Today is the anniversary of my rape. The night when a man found me passed out drunk at the door of a club, took me to a construction site and raped me while I was unconscious.
I woke up half naked, lying on a dirty mattress. When I went to the police, crying, I couldn’t explain what had happened. In tears, all I kept repeating was ‘Please don’t call my dad.’
I was finally sent in a police car to the hospital. It was like I had just been arrested, crying in the back seat while they listened to the summer songs of 2012 on the radio.
They didn’t talk to me. They faced forward, in silence all the way to the hospital. I waited to be seen by a doctor for hours. I just sat in a formica chair, crying. Alone.
My rapist took my wallet and my brand new phone. I couldn’t contact my friends, I couldn’t buy a bottle of water. It wasn’t until the legal medicine department had room for me that someone looked me in the eye and asked me for my name.
They gave me paper undies because my own boxers were now criminal evidence. I had a flyer for the Victims Support Association. I threw it away.
My friends eventually found out where I was and came to see me. I couldn’t speak, I was dehydrated, eyes red. I felt dirty, hungover and exhausted.
They gave me retro viral medication in case my rapist was HIV positive, they did blood tests and I waited until I was allowed to go back home.
In the next couple of days, the same friends that had picked me up started questioning if I was telling the truth. They said my reaction wasn’t normal because I seemingly moved on, swiftly and untraumatized even if all I could think about was to kill myself. None of them knew what do say. I was alone again.
I think some of them to this day, still question what I told them. For a long time, I did do. I thought it was my fault. My fault for being drunk, my fault for having passed out, my fault for being irresponsible.
This was 6 years ago.
I don’t blame myself anymore. Now, I know that there isn’t a proper reaction to have when you are raped. Now, I know that I was a victim.
First I was a victim of a rapist. Then I was a victim of the insidious system. A set of misguided beliefs about what pain looks like in other people. A set of beliefs that blames that victim, that judges the circumstance, that doesn’t know what to say.
But, I survived. I carry my story of abuse and survival like a scar that doesn’t hurt but that has changed my skin forever. It hasn’t made me a stronger person, I find that a stupid idea, but it is part of me.
Rape will continue to happen and we need to be better at talking about it. We need to be better at helping the victims. This is why I share my story, I survived and so can others. And what I couldn’t explain then, I can scream at the top of lungs now.