I was not even 19. I was a freshman. I was so excited to start. So excited to be on campus. I didn’t know what was happening. I had consented at first to what was happening. I said stop and he didn’t listen. I cried and screamed and it didn’t help. I left that car with bruises that stung when I sat and blood in the back of my jeans. I wasn’t raped, just assaulted. There was never any sex. Just hands and words and pain. And I thought it was my fault. I still do sometimes. But it wasn’t. Consent is fluid. Consent can change. But freshman me didn’t know that. Freshman me thought, “If i just say yes to all of them, i can’t get hurt again for saying no.” Freshman me destroyed herself in the search to regain some sort of sexual identity. And sophomore me is still searching for how to get that back. I am not my story. But my story is a part of who I am. My story is what makes me passionate about healing and helping others heal. I had to stop and listen to people saying that I was not at fault. I had to listen to people telling me to listen to my body and listen to my heart. I needed to heal immensly before I could love myself again. And I’m still working on it. I guess sharing this story is one of the final steps for me. No means no, no matter WHEN it is said. Please be safe, angels. I love you.