I was raped 59 days ago. I took my last pill for HIV that made me nauseous 29 days ago. I had my second check up with my OBG/YN for STD’s and STI’s 6 days ago. I had my first nightmare where my rapist was violent 20 days ago. I heard from the detective that she received my rape kit and it will take 6-9 months to be processed by the lab 11 days ago. I cried when someone asked me how I was doing three hours ago. This is my life now. The last words, my therapist said in our first session were “There are two things you need to know. You will never be the same, and you will still be able to do everything in life that you always wanted to do.” It started as a great Saturday. A girlfriend and I were open to spontaneity and fun, got dressed up cute and went to meet a group of her guy friends at a bar for drinks and to watch the game. One drink became two, became three, and then became shots. we were having a great time, and our team won! We weren’t friends, necessarily, more like acquaintances. I met him through work 5 or 6 years earlier. Our social interactions were no more than small talk at a handful of work functions, and a Christmas party or two. He text me the Wednesday before asking if I had recommendations for a happy hour spot. It was out of the blue, but being the friendly person that I am, I sent him a list of different hotspots. He said he and some buddies were going to go to one that night, and I should meet him. I was having dinner with my stepmom and told him that I couldn’t make it, and then he mentioned that he was moving into the city and needed some friends. I told him if I was ever out with a group I’d let him know. This specific Saturday was such a fun day, and I was with a great group of people. I shit him a text, and just said “hey, if you don’t have plans for the game, I am meeting some friends at a bar.” I gave him the name of the bar, and he text me back stating he was going to go to a buddies house, but might come by later. Several hours passed, the game had ended, and he asked if I was still at the bar. I told him yes, and then he said “my friends left me, you should come meet me” and he told me where he was. I simply said no I am with friends, so instead he came my direction. I remember introducing him to the people I was with. We were on opposite sides of the table, I was engaging in conversation with everyone, and didn’t give him any sort of special attention. This was not someone that I was ever interested in or attracted to. Before I knew it, the bar seemed to be closing. I was pretty drunk, and planned to call an Uber. I remember he asked to give me a ride home. I thought sure! No other thought crossed my mind. This was someone that I knew. He was a non-threatening person to me. I remember one of the guys that I had met that night offering to get me an Uber instead. I wrote him off thinking to myself that I didn’t know him, but I knew this guy. This guy was safe, and if I could save a few bucks on an Uber, why not! I don’t remember walking from the bar to the car. I don’t remember the car ride. I don’t remember giving him directions or telling him my address. I don’t remember parking at my building. I don’t remember getting out of the car. I remember being inside the elevator. I remember we went to the rooftop. My building rooftop has an incredible view of the city and I remember commenting on the city skyline. I remember he said he needed to pee. I remember stating we could go down so he could use the restroom. I don’t remember the elevator ride down. I don’t remember the long walk through the hallways to my door. I don’t remember entering my apartment. I remember being in the kitchen. I remember that he brought with him a bottle of alcohol. It was brown in color and the clear bottle was roughly 1/4 full. I remember having two shots and commenting that the alcohol was sweet. I remember him saying “you’ve never had this before?” I remember he went to the restroom. I think I went to the restroom but I’m not sure. I have so many black spots in my memory…so many things I don’t recall. I remember he was on top of me. I was laying on my back on my bed with my feet hanging off horizontally, bent over the side at the knee. I remember feeling him pulling my underwear and shorts down the right side of my thigh. I remember feeling dizzy and sick. My eyes were closed and the room was spinning. The next thing I remember is my limp body sliding off the bed and his hands grasping me by the sides, and pushing me up while he was inside of me. I remember coming to consciousness and gasping for air as he choked me. I remember I couldn’t breathe and I was coughing. I remember coming to again and he was no longer inside of me. With my eyes still closed, I crawled to the top of my bed and lay my head on my pillow. I felt so sick, so tired, so dizzy. I remember he came to the top of the bed and peered over me and said something along the lines of “oh so you’re going to go to sleep now?” I remember I muttered an acknowledgment. I woke up around at 9:15 AM. After realizing that I was in my room and in my bed and the sun was shining it hit me like a ton of bricks. I remember the choking and felt that I had severe pain to my neck and chest. As I looked down, my dress was on but my undergarments were removed and on the floor. I started freaking out and I text my girlfriend from the night before. I told her he was at my place and we had sex but that I didn’t remember anything and I didn’t remember telling him I wanted to, and that I was scared. I went into my living room and saw the bottle and the empty shot glasses on my kitchen counter. Then on my couch, I found a sock that was not mine, and appeared to be full of his semen. My dog must have drug it to the other room during the night…my dog, who I didn’t put in his kennel. I always put him in his kennel. I always took out my contacts. I always took off my make up. I always locked the door and I always turned off the lights. Not this time. I went to the bathroom and threw up. I felt sick and hung over and nauseous. I called my best friend, and when I went back into my bedroom, I saw that my bed sheets had a large liquid stain mixed with blood. My blood. I went to the bathroom and wiped and there was blood. There was blood on my duvet. I didn’t know what it was from. I called my mom, who brought me to the emergency room. I spent eight hours in the emergency room. All I wanted to do was brush my hair and brush my teeth and take a shower, but instead I spent the day getting tested and waiting constantly being asked by nursing staff if I was ok. Constantly being pitied and told “I’m sorry.” My chart just said sexual assault victim in bold sharpie. I remember the forensics nurse, she was so kind. I was terrified but she walked me through everything and made me feel comfortable. She swabbed every piece of my body and asked for my story. It was the first time I said all of the pieces that I remembered out loud. I was shaking. I was scared. I cried. She told me that the bruising on my cervix was some of the worst she had ever seen. She told me she thought that this wasn’t just penetration from a penis. How would I know? I was unconscious. She told me that I would have five years to report it to the police. I went home and I took a shower. I brushed my teeth and brushed my hair. I hardly slept, while my mom watched over me carefully. My chest and my neck hurt so badly and all I could do was try and try and try to remember. Replay it over and over and over again in my head. Why did my chest hurt? What happened? How did we get to my bedroom? I was in agony. The next morning I went to my OB/GYN and had her do a secondary examination. She confirmed the bruising on my cervix was bad. She stated there was tearing and and bleeding. The next morning, I reported to the sex crimes unit. It was terrifying. I cried through parts of it, but not all of it. I was scared and I just wanted it to go away. I don’t want to have to deal with this. I don’t want there to be an investigation. I don’t want to go on a stand. I don’t want to have to explain what happened to me over and over and in front of people. I don’t want to feel aafraid about how he might retaliate when he finds out I’ve reported it. I don’t want to have to justify why I don’t remember, and have a defense twist up the facts to make it look like I acted irresponsibly and that this attack was somehow my fault. I just wanted to rewind. I can’t believe that this is my life. In the weeks that have passed, what I can say confidently is that this was not my fault. This happened to me. This was violent. This was somebody that I thought I could trust who took advantage of me in my own home. This was not okay. I was raped. I’m living one day at a time, and every single day I have a thought that scares me…a nightmare, a thought about what the future holds, if the DA will pick up the case, if the test results will be conclusive, if I have to go on the stand and face my rapist. Everyday I am scared, but everyday I remember that I am also strong. I remember that I can do this. I remember that I am not alone and that I have a support system. I fear the worst is yet to come, and that the next few years will be harder than ever, but I am proud of myself for moving forward and slowly trying to take back my power. No matter how many days pass, what happened to me will never change, but I know that with time (and therapy) I will be able to do all the things that I’ve always wanted to do in life. I will be okay. Thank you for reading my truth.