Woman by Neneh Cherry

August 1998 I attended a wedding out of town for a close friend. I went with other friends & we all stayed the weekend.

The night before the wedding, several of us went out. Including a relative of my friend. He was great fun and we connected. The following day was the wedding. He spent most of the time with us after his family obligations were met. We drank a lot. He was "kind" enough to bring me drinks. He was a cop. He seemed safe.

We all went out after, but I don't remember much. I don't remember the ride home. I don't remember getting back to the hotel. I experienced my first ever black out that night. I'm not sure if it was drug induced, but I do know that I'd never before blacked out from that amount of alcohol.

Shortly after returning to our hotel room, he woke me up to "take a goodbye" walk. The walk was to his room. I laid on the bed and passed out or blacked out again. I awoke with him inside me. It was futile to fight someone who restrains people for a living. I didn't leave right after. I guess it was shock. He raped me again and forced me to perform oral sex on him. Those parts are still foggy. I may never know all the details.

That first year was a real struggle. I utilized alcohol to numb myself from the harsh reality of rape. Now, over 6 years later, I have learned to talk about it. It's not always easy. It is sometimes a struggle to trust, especially someone in authority, but I try hard not to generalize. I have learned a lot about myself & about the humanity of our world. Through my connection with other survivors, I have become a better me. The focus isn't about him or what he did.

The focus is about me & how I survived and how I can hopefully help other survivors come to find the peace that I have.

"Sorrow comes in great waves...but it rolls over us, and though it may almost smother us, it leaves us. And we know that if it is strong, we are stronger, inasmuch as it passes and we remain."
~ Henry James 

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