In the fetal position, at least ten drinks deep, I cried deeply. I cried so deeply, and for so long, that I couldn't even feel my face any longer. The shock had warn off and I was faced with my truth:

I was raped.

It took me a full 24 hours to digest what happened. I was drunk at the time of the attack, and then a friend came over to console me right after. She successfully convinced me that I solicited the rape, so I took a shower and went to sleep there after. In my state of shock, it was easier to believe that I had a hand in what happened. It gave me a sense of control. 

It wasn't until the following night, when flashbacks seared through my head, that I started to cry.

I cried for myself. I cried for other women who were victimized. I cried for being drunk and discrediting myself in today's society. I cried for the fact that women can't walk home safely in a summer dress. I cried for lost freedom. I cried for my tainted vagina. I cried for feeling unsafe. 

This loss was more than any I had experienced. This was deeper. It was a fundamental slash at my tires. It broke my already fractured psyche into tiny pieces of shattered glass. 

And the only way I knew how to heal was to escape. That was my only tool. I ran to the bottle, and then I ran into the arms of a man who would change my life forever. 

Published by Shawn Engel