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How I Overcame My Assault
By Novni Community Member
ALL NAMES USED IN MY STORY ARE NOT REAL I chose them because the meanings of these names fits the trait that best exemplifies the real person.
I was a bright-eyed freshmen at college excited to be going to the perfect school and having a new life waiting ahead of me. I anxiously waited all year to go to school and once August came I left. My goodbyes to my family and friends were really hard because I had never been away from my home before. But the hardest goodbye that I never got to say was to myself.
When I first got to college things were going very well, I was in the Honors College, I made very good friends very early on that I viewed as my family there, I was getting the good grades, and I was enjoying my life. I had everything I needed then. But I was lonely and started looking for love in the wrong places.
I didn't quite know what I was doing after awhile once I realized the people I was going after didn't want relationships and were quite frankly just using me. So I did have a turning point and wanted to start looking in a new direction and get rid of who I considered to be poison in my life.
So, that meant letting go of a guy I at the time was considering having a relationship with. I messaged Haydon and said I wanted to stop talking and he asked to talk and we did and somehow he convinced me to stay.
From that point on, we were in a relationship for about a month before it happened. He raped me. How this happened or what I was wearing or doing when it happened is irrelevant. The important thing to know is I did not want that to happen and I made a very clear indication that I very much did not want that to happen.
I didn't tell anyone about this until a few months after because I was confused about what had happened and didn't want to admit to myself it happened. I felt very guilty because I thought somehow it was my fault Haydon did that to me or it was my fault I couldn't scream loud enough to stop him before it was too late. I also felt as if I should have known that was going to happen based on his threats of leaving me if I didn't have sex with him within 6 months or when we would be alone together he would say things like "If you loved me you would."
I felt that I should have left when he was manipulating me and because I didn't it happened. So for two months I didn't tell anyone about it. I started telling people about it when he started to try to talk to me again and was trying to get personal information about me from my friends.
The first person I told about this was my friend my best friend Leya. When I told her, she said she wasn't really that surprised Haydon did that to me and said she was very sorry. From there I went on to tell my friends Justin and Dwyer and then my parents. At first they seemed to be supportive, but a few days after they went and told Haydon that I was telling people about the rape. This is when I started to feel my life was at risk and so I went to the school.
I loved my school and I honestly thought they would help me but in the end all it did was protect him. They gave me a no contact order and it was great he couldn't talk to me and I couldn't talk to him. But he could still come as close to me as he wished and if I said one word or even "Get away" if he got too close I would have been the one punished.
I was betrayed by my friends and then having the school protect him was another betrayal. Along with that I started experiencing PTSD and depression and I thought about committing suicide. Especially when I lost all three of my friends forever due to this and then I lost myself.
I chose the name Haydon for my rapist because he's like a fire. He burned down everything I loved and treasured in my life. Before he raped me I was a virgin that was wanting to wait for marriage, but he took that away from me. And for awhile I thought he took all of me.
Until one day, I realized he didn't have to. He didn't have to define my life. I wasn't going to let him. So I decided to leave that college and come back home to a college closer to my family so I could start over and have a new life.
I had to leave some of my friends because I couldn't hold on to anything from there. But I came home to my old friends and when I start school again I plan to make more. After I came home, I found a really nice guy and even though we haven't been dating long he gives me hope that someone can love me even with what had happened. He actually encouraged me writing this post because he knows how much I wanted to tell my story.
I decided to write this all out because I want people to know that even if you go through hell, God will eventually bring you out of it. And just because it's a hard time in your life doesn't mean your life is over. I realized that because of this my life has begun. Haydon may have taken parts of me, but in the end what he did was help create a bigger, stronger, and happier person than before that has enough love inside of her to forgive him for what he did because she learned holding onto anger doesn't help those wounds heal.
Now, I want to be clear, I am not okay at all with what he did and it does still very much hurt me. That pain may never go away, but turning what happened into negative and hateful energy would never help me or anyone in the long run. So I accept what happened and accept I will have a new place in life.
God blessed me with the strength to get through this and I know he has something good planned for me. He has blessed me with a new school to call home, the chance to live with my best friend, the hope of love again, and the hope one day this one bad time in my life will just be an old memory.
I'm writing this for all the survivors out there who maybe need to know that someone has lived through this and came out a better person at the end of it.
I want survivors to know it does get better. It may not seem like it will and it may take months or years, but it gets better. I don't know if it will ever all be healed, but I live a very happy life and if you hang on you will too. I'm not just a survivor and I am not just looking to survive. I look to thrive.
I also want the people who are currently going through this to know your not alone. You’re strong and you can fight and come out a bigger person. There are many places to receive help. Rely on your family and there is nothing wrong with going to see a counselor. But do not hold it in.
The truth sets you free and if I would have not told anyone I may not be here telling you this story right now, And for anyone who this has never happened to. Please read this and understand that things need to change.
College campuses need to take rape more seriously and how you can make a difference by spreading awareness and supporting survivors and believing them. Thank you for taking the time to read this.