When I was 17 years old I was raped by two guys at a party.
During that season of my life, I was really rebellious towards my parents and I was going to random parties with random people. I became an alcoholic and I started doing drugs. I felt worthless and unlovable. There was so much heart ache and anger in my heart that I didn’t care about myself or the person that I was becoming. When I was 17, I was admitted to a psychiatric hospital for a few weeks because I tried to commit suicide in my high school bathroom. I was in love with this guy who dumped me for his ex. The relationship was short lived but after giving him my virginity, I felt used…and then I was raped. Everything happened in such a short period of time. After my rape, I felt unworthy of love. I started using drugs and alcohol to numb the pain I was feeling inside my heart. I turned to sex as a way to escape the reality of my life. I couldn’t talk to my parents about it or my best friends. I was stuck in this hole and when I looked in the mirror I couldn’t even recognize the girl that was looking back at me. Shortly after my rape, Eleazar (my husband) came back into my life. We became good friends again and started dating but in the beginning of our relationship, I was still so damaged. I was cheating on him and being really distant. I know it was something that he didn’t deserve and he always questioned why. I was afraid to tell him about my rape, but when I finally did he understood everything. He was there to help me cope with it all and he stood by my side even though at times I hurt him. I was afraid to let him love me and I was afraid to love him.
It has been almost five years since my rape and I can finally say I am in a better place. With the help of husband and God, I was able to pull myself out of that hole. There were a few things that I had to do in order to help myself.
- I had to stop holding myself responsible for what happened to me.
No. I never pressed charges against these two guys. I was drunk and high at the time I was raped, and I blamed myself. I kept saying, “well, If I was sober this wouldn’t have happened”. But in reality, it wasn’t my fault. I was taken advantage of and that was not okay. It took me a few years to accept that it was not my fault, but I am happy that I did. Accepting reality helped me with my next step.
- I got help.
I started to see a psychiatrist once a week. This not only helped me cope with my rape but also with my molestation when I was younger and dealing with the fact that I was adopted. This step was probably the most helpful for me.
- I told someone.
I started to talk about it. For a long period of time, I never talked about it because I wanted to ignore the fact that it happened but I finally was able to tell my mother and then I was able to speak about it to other rape victims.
- I stopped drinking and doing drugs.
Once I got into a relationship with Eleazar, he helped me get my life back on track. He pushed me to finish high school and encouraged me to stop living the way I was.
- I forgave not only myself but my abusers.
I couldn’t hold onto the hate. I decided to forgive myself for everything that I did and I forgave the boys who raped me. It was the hardest step for me to do, but I couldn’t hold on to the pain or the past. In order for me to move forward, I had to let go of what was keeping me in that season of my life. The longer I held onto that night, the longer I was tempted to do drugs and drink…the longer I was tempted to cheat. I didn’t want to think of myself anymore as the girl who got raped. I wanted to be the girl who recovered and survived.
Everyone heals at their own pace and in their own way. My way of healing may not be similar to the way you healed. If you are a victim of rape and you are stuck in that hole, the best advice I can give you is to get help. When I sought help, it was the best thing that I could have done for myself and for my healing process. I wouldn’t have been able to do it alone. I am at a place in my life where I am at peace with my past and my mistakes. I am loved by and in love with an amazing man who stood by my side and fought with me through the storm. Of course, at times my heart and mind remind me of the pain and I do get depressed but I have an amazing God and an amazing husband who helps me get through it and who reminds me just how much I am loved. I never want my daughter to experience the pain I had to… that is my worst fear in life. No one should have to go through that much pain. I don’t see myself as a victim anymore but as a survivor. I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become.
No means No. If consent was not given it means no.