I was raped at 19. Writing has helped me deal with what happened
By Guest Contributor
10th September 2018

I am 23 years old. I was born in Canada but live in South Carolina.

Life is beautiful and I tend to smile a lot. I love seeing others smile and it would just make my day. Looking back in the past and always appreciating what you have gone through, makes you realize sometimes in life, we tend to not be thankful for little things around us.

Life was beautiful until one incident that happened to me and changed my life completely. It changed the way I think and view others.

At the age of 19, something happened that changed my life completely. I wasn't the same person I was before, nor will I ever be. I was raped.

This has happened during my freshman year of college, while I was away at a Bhangra competition. It was a day where I couldn’t see life the way I used. It is a day that will never leave me alone. A day where everything changed. A day where I couldn’t be myself anymore.

I had been talking to this guy off on and on for a few months. And he was great. But that all changed on this night. After the show was over, my team and I made our way back to the hotel to change out of our competition clothes and get ready for the after party. Even before I got to the after party, he was continuously asking where I was and kept asking me to hurry up and get to the after party.

When I finally got to the after party, he was waiting in front of the door and immediately took me to hang out with his friends. So after hanging out with his friends for a while, I told him I was really tired and he asked if I just wanted to go back to his hotel and hang out. So I went back to his hotel, being slightly drunk. When we got to his hotel, I sat down on the bed and began flipping through channels and minding my own business.

What happened next, completely caught me off guard. He twisted my arm behind my back and the next thing I knew, he was on top of me. I kept saying no and pushing him off of me but he was really on top of me. It happened so fast that I don’t even know how I felt about what has happened. It has scarred me for life. After it was over, there was no communication from him for 6 months. There were no texts, no calls, nothing. After those long, terrible 6 months, he finally texted me telling me how everything was my fault and how I led him on.

After the incident

After this incident happened, I began writing my heart out. And since then, I have never stopped.

Over the past two and a half years, I have built myself into a professional writer, and have used the opportunities I received to help myself and others, in this never ending battle. What really kept me going were people that were surrounded by me that appreciate me for who I am and my existence.

Writing has played a major part of my life. It helped me a lot through my everyday battles. Knowing that I wasn’t alone in this battle, really helped me fight. Meeting people that went through the same thing and still supported me, really helped as well. The good thing is now, people are actually talking about but when it was me, people weren't really talking about it.

I think having conversation about it has been a good thing. People that have been through this. People realize that they aren't victims, they are survivors.

I keep pushing myself through everyday. Before this happened to me, I would never ever take risks due to fears. I didn't know that I was in control of my life nor did I know that I make changes in life. After being raped, I would take the risk of having my story being heard to multiple people out there, to help those that have gone through similar incidents.

Just know that you're not weak. If you are facing the similar battles, just know you're not alone.

People that go through the similar situations tend to isolate themselves from reality and lock themselves in a room. Sometimes you just need to surround yourself with people that love you for who you are, not what happened to you. Sometimes you just need to look forward and use the past, not to make the same mistakes.

Some people are there to hurt you but some people are also there to help you heal. There will be ups and downs in life. If you focus your energy on the downs, you’ll always be down. But, if you focus on the ups and work on bettering yourself, your life will be so much better than you expected. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it.

If I can make major changes in my life after what has happened to me, so can anyone. Don’t stop living. Try to learn from it instead of dwelling on it. Love yourself, scars and all...for every warrior carries scars of their battles.

The author's name has been kept anonymous at her request.

It was reposted with permission from Project Why Stories - which shares different stories. It is a project by InfamousSingh, the New York based photographer.

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