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It was five days before my 22nd birthday. I had recently ended things with another guy and my friends and family had been telling me “get back out there,” so I did. I finally replied to a guy that I had previously ghosted and we went on our second date. That night I woke up to him on top of me with my shirt still on and my pants pulled down, raping me. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t breathe and the whole time I kept thinking, "How did I get here? When did I lie down? What happened?"


That night we got drinks—I remember this because I had insisted on not drinking. But somehow I could barely walk by the time we were back to his place. I remember getting there, and I remember being told that he ordered pizza so I could “sober up.” Spoiler alert, I didn’t sober up. The next morning he texted me, "Just cry it all out." But to be honest, I don’t think there’s enough time in the world to cry it all out.


It’s been almost a year now; I ‘ve grown a lot and I am so proud of where I am. But I can’t help but look at old photos and just feel like I’m looking at a different girl. That girl was careless and happy. That girl was the life of the party. This girl is scared, numb inside and still trying to her find herself again.


I lost that. I couldn’t say no, I also couldn’t say yes. I couldn’t move. It took me eight months before I told my family. Though I made it through the nightmares and most of the PTSD, I’m not all the way there yet. But maybe that’s okay? I can’t change what happened to me. But I am learning to live with it, learning to live with depression and learning how to find happiness in a world that failed me. It’s in these moments of happiness that I feel alive, just for a moment. Maybe one day I won’t have to look for moments, then I’ll feel alive again.