***TRIGGER WARNING, DESCRIPTIONS OF RAPE***

it was October 31, 1999, I was attending my freshman classes and getting used to campus life. Being away from home was like a get out of jail free card and a “what they don’t know won’t hurt them all one.
Once I started college my drinking escalated quickly. I was drinking at least five days a week and would consume a half gallon of vodka in that one night.
I knew I had a problem; I started becoming the drunk who cries and begs God to make it stop. Drinking consumed me. My friends started to worry about me and make comments. I let them go because I was 18 and I could “do what I wanted”
I will admit to making risky choice my when I would drink. I would go home with guys I didn’t know, I’d wake up passed out in unknown places and give my body to whoever wanted it.
On that Halloween night I had decided to dress a disco queen. I was wearing tight black pants and a gold sparkling tank top. When we left to go out that night I felt invincible and on top of the world. It was my first college Halloween and I was sure we were going to have a memory making night.
Besides myself there were four other girls in our party. We went from frat house to frat house drinking at each. I am not sure at what part of the night we decided to go back to a friend’s dorm room. One of his suitemates was a guy named Adam. He always gave me the creeps but there were other people in the room with us so I didn’t feel as uncomfortable.
I did notice that he kept trying to give me more to drink. I knew I had already had plenty and was babying the one I had in my hand. He wouldn’t take no for an answer though.
He left the room 30 minutes after we got there, saying he was going to check on a friend of his. I stayed and drank some more with my friends before I decided it was time to go home. My dorm room was on the other side of the building. I had to walk across and then go up to the fourth floor.
As soon as I turned off the elevator Adam came out of someone’s dorm room. It was almost like he had been waiting for me. Later, after some years went by I realized that I had been set up by not only him but his roommate as well.
He followed me to my door and when I said no that he couldn’t come in he tried to manipulate me by saying “Oh I will only stay a few minutes” or “you look like you need help getting into bed.” I believed him, of course I did. I was drunk. He came in and sat on my bed and tried to listen to me blubber about how I just tried to commit suicide the week before and how lonely I was.
I wonder if that’s when he realized that he would have a challenge. He asked me if he could kiss me and I said no. The next thing I remember is lying on my bed, without someone having sex with me without my consent.
I couldn’t of consented even I wasn’t intoxicated because to me consent was a foreign language and I grew up not understanding what consent was or that I had the right to my own body. I attribute that to growing up being sexually abused.
When it was over he got up and left, left me lying on the bed wondering what had just happened. The first thing I did was take a shower because at that point I didn’t think I had been raped. I just wanted his stench off of me.
It was the next day when talking to a friend that I realized that he had raped me. He set it up with his roommate so he knew where I was and when to start following me.
I never told people about it, it felt like my fault since I had been drinking and I didn’t technically say no. In the coming years I would be in rehab or another hospital and they would talk about how certain behaviors and situations make it more likely to be raped.
I choked when I heard that, because even knowing now that no matter what I am wearing, if I am drinking or invite him in, it does not excuse rape.
Not in the slightest.
He never said another word to me after that. I did find out later from someone who was in the room that his plans that night were “to fuck me.”
It’s been 15 years and I have finally gotten to the point where I don’t think about it as much. Yet when you layer trauma after trauma on top of the human soul and spirit one abuse leads to another. Meaning the way I think about it and how it affects me. I don’t have flashbacks from that rape anymore but when I was raped again two months ago those old lies of it being my fault came back. I couldn’t help but say to myself “well you were drinking again and you invited him in, it cannot be rape”
But it was and it is.
As Always,
Bethany

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