S’s Story

* This story comes with a trigger warning for sexual content, drugs, depression and other mature subject matter. *

Photo by Zack Melhus – Instagram : @zmelhus

What I’ve been told by multiple people is that “I allowed it to happen to me”. 

First year university – that’s when I met (Guy1). 

(Guy1) goes to a big local university and is on one of the varsity teams. (Guy1) was the first guy there that I got along with and started to have feelings for. I would hang around his place as friends, slept over occasionally and regularly attended his parties with his sports teams. We were seeing each other on and off when I met (Guy2), (Guy3) and the rest of the team through house parties and clubbing. I had stayed out in Vancouver for the summer for classes and work, and would occasionally run into (Guy1) and the varsity team on nights out, then go back to his place after. 

February 2017 is when it happened. 

I loved this popular club downtown; my classmates and I would go there every Sunday, we knew a couple of the bartenders and bouncers. We always had a great time. I was out with classmates and was texting (Guy1), when he invited me over back to his place where he and (Guy2) were having a couple of drinks. I’d stayed over multiple times before and nothing had ever happened that hurt me, so I figured it would be safe. 

I was very intoxicated and don’t fully remember the cab ride over but I remember wearing a corona hat and a white tank top. I was in (Guy1)’s room talking with him and (Guy2) as they were drinking. They asked if I wanted a drink and passed me a red cup. I remember asking what was in it and one of them saying:

“don’t worry, you’ll like it”. 

We played truth or dare. I was kissing (Guy1), he left the room and then I had to kiss (Guy2). They were trying to play a game guessing each other’s underwear; I wouldn’t let them see mine because I was overwhelmed and didn’t want both of them to see me. 

I don’t remember what happened next. 

*Trigger warning – next 3 paragraphs*

I remember waking up in the middle of the night, on (Guy1)’s bed, on my hands and knees with (Guy2) behind me and (Guy1) watching. The door was open. I tried to say something but nothing made sense. I remember waking up in the morning, next to (Guy1), we were both naked. I asked him if we had sex. He said yes. Then (Guy2) walked in, said “thanks for last night” and threw out a condom. 

I said, “what the hell happened?” I was told we had a threesome. I was in absolute shock and asked (Guy1) if he could tell that I had been completely out of it, and he said “yeah I could tell you were out of it. You weren’t making any sense”. I was shocked. I got my stuff, and left. I went to school, then into my friend’s apartment, and showered three times, crying. I didn’t realize that it had been rape until much later on.

I kept to myself and brushed off the assault as if it was just a typical night out. I started to feel extremely anxious and depressed. I knew something was wrong. I didn’t know that it had been rape, but eventually it started to sink in. I blamed myself  because I had too much to drink and I didn’t even consider the idea of being drugged. 

Before this happened, I was a great student academically. 

I almost failed all of my classes that next semester. For one class I got an academic warning, other professors had to talk to me about my academic performance. I stopped handing in assignments on time and struggled to sleep. I scraped through second year without telling family, getting help and using alcohol to numb me down.

The panic attacks, nightmares, flashbacks and difficulty sleeping happened about 8-10 months later. I would have panic attacks around men in clubs or anyone when alcohol was involved and I got extremely triggered. I started to self harm; digging nails into my palms trying to numb myself or dug my nails into the skin on my back. I was really depressed and hurting for the rest of university.

(Guy1) + (Guy2) assaulted me in February of 2017.

(Guy1) + (Guy3) assaulted me in April of 2017.

November 2019 (2years later), I opened up to my brother and then a week later I phoned my mom and told her. I first saw a psychiatrist in November 2019 who started me on medications and diagnosed me with PTSD. He was worried about alcohol consumption and suicidal thoughts. He was the first professional I told about the assault. 

December 2019, I started Neurofeedback sessions to work on freeing my brain from the trauma and learn how to cope with sleeping and actually being able to rest. My trauma was so bad that my brain at night would be in fight mode and not settle down when I would try to sleep. 

January 2020 was the first time I was told that I’m out of the “danger zone” by my psychiatrist; I then started counselling in February 2020 to deal with the PTSD, extreme trauma, and triggers. 

In June 2020 I got diagnosed with depression and put on anti- depressants. I had never reported the assault because I’d  believed it was my fault for 2 years, and still struggle day to this day with the mental game… if it’s just all in my head.

Due to these incidents I always watch my drinks, even when I’m at dinner with my family. I always need to know who poured my wine and where it is. I ask my boyfriend to watch my drink if I leave the table to use the restroom and cover it with napkins. I have lost all trust in anyone when it comes to alcohol.

Along the way I met people and shared bits and pieces of my story but it wasn’t until an old friend from elementary school (R) posted her story and started The No Society that I reached out and got help from her. Her story unfortunately is similar to mine but she has become a great help to me over the last couple of months.

-S, Vancouver

One Comment Add yours

  1. KAM says:

    So proud of you ❤️

    Like

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