My high school boyfriend, the only guy I had every loved, the guy I wanted to marry had just called and told me he slept with my best friends little sister the week prior at his going away party. My roommate suggested we drink about it.
That’s what we did.
We drank about things.
Good nights at work.
Bad nights at work.
You get the picture. Our house was the one that was never locked, always had beer in the fridge, tequila in the freezer, and if you showed up at any time, we were ready to party.
My housemates and I decided to use my misery as an excuse to throw a party, like we needed an excuse. This adorable couple that worked with us stopped by, she had to leave early but he decided to say. I should note I couldn’t remember his name if you put a gun to my head, but I will forever remember her name is Brittany. There was beer. A lot of beer. And tequila. Even more tequila. I remember coming out of my black out sitting on the couch in my room, my roommate saying “I can’t believe you fucked him!”. After noting my look of utter confusion she had to explain to me that I had screwed my friend Brittany's boyfriend with the door open for the whole party to see. I was hysterical. I didn’t remember a thing. How do you have sex! with someone and not remember. I later found the underpants I was wearing stuck between the wall and my bed and burned them like destroying the evidence would somehow make the ordeal less real.
Sadly that was not the first time I wouldn’t remember a sexual encounter. I once came out of a black out mid sex with a bouncer from the club I frequented. I was so disoriented that I just laid there crying until it was over. This was not an individual I would have soberly pursued let alone jumped in the sack with. I have woken up in strangers beds (guys and girls) with not a shred of an idea of what took place the night before. Sometimes fully dressed, more times not.
This all transpired before I was 21. Before I was even legally allowed to consume alcohol.
Binge drinking and blacking out is not part of the college experience. Waking up next to a stranger without your panties and having to go to planned parenthood for a std test and the morning after pill is not part of the college experience. Looking back at sexual encounters and wondering if that might have been date rape is not part of the college experience.
You will never get those memories back. You will never figure out what happened unless the other parties involved give you a play by play. When you are blackout drunk your brain straight up loses the ability to turn short term memories into long term memories.
My story is not unique by any means. 1 in 6 women have been a victim of sexual assault and every 98 SECONDS someone in America will be raped. Half of sexual assaults occur after consumption of alcohol, either by the victim or the perpetrator. Being intoxicated lowers your inhibitions we all know that, but do you realize just how many unsafe situations you put yourself in? You don't think twice about following that strange man and his friends out to the parking lot for a cigarette, joint, or fix. Or letting a stranger help you home becasue you are too intoxicated to get there by yourself.
Events like these didn't end after college for me. They would continue right into my early 30s until I eventually got sober. Ruining relationships and friendships regularly becasue I had no boundaries. I had so much self loathing that if anyone showed me the slightest attention I would throw myself at them. Coming to terms with these events was a huge part of my recovery journey. I cried, got mad, and eventually found peace. They shaped who I was to become after recovery.
If you or someone you know has experienced a sexual assault and need help please call 800-656-HOPE(4673) or visit RAINN for a live online chat.