To the Girl Who Was Raped on Campus During Her First Semester at SBU: #MeToo

Hey girl! I was sitting in class this morning, having a bit of a flashback to an unsettling freshman year night for myself. I was scrolling through the Her Campus feed for a good distraction and stopped at your article. I guess maybe it was just a crazy chance that I read your article in a time I was trying to distance myself from the memory. Who knows. But, you made me realize burying something like this doesn’t do any good. 

It also feels weird to write the words out. I was raped.

I’ve never said the words out loud, and I’m not sure if I ever will. But, I, too spend a lot of time convincing myself it wasn’t that, and could never be that. I wonder if it is, every day that it pops into my head. I wonder if maybe it was my fault that I was too drunk and couldn’t remember much.

I was told that it wasn’t rape and that I wanted it.

I’m not going to go into details, but I am here to tell you that I feel the same things you do. Typing this, I realize my stomach drops every time I think about it, and anytime I hear his name I can’t help but cringe. I also went through and still go through self-blame. I know how it feels to not be able to help it.

I also didn’t get an apology, and I don’t care for one anymore.

I know how it feels to be degraded, and then not receive anything excusing how they acted. I learned to forgive him without his apology, and if I received it now it wouldn’t mean anything to me since it wouldn’t be sincere. He may have had you for that moment, but he does not have power over you.

It gets easier, I promise.

I know what it’s like to panic while your head fills with thoughts about those moments. I actually accidentally showed up to class this morning 30 minutes early because I couldn’t focus on much else. It’s been about a year since it happened, and I’m here to tell you that this rut that you’re in will launch you into something greater. 

Love yourself so hard that nobody can touch you.

I knew after this happened, that I needed to submerge myself in love and compassion. Things lightened up when I let love in. I chose to let it not get to me and to leave it behind me. This happening to you does not make you impure, or worthless. I think sometimes we forget that we decide where we go from here. There are things in life we can’t control, but we can control how we blossom after. I saw it as a test of strength, and a lesson in the end. We learn, and we become more aware. I started to focus on myself for myself, and have become invincible simply by working on me at all times. I’ve learned to be sexually comfortable again, and I have let go of any feelings that degrade me. I have started writing, and I talk to the people in my circle who I know love and support me.

Just know, life is bigger than the things that happen to us.

Sometimes we feel so little because we close ourselves off to the world and what it has to offer. We have to remember that everybody has their own story, and life can be so beautiful if we let it show us that. You are not an item and you are not alone, you are built with potential you might not have even tapped into yet. You are deserving of good health, and eternal joy. I always remind myself that some of the best days of our life haven’t even happened yet. I know it’s basic, but it keeps me going. I try to only surround myself with things that serve to uplift me. I want to leave you with a quote, as if I couldn’t get anymore cheesy here. 

“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” – C.S. Lewis 

You are not alone, and you never will be. If you ever need to scream, shout, cry, or talk about it there are services and people everywhere. Seek it if you need it, and don’t be ashamed. xo