No one tells you you’ll spend the next six months wide awake at night staring at your ceiling, reliving the moment he pushed himself inside you without your permission.
No one will tell you about the nightmares. The constant fear. How you won’t be able to walk down a street at night without constantly looking over your shoulder.
No one will tell you how long it will take you to be able to have sex again. To trust someone. To let someone in. No one will tell you how the meaning of sex will change for you after rape. How allowing someone to be inside you will take on a whole new meaning.
No one could have prepared you for the moment he wrapped his hands around your neck and started to squeeze. The moment you started praying that maybe you would pass out so that you wouldn’t have to live through what you knew was going to happen next. Wondering whether being unconscious would be better than the alternative.
No one could have prepared you for the shame you felt as you grabbed your clothes and your belongings and walked home half-naked, as bruises started to colour your body.
No one told you about the days that would follow. Days that felt like months, and months that felt like years. Days without food, or sleep, or human contact. How you would spend your days locked behind your door, hoping that the four walls of your room could protect you from the terror that was outside. Hoping that maybe if you didn’t tell anyone, or see anyone, that it didn’t actually happen.
No one will tell you what it’s like to see your attacker walking around campus with a smile on his face as though nothing happened. No one can prepare you for the first time he grabs at you at the bar. The panic attack that ensues as your skin crawls from feeling his fingers on your body once again.
No one will tell you how long it takes to get over the feeling of being violated.
No one tells you that you never can and you never will.
No one warns you that three years later, when you wake up from a nightmare, it will feel like you have been assaulted all over again. That sometimes when your boyfriend’s hands near your neck, you want to cry, but you fake a moan instead.
No one will tell you that you will never forget that night. That you will never forget his face. The sounds of your screams as you begged him to stop. Or the feeling of his hands forcing themselves on your body, pulling at you, scarring you for years to come.
No one will prepare you for the accusations. The lies. The threats. The questions about your alcohol intake or your choice of clothing that evening. No one will tell you about the injustice. The silence. The lack of consequence.
No one will tell you that you will have to fight like hell to prove it.
This is who you are now. A walking statistic. Just another number with a pulse. You’re not unique. This happens every day to thousands of women. And you’re just like them. That’s what people will tell you. But no one will tell you the truth. No one will prepare you.
Nothing and no one can prepare you for rape. And they shouldn’t have to.