Courage in the form of Silence (Trigger Warning)

I haven’t gotten too much into this subject, because I’m not gonna lie, it’s hard to talk about this. I was sexually assaulted by two of my male classmates in 8th grade while one of my friends watched and filmed me. Not only did she not help me, she showed a bunch of people that video of me being cornered, being groped, and having my dress ripped off on of my side.

I developed PTSD after that. I didn’t quite knew I had it despite the nightmares and heighten awareness around guys. It wasn’t until 9th grade where a boy cornered me in the music room, locked the door, and pressed his body against mine that I froze before bursting into tears. I went to a psychologist after the incident, and she told me it was PTSD.

It’s been hard dealing with PTSD, especially when my trigger is males. It used to be so bad that I couldn’t even shake a guys hand nor hug them. Overtime, my PTSD started to get better with the help of CBT. That didn’t last for long. On May 28, 2016, I was sexually assaulted and then raped repeatedly by my ex-boyfriend. The PTSD came back full-blown. My parents and some of friends weren’t the most supportive people either. They all blamed me, and they did so for every single sexual assault that have happened to me. By now, they just tell me, “If you get ‘sexually assaulted’ so many times, isn’t that your fault? You must be doing something that makes the guys want to do that. I don’t know if I can believe that you’re really the victim in this thing”

And now I get to my point. I didn’t realize what my ex did was rape until I attended my college’s orientation. After that, I joined one of the group therapies on campus where survivors come together and share their thoughts, feelings, and experience while supporting one another. I was nice to have people there that understood what it was like. Due to my schedule, I can’t attend this quarter, but something has been weighing on my mind.

March 3, 2017 – Friday Night

I got to the frat party with my friend early. We were the first one there. There were these two pledges that were on duty, meaning that they could not drink. Long story short, one of the pledge fed me a lot of alcohol. I threw up in the bathroom about 26 times in 30 minutes. After that I kept throwing up even more, but he kept insisting that I had threw up all the alcohol and that I should drink more now that he’s off duty.

I will admit I wanted to drink more even though I knew I shouldn’t, and him as well as the other guys pressuring me on did not help. I ended up drinking more and found out that my friend had left me to go off with some guy one hour into the party. I felt abandoned and upset, and instead of being mad at her, I decided to drink more to forget about it. Now, no matter how much I drank at this point, I threw it all up in the bathroom.

About 3 am or so, most people were leaving, and I didn’t want to be the only one there without a ride. I told that guy that I was gonna leave, but he insisting that he will come back to my dorm. He knew that my roommate was gone for the weekend, and he became so aggressive in his demeanor. His girl good friend called me an uber to send me home, but he tagged along while we walked there.

I was sober up pretty much at this point believe it or not. The elevated sense of awareness kicked in and my body had went into survival mode. I acted even more drunk as a way to draw attention to myself and to make sure the girls weren’t going to leave me behind with him. It worked pretty well until he became even more insistent. He got into an argument with his friend were he said “____, ____, come on now, we known each other since what? Highschool? Help a brother out”

I heard him loud and clear, and I remember her saying “____, you’re a great guy. I know you are. And I really want you to get this pledge. Don’t just risk it all because of one night okay?” and he said “But come on, _____. I’m just going to take care of her.” Luckily for me, she refused to let him. We attracted quite a lot of attention outside, and another group from the party walking to the frat house saw us and got involved.

This is the point where the guy got even more insistent on bringing me back to the frat house to ‘take care of me’. Now at this point, some of you might wonder why I assumed the worse of him. He was running his hands up and down my back this whole entire time. He constantly fed me alcohol and wouldn’t let me leave alone. It was clear that he wanted something out it. It got so bad that the other frat guys had to get involve and tell that guy to chill out. It was ugly.

March 4, 2017

I got back to my dorm after crashing at one of the girls’. I went to the ER shortly after feeling dreadfully ill. I ended up with alcohol poisoning, and my body went into an insulin shock. My guy friend that invited me to the party texted me asking if I was okay and what happened. I had just found out at this point from Facebook that he was the VP of the Frat.

A part of me didn’t want this pledge to lose his pledge. A part of me was scared that if I told my guy friend, he wouldn’t have believed me. So I decided to keep silence, yet again, like I always did.

April 5, 2017 – Now

I started getting nightmares again. I had trouble sleeping at night. Once a week, I at least get a nightmare of my ex raping me in my dreams and/or a dream of me bumping into the frat guy and him trying to confront me or talk to me. This has been going on since that night, and it’s becoming an emotional and physical toll. I saw that same frat guy two days ago on the Ring Road because this week was requirement week. He is now an active member.

I broke down in tears while I hid at Langston library after getting a pretty bad panic attack. I did, however, got the courage to see my guy friend that’s in the frat. When I did go talk to my guy friend, that frat guy was there and tried to approach me. Good thing, that guy backed off after seeing that my guy friend. Even then, I still feel so scared, especially when my guy friend invited me to their rush party this friday. He really wants me to come, but I’m scared I’ll bump into that frat guy and he’ll try to approach me. It’s sad to say that I don’t feel safe with this frat anymore.

I’ve always felt fearful on campus ever since that night too. I try not to mind it at all, because it wasn’t like I was sexually assaulted or anything. But it still scares me a lot because of what it reminded me and because of how it triggers my PTSD. But I’ve been trying to remind myself that even though I’ve been silent about it, I’m not weak or a cower. In my own way, I am still courageous for going on about my day the best that I can.

I think I’ve been silent for so long that it has also build me up to a stronger person that’s speaking out against such behaviors and such mindset. That’s why I think I might tell my guy friend what happened, because it’s not just about me, but about other girls. I would hate for other girls to go through what I had to gone through. Even if I might be overstepping my authorities here, I want my guy friend to know that such thing exists in his frat and that it should be really called to attention.

So in a surprising way, courage has been built and strengthen by my silence, and I’m grateful for that.

 

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