It can happen to anyone…

Who do I tell what happened?

I cannot tell anyone, who would believe me?

How did I let this happen to me?

These are the questions that pop into your head when it is happening to you, after it has happened to you, and for months, years, for most the rest of your life.

This is my story:

I woke up.  I felt pain.  I was confused!  I lifted my head and looked around.  I didn’t know where I was.  I didn’t know how I got there.  I looked over to my side and there you were.  I didn’t know you, why am I here?

I slowly slid out of your bed, feeling more and more pain with each movement of my body. I knew something was wrong.  I found some of my clothing right away, yet other pieces were either missing or torn.  I escaped into the bathroom. I saw my face in the mirror.

I saw the faint image of a handprint, the beginnings of a black eye, the broken lip.  I felt the blood, I felt the pain. I closed my eyes trying to recall why I looked this way. I couldn’t remember.  I was scared and ashamed.

I got dressed in what little clothing I had.  I quietly opened the door and I saw you sleeping still.  This was my opportunity to escape, so that’s what I did. I ran and I ran hard not stopping until I was sure that I was as far away from you as I could get.

Then the questions started coming in from above:

Who do I tell what happened?

I cannot tell anyone, who would believe me?

How did I let this happen to me?

With uncertainty I found my way home.  I was ashamed and scared still.  I didn’t want my family to know.  What would they think of me?

I stepped into the shower and things started flooding back into my head as the water was flooding over me.  The main thing I could remember was the word “NO” then pain, “NO” then more pain, “NOOO” then nothing.

I cannot believe that I, a thirty-seven year old adult male, had let this happen to me. I, a thirty-seven year old father, couldn’t stop this person from doing this to me.

You took my power away, forcing me to feel like that twelve year old boy again, who swore up and down this would never happen to me again.  You hurt me not only physically but but emotionally as well.  You made me close myself off from everyone and everything. You lead me to my first suicide attempt in twenty years.  You RAPED me!

I know many of you will read this and find some familiarity in it, whether it was your straight best friend, your uncle, your father, the guy you met that night, your best friend of 25 years, or some guy who drugged you and took you home. Just know that you are not alone.  That like you, there are those of us out there that share your experience.

It seems to me that there is a stigma against discussing rape in our community and I’m not sure why.  We need to speak out against it and protect ourselves in the future.  We get so lost in the fear that others are going to look down upon us for what we let happen to us, that we forget unless we speak out, it’s going to continue to happen.

I pretty much died on September 13, 2013, because a piece of me died that night when I was raped by a total stranger who drugged me in a bar and took me home with him.  On April 142014, I swallowed a bottle of vodka, a bottle of wine, a six pack of beer and 20 sleeping pills, trying to get away from the agony I felt within myself over what had happened.  I spoke of the rape two times after that, but never really talked about.

It wasn’t until I figured out that this was what was keeping me from succeeding in life at this point, that hiding what had happened was controlling me in ways I had not known for the previous 18 months, that when I finally spoke of the rape in detail for the first time in February of 2015 that I felt a sense of freedom come over me.

You don’t have to be a afraid of what others will think, because guess what? It’s probably happened to them too.  You don’t ever know who it’s happened to from the jock in high school to the cop even sometimes.  But don’t be afraid to talk about it, even if you have to go in and see professional.

This is just one man’s experience…I just want you to know you are not alone!

I also wanted to add something here based on the feedback of a great friend:

If you ever get to the point that I was, where you feel there is no other choice but Suicide then please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline. They are remarkable and can help you get through this. I wish I had known about this number and thought about it during my time of crisis

1 (800) 273-8255
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline