He took everything
I feel as if I got so many things stolen from me that night. It was the last night of my high school graduation trip, I was supposed to enjoy those last few hours dancing and having fun with my friends, not getting drugged by someone I had met and already told before that I didn't want anything with him. I was taken to our hotel by him, one of the designated mothers that went with us saw him take me and yet did nothing to stop him. I wasn't supposed to spend that night in fear, not understanding what was happening and what was being done to me, or for it to end in him almost killing me and throwing me inside the shower to get every bit of evidence out. I have never felt such shame, fear, and pain; but what was even worse was denying that I was raped and beaten, and trying to convince myself that it was normal and that I wanted it because I froze up and stopped fighting. I remember talking to him for about one month after that night, trying to make it seem as it was normal for him to threaten me every day and say that he was going to go to my graduation party and "do it all over again but worse". I was in such a dark place, I lost all of my friends and was falling every day in a deeper state of depression, not being able to put into words what happened or to talk to anyone. It wasn't until I confided in one of my closest friends that I "wasn't sure if I actually wanted it" and that I told her the story that I really realised the truth. One month after that night, I still had bruises all over my arms, legs, and neck; but yet it took me that much time to wrap my head around that fact. He took so much from me that night. My youth, my friends, my innocence, my happiness, my ability to connect with myself and with others, my spark. And yet, three years later, I got better. I got out of that hole and managed to get into my dream college. I went to therapy and I said out loud that I was raped and that it wasn't my fault. I got inside a bus and travelled with friends without having a panic attack. I told some of my closest friends what happened and they were amazing and understanding. I got into a relationship and he is so utterly thoughtful and welcoming, never shaming me for having trouble with stuff most people take for granted. So yes, he did take many things from me and made me suffer as I never had before. But I took them right back and I refuse to give him more power.