My Survivor Story (Part 1)

by Katherine

I am almost 30 now and I feel strong, but I still am haunted sometimes. I decided to write down this story over the past week. It was empowering to finally write it down and think through all of it. I survived. I have three beautiful children now, I am working on a Master's Degree and I have a job at a prestigious college, I am an awesome and strong woman! Below is the first part of my story that I finally had the courage to face and write:

Around the age of 7, I lived in a large neighborhood. All the kids were outside playing together all day long. One day we were playing a game and I was captured and thrown into the dungeon. A middle school aged neighborhood boy was the guard. When others were not around he began to make me rub his penis. I had no idea what I was doing at the time. At the age of 8, there was an assembly at school where they explained that other people should never make you touch this part of their body and others should not touch your private area either. That is when I realized what happened was wrong. I did not tell anyone about it until I got older and realized that I had a problem with this type of intimacy.

Fast forward a few years, I was 16. I was sexually active at this point in my life and I regularly drank alcohol and consumed drugs. I was drinking at a friend’s house. I had so much to drink I blacked out a couple of times. I remember realizing I was having sex with someone. I was so out of it that I didn’t even realize there were other people in the room. When that person was done, I remember another person climbing on top of me. I remember turning my head and just crying. I had no idea what on earth to do. What was happening? I got up and got my friend to leave when it was over. I told my friend that I thought I was raped; she just kept driving the car. I didn’t fight either of them off of me so it couldn’t have been rape. It was my fault for drinking so much. My drinking and doing drugs started to increase. However, people at school and home never realized it was a problem because I was still a good kid who had almost perfect grades.

I graduated high school later that year. A week before I left for college I went to a party. We were having a good time and again I was drinking heavily. I had so much to drink I decided to lie down in one of the rooms and sleep off the alcohol in order to drive. The person throwing the party decided he was going to join me. I remember him giving me a back rub, and I fell asleep. I have trouble remembering exactly what else happened that night. I do remember at one point he was on me and I was telling him no, but he proceeded anyways. I froze and it was like I went somewhere else. I remember waking up in a way and being so angry, but also confused because I couldn’t remember details. I left the party. In the car I told the others what happened. They told me to report it and made me go to the police. I went to the police barracks and told the person at the desk that I wanted to report a rape. They brought me back into a room and began asking me questions. I felt like I was on trial. I couldn’t remember the details that the officer wanted. Eventually he began asking me questions after they questioned the man that raped me. The officer asked me if I led him on. I couldn’t remember if I had or not, but I did say no. The officer said sometimes "no" could be misunderstood, could I have made it sound like I wanted him to continue? I told the officer that I couldn’t remember everything. He told me that the man said that it was consensual. I just told the officer that I couldn’t remember, so I guess it could have been. But how on Earth could it be consensual if I couldn’t remember what had happened and what I could remember is saying no? I spent all night talking with the police and I left there thinking it was my fault and I had asked for it. My case was dropped before even going to the state’s attorney’s office, and they never even notified me.

I left for college. I partied so much to numb my pain that I starting missing classes that started at noon. I was so lost, and I had no support system. At one point I considered taking my life. I finally told my psychology instructor what had happened. She referred me to counseling. I started seeing a counselor who felt that I needed to see someone else who was more experienced. I found a counselor near my parents’ house. I saw her once a week and drove 2 hours every Friday to make the appointment. I had to drop all but two of my courses because I didn’t have time to catch up. During my time at my parents’ house every weekend, I met another man. He built me up and really helped me to start moving on and forward. I decided to not go back to the University for the Spring semester since I was spending so much time on the road, and I really did not have a support system there anyways. I enrolled in a local community college and started working on a degree there. To this day when someone asks me why I only spent a semester away at college, I just tell them I got sick and had to come home. It has always embarrassed me.

This really great guy I was seeing was so much fun, and he seemed to care about me so much. I really started to feel better and not alone. The only problem was that we were still drinking and doing drugs so the pain was still just being masked. He had a very violent streak when he had a lot to drink too. He would yell at people, black out, and fight. He would say the meanest things when we were drinking. One night we dropped acid and he looked me straight in the face and told me that I was worthless and nobody ever liked me. I should have never been put on this earth and that I should kill myself. I started freaking out; he laughed at me, and hugged me telling me it was a joke and that I shouldn’t have taken him so seriously. I shrugged it off as me overreacting and being high.

He moved away and we held a long distance relationship. I felt like I owed him something and that I would be lost without him. After all, I was lost until I found him. I would drive 8 hours one way every weekend to be with him. Every weekend we would drink and party. Most weekends would go without incident, most. One time I stood face to barrel with a loaded gun, hoping that his finger wouldn’t slip on the trigger while he was screaming and trying to fight a friend of his. Most incidents usually involved him punching a wall, a banister, or a door right next to me. I did what I could to keep him calm.

He would make comments to me about how ugly I was. He loved to make fun of my hair, every morning he would laugh and say “Nice hair.” I finally was just fed up with him and knew I needed to leave. One summer I stayed with a friend and he convinced me that it was time I leave. I tried leaving three times before but I always was terrified of being alone. This time I was fine with being alone. That is the month I found out I was pregnant with my son. I stopped drinking and doing drugs immediately because there was someone else I had to think of. I also couldn’t leave him now because I couldn’t raise a child alone; a child should have both parents in their life. I was 19 and some would say I made a huge mistake by getting pregnant at such a young age and not being married to my child’s father. At that time, I still thought that I should marry my son’s father because we were having a child together.

I went through most of my pregnancy alone. He came to visit me for Valentine’s day. I put on a cute little outfit and walked out with my big pregnant belly. He always said he thought pregnant women were cute. He busted out laughing at me. I was so embarrassed and I just cried. He held me and said he was sorry. The next day he was arrested for drug possession and DWI. He was put in jail. He called me daily asking me to get him out of jail. I was a maid at the time working through school. The only money I had was what I was saving because I was having a child. Finally, I agreed to find a bails bondsman and gave all of my money to get him out of jail. He had to stay in Maryland and couldn’t return home until after his court date. Since he used my money to get out of jail, I felt like I was in charge. He got a job. He was home every evening. There was no partying. We finished off the pregnancy without incident. The possession charge was dropped, and he pleaded guilty to DWI with time already spent two days before I gave birth.

Continue Reading My Survivor Story (Part 2)

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