I don’t know if this is going to be inspiring, probably not. I’m not looking for sympathy, I just need an outlet.

When I was 17, I went to senior homecoming with a group of friends. I got very drunk, as you do at a high school dance. Afterwards, we all went to a friends house; there were only about ten of us. I had plans to sleepover at my best friend’s house after the “party” (it was really more of a hangout). I ended up drinking way too much, blacked out and passed out. Next thing I know, I wake up and I’m in bed with my dress shoved up and my “friend” on top of me. I was extremely disoriented but once I realized what was happening I completely froze. I let him finish. Then I got up and left. As soon as I got to my car I burst into tears. Everything after is a blur. Sobbing, driving to my (then) boyfriend's house, calling my “friends” at the time who had left me at his house. I got to my boyfriends and told him what happened and he told his mom so that she would know why I was spending the night. The next morning, his dad was furious and yelled at us both. Then his mom told me that if I didn’t tell my parents then she would. I wasn’t planning on telling anyone else, I wasn’t ready. But I didn’t have a choice. I went home and that next evening I told my parents what happened and they drove me to the hospital to get a rape kit done. Then my dad called the cops and forced us to press charges. I begged him not to.

Over the next week, the cops and detectives assigned to my case spent time interviewing everyone who was there that night. Everyone single one of my “friends” blamed me and said I had too much to drink. Then they made a group chat about me and how I was a snake for going to the police. They thought I was trying to get them in trouble for underage drinking and smoking. They said I needed to take responsibility for what happened. That it was my fault for drinking too much, my fault for not waking up when they were all leaving. I agreed with them. It was all my fault. I put myself in that situation. I shouldn’t have drank that much. I actually ended up apologizing to that group of “friends” for going to the police and putting THEM in that situation. Thinking about that makes me furious. I ended up switching to online school because I went to the same school as all of these people. I then found out they were all talking about me and told the whole school I had lied about what happened. That I was begging for it, I jumped him. I was blacked out and passed out but I managed to jump him. About a month after the assault, I turned 18. The guy who raped me was 17. He was charged as a minor, of course. I couldn’t work up the courage to testify in court. I didn’t want to press charges in the first place. Nothing much really came of the trial. He ended up getting charged with sexual battery and was sentenced to six months parole. About two months after the sentencing, I got a call from my lawyers. He got off after just two months for good behavior.

This was three years ago. I’m still healing. I have learned that none of this was my fault. I am not to blame at all. I have learned my worth and I cut off all of my “friends” from that time. I am still in therapy to help me cope with the PTSD I was diagnosed with following the assault. I am learning to love myself again. I don’t really party anymore due to what happened because it makes me too anxious. Looking back, I didn’t think I’d make it to where I am right now. I’d never have thought that I’d be able to heal from what happen. But I have and still am. It’s possible.

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