I am not really a Lady Gaga fan, but her new song and video really spoke to my soul. If you are a survivor of sexual assault or rape, it might speak to you too. Be prepared though, there are depictions of assault/rape and it could definitely be triggering. View it at this link:
Til it Happens to You
Thank you, Lady Gaga.
I broke up with abusive Ex when I was a freshman in college. I went home to do it and immediately after breaking it off I went back to school. I looked like absolute shit. I hadn’t showered that day, I had done a lot of crying, I was wearing an old sweater and pair of jeans. Basically I was a hot mess in every sense of the word. My roommate and best friend had gone home for the weekend as well so I did not have her to lean on; however, several of my friends who lived on my floor looked at me and suggested I go out partying with them. I went.
When we went out we usually decided who looked the hottest that night and put her at the front of the line in an attempt to get into parties without paying the $5 cup charge. That night I was definitely in the back of the group, but the guy at the door recognized me. He was a few years older and had gone to my high school. He immediately let us all in for free and brought me over to a table of guys who were playing a drinking card game. I knew several of those guys from high school as well and joined them immediately. I started playing the game and actually having a great time. My girlfriends saw that I was with friends and drifted off to dance. They thought I was ok and so did I… I was for the time being.
I left the table a few times to go outside and smoke. Several times I noticed a guy really watching me. It was creepy, but he didn’t say anything and I went back inside to the card table. At the time I was an 18 year old freshman and probably weighed about 103 pounds. Pretty quickly I was extremely drunk. I realized I was going to have to throw up and I excused myself to the bathroom. I ran in, closed the door, and proceeded to be sick. I think I might have passed out on the floor for awhile.
I didn’t lock the door. That was a failure. Creepy guy came in and did lock the door. He picked me up, sat me on the counter next to the sink, and proceeded to start kissing my neck and undressing me. I tried and tried to fight him off and I tried to yell no, but I was so drunk I was fighting to stay conscious. I don’t remember too much other than thinking to myself “Well, I guess I’m going to be raped now.” It felt hopeless. I felt powerless.
Luckily one of my male friends realized I had been gone awhile and decided to come and check on me. I believe he broke the door in when I didn’t answer. I remember him pulling the guy off me and yelling. Other guys came in and grabbed Rapey dude and threw him out. I think they may have beat him up, but I’m not sure. Male friend got my clothes back on me and somehow got me back to my dorm room. I remember him pulling my mattress off my lofted bed and putting it on the floor. I remember him taking my shoes off, getting me a glass of water, bringing me a bucket, and holding my hand. I remember him telling me that he would stay until I felt safe. At some point I must’ve passed out.
If it wasn’t for that male friend my sexual assault would have been another rape. It happens on college campuses all the time. I thought I was safe. I was with at least 5 girlfriends and I knew the guys who lived in the apartment. I wasn’t safe. There was a predator there and he was just waiting for an opportunity. I’m sure that was his MO and that I probably wasn’t the first girl (or last) that he victimized. I’m pretty sure he didn’t even go to my school. He was just a college aged guy who scoped out parties.
That male friend of mine is a good and decent human being. I have thanked him over the years, but I don’t think he fully understands just how grateful I am. There are good people in this world and whenever I start to question humanity I think of him.
That’s a little part of my story.