My freshman year of college was filled with heartbreak and unhealthy coping mechanisms. While I was in an extremely toxic “on again, off again” relationship, I went to a small gathering at an unfamiliar apartment complex in North Syracuse.
The host of the party was a bartender at the nightclub that I went to on Thursdays. In retrospect, it seems pretty enigmatic that he invited me, seeing I was 19 and in college while he was 29 and working full time, but at the time I was a little too naive.
He made me a drink that tasted like a “HI-C” juice box. It made me feel a little guilty about what I was doing and when I consumed about 1/4 of it the walls started moving. Things began getting hazy at this point so I decided I needed to get some air, even though it was a freezing November evening in upstate New York. The host of the party went with me and we took a walk which I only recall bits and pieces of.
I remember getting back to inside, reaching out to embrace my ex boyfriend because I was really scared. I also recall the feeling of him physically pushing me away and losing my balance, stumbling into a wall.
The next part I remember is someone pulling my hair back and another person telling me to stick my fingers down my throat, I don’t remember throwing up, but I found out the next day that’s what happened.
I “woke up”, making out with the host of the party who was ten years older than me. I was so disoriented, I felt like I woke up in a dream because I had no recollection of how I got to this point, or what else had happened.
I wasn’t wearing my clothes. I was wearing an oversized t-shirt and sweatpants that did not belong to me. I was wearing someone else’s socks, a pink hair tie around my wrist that wasn’t mine either, and there were leaves in my hair.
After he requested sexual favors from me in the romantic setting of his bathroom, I told him I’d be right there when he went to bed.
It was this point that I went into his living room where the night had started and fell asleep on his living room floor because I was more comfortable on a cold, coarse carpet.
I never told the people I was with that night because they were my friends and I was insecure. In other words, I was afraid they would take his word over mine. However, years later this night still haunts me so I needed to put it to words because sometimes ignorance is bliss, but in this case it was hell.
Nothing can prepare you for these kinds of situations. I internalized this one for years—but maybe if I acknowledge it, I will be able to heal.