You probably don’t remember me. In fact, you probably don’t even know me, but you probably know of me. This may not make sense to you now, but give it some time. My name is Katelyn and I met you at a party thrown by a friend of a friend in August 2005. I remember the moment it happened, as it has constantly played throughout my mind since we linked eyes. I thought we had chemistry and we hit it off that night. It wasn’t until I foolishly kept drinking the drinks you handed to me until I couldn’t stand straight without the help of someone. You were there for me as you lead me to a room so I could lay down after bonking heads with another person. That’s where it began as you laid a kiss on me. I recall my heart fluttering, giving me butterflies in my stomach. I had a crush, but then things started to go awry as you continued.
You probably heard me say the word “no”, as I repeated it multiple times, even though you never asked if it was okay. You never said anything to me besides the kisses, which soon turned to touches and progressed from there. I shudder at the thought of it. You were bigger than I was, much stronger. There wasn’t much of anything I could do to stop it. The rest of it was a blur. The next thing I remember is waking up to a blurry, unfamiliar room with no clothes on, a pounding ache in my head, and a used condom stuck to my leg. I cried, feeling like garbage. You probably never realised what you did, but what you did caused me so much pain. I didn’t know how to deal with it.
I used to wish the worse upon you. I’ve suffered through depression, through eating disorders, and post-traumatic stress. I hated sex for such a long time. I hated the thought of someone touching me, which was the cause of me to lose a couple of partners during that time. You probably moved on, not thinking you did anything wrong. I was too afraid to even speak to you when I did see you again. It hurt. It made my heart hurt. I barely even remember you name, so I couldn’t turn you in. Then again, I felt like I was at fault here. I didn’t tell anyone for weeks. It wasn’t until I snapped at my family when the truth finally came out. Please know that I have always been close to my family. We never keep secrets from each other. As much as I wanted to tell them, I knew I couldn’t. I felt ashamed. I’m thankful for my family.
I got the help I needed, but even that wasn’t enough. One day, five years after this took place, while I was working with someone for a little television show you may have heard of, I had to get close to someone sexually. It hit me hard and made me uncomfortable. My thoughts started to overwhelm me and I broke down in front of my scene partner, the director, and the rest of the wonderful crew. With their help, I got the help I needed and helped myself to acknowledge the problem. I learned how to deal with the situation, even if it did take me a while.
When I fall into sadness for that time in my life, I allow myself to think of all the ways that I am better for having had that horrific experience. To think of the parts of me that I am thankful for, the parts of me that did not exist before that night.
I am stronger than I ever knew. I didn’t know this truth at first. In the weeks and months after, I found myself blurring the pain with large amounts of alcohol. The respite from the pain was always so very brief. There are no words to tell you how low this point in my life was. I was standing at death’s door begging her to let me in. However, I kept moving one foot in front of the other, day after day until I realized that it didn’t hurt so badly anymore. I crawled my way out of that hole by my bloodied fingernails and have made a life for myself that my teenage self could never have imagined. You could not possibly know how strong I had to be to do so.