he probably sold him something to fuck me up and he must have placed it in my drink.
They still didn’t believe me.
Having every single one of your best friends not believe you is one of the most devastating feelings in the world.
But it gets worse.
They actually all sided with the guy who had drugged me and they are even friends with him to this day. And since then he has been accused on multiple occasions of drugging other girls and trying to take advantage of them.
Yet no one says shit because “that’s just _______”.
So every time something bad happened to me I didn’t tell anyone because I felt like no one would believe me.
And since that event, I have been sexually harassed on many occasions and even sexually assaulted. And for the most part, I didn’t tell anyone because I felt like no one would believe me.
I was sexually assaulted a few years ago.
I was going through a horrible break up and I wasn’t okay mentally or emotionally. I was looking for love and acceptance in other men by having sex with them.
There were many times that I didn’t want to have sex with someone but I did anyway due to multiple reasons. Either they kept pressuring me or I felt like it would make me feel better.
But it didn’t.
A lot of the time, the men would pressure me into either having sex with them or even performing oral sex on them. And I always felt weird afterward because I didn’t want to do it and I tried to get out of doing it but in the end, I also didn’t say “no”. So in my mind, I felt that if I didn’t say “no” directly to them, then I must have wanted it?
But I didn’t.
Even though I didn’t verbally say “no” or “stop” to these guys I still felt so violated after. And the reason I felt that way is because I was sexually assaulted by them.
But then things even got worse than that.
One night I was out with some friends in downtown Newport and I drank way too much. Knowing that I was fucked up, I decided to leave the bar early and go home.
So I texted a guy that I was “talking” to at the time to come pick me up and drive me to my car so that I could sleep for awhile and drive home when I was sober.
But instead, he drove me to his place.
By the time I got to his house, he had to physically carry me up the stairs and lay me down on his couch. And all I remember after that was him turning on Netflix and me completely blacking out.
Some small bits and pieces of the night came to me the following day, which were later confirmed by him.
So without going into too much detail, I was raped.
I was so far gone that I couldn’t say “no” and he took that as an opportunity to take advantage of me and do whatever he wanted with me.
Since then I have healed and moved on from what has happened to me through many, many emotional conversations with my mom. But that doesn’t change the fact that I was in fact raped.
No matter if you say “no” or “stop” and someone still continues to do what they want despite your word or if you don’t say anything at all because of fear or unconsciousness something tragic still happened and that can affect someone for the rest of their life.
Believe me, I have major trust issues. I don’t trust men at all. I honestly get nervous when I’m alone and I see a man walking towards me or even behind me. And that fear is for a good reason.
But the fact that millions of men and women have to live with that fear and baggage of someone else’s selfish and disgusting behavior and acts is inexcusable.
I never pressed charges on the man who raped me and the reason why is because I felt guilty.
I felt like I was the one who had called him asking for a ride so I must have subconsciously wanted what had happened to me, right?
No, I didn’t want it.
And guess what? A lot of other men and women feel the same fucking way.
They feel like maybe they did ask for it. Or maybe their outfit was a little too revealing. Or maybe they didn’t say “no”, so they must have actually wanted it.
But in the end, I was raped and I didn’t want it.
This is why the #MeToo movement is so powerful. Men and women can share their stories and let the world know that the victims are never at fault. I don’t care if you wanted to have sex and in the middle of it you decided you didn’t anymore and then you told them to “stop” and they didn’t. They raped you. I don’t care if you were so blackout drunk that you couldn’t even speak. They raped you. I don’t care if your boyfriend or girlfriend wants to have sex but you don’t and then they force you too. They raped you.
It is never the victim’s fault.