I have been raped. It is hard to say that out loud, and until last year I never did. It is a vivid memory that I have done my best to bury down deep. If I’m being honest with myself, it never felt real until the night I said it out loud. I was newly 21 years old living on my own for the first time. At that point in my life going out with friends to different bars was the most exciting thing for us to do. Unfortunately, one of my younger self bad habits was my trust in people and their kindness. I’ve always had such a big heart for people, and it often could cloud my judgment. Which of course I had always been warned about, and it often made my friends worry. Well, on a night out with my friends we decided to go to a brand-new bar. I met a guy that was going to ISU at the time, and we hit it off immediately. As I got more comfortable, I started to drink more, and I allowed myself to go too far. At this time all of my friends had already left so the guy offered to drive my car home and have his friend follow. I let myself do what my mother allows warned me about, and I was dealt the consequences. When we got to my apartment, he wanted to make sure I got in ok, but then he never left. He said his friend had to go help someone and then he’d be right back. At the time I didn’t feel in danger. I actually was thinking I had met a really nice guy that I could possibly like. He seemed to be so sweet as he let me get ready for bed in private. He didn’t immediately try coming into my room. Once the room began spinning, he laid with me for what I thought would be comfort. It wasn’t. He began kissing all over me and when I realized what he was trying to get to I asked him to stop. He then got aggressive grabbing my wrists and holding me down. I kept asking him to stop but he kept telling me “No, it’s ok” in a calming tone. During the struggle I just gave up, and all I could do was stare at my ring finger. I was staring at the ring I had bought for myself a few months back after deciding I wanted to do better as a Christian. I had made a lot of promises with that ring, and in that moment my heart broke that a promise was being broken. I had nothing to say. I was completely silent, but he continued to act as if we had just made love. The next day I had to wake up next to him. I said I had to go to work early, and I took him home. Mostly in complete silence. After that I went to work, and I might have been quiet, but I was fine. For the longest time I don’t think I was able to process what had happened that night. When I think back on it, I can’t help but wonder if it stems from the days that I aloud people to defeat me. That wasn’t who I was anymore, but I somehow let it happen. I think I didn’t want to admit that. The guy texted me here and there with normal small talk. I would text back short but as if nothing had ever happened. A couple days later he asked me if I wanted to go to dinner and I said yes. When I look back at the whole thing this is the hardest part for me to take in. I aloud myself to completely let someone take full advantage of me and with something that was so sacred to me, and somehow in my brain I thought to give him another second of my time. It is that part that makes me sick to my stomach almost more than it does to think about when it happened. So, we got through dinner and I never talked to him again. I never confronted him. I never told him how wrong it was what he did to me. I never told him to never touch a woman again who says no. For six years I pretty much rid myself of this memory. Every once in a while, it would come up. Sometimes when I looked at my ring, I would think of it. I couldn’t wear the ring for the longest time. I thought about getting rid of it, but I didn’t want that one moment to take something away from me that was so special. It was always a very quick flash and then it was gone. I would quickly move on from that moment. So why let it out if I can bury it. The night that I said it out loud for the first time was to my husband. For the first time I told the story outside of the thoughts I had imprisoned in my mind. I can’t even remember what made me think of it to tell him, but for some reason in that moment the memory became more real. I wouldn’t say it is something that has considerably affected me, and how I view people or situations. I do cry more when I hear stories from other women, and that’s what brought me to my lap top tonight. I heard a woman’s story, and as tears slid down my face, I thought I can’t be afraid of this memory anymore. I can’t feel embarrassed that I allowed it to happen. I know that I learned from my mistake of being naïve to a person’s kindness. I don’t want to let it bring tears to my eyes anymore like it has ever since I said it out loud. I have been betrayed before and no matter what, I will never be a victim to anyone.