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This was meant to be a letter to my Mum, but I started rambling. I’m not ready yet.

This is really very hard for me to type, but I have needed to say this for a long time. I tried once to tell you, but I hate seeing people look sad for me or to think that people worry about me, so I tried to make it seem less bad. Since then, I have had a lot of counseling and have given myself a lot of time to get my head around it.

I hate saying this, so I’m only going to mention it once. When I tried to explain what had happened when I was eighteen, I down-played it a lot. What really happened was not a blurring of lines.

I was raped.

I was on a night out and ended up with nowhere to stay. A man saw me alone and started speaking to me. I did not know him well, but I had definitely seen him around before. We have the same circle of friends. He offered me a place to stay, and made it clear that he was just being friendly. I believed him.

We went back to his small studio flat and sat on the sofa talking for a while. I was quite drunk at this point. He kissed me, and I kissed him back. While I wouldn’t have initiated anything, I didn’t indicate that I didn’t want it to happen. Kissing him back was maybe my first mistake. He seemed to take consent for kissing to mean much more. He took me over to his bed, and I let it get too far then. He had removed my clothes before I told him and showed him I wasn’t comfortable with what was happening. He carried on kissing me, and I don’t know why, but I didn’t feel I could speak up again.

I was scared and uncomfortable and eighteen years old. As he went to initiate intercourse, I made it very clear I was not interested, but he continued regardless. I was scared that he might become violent, and I was so out of my depth that I let him continue. After initially struggling hard, I stayed completely still underneath him, letting him rape me because I didn’t know what to do. He DID know I wasn’t okay with it, but I still sometimes feel like it was my fault I didn’t fight him off.

He fell asleep shortly afterwards, and I lay awake in his apartment, in shock. I don’t know why I didn’t leave. I didn’t feel I could. I had nowhere else to go, and I was genuinely completely frozen by what had just happened. I also don’t think the full reality had set in. I was sick multiple times through the night.

The next morning, he acted as though we had just had a one night stand, as if we were both consensual partners, when he knew we weren’t. The worst thing was just before I left, he said, ‘You bled last night, it’s fine don’t be embarrassed,’ as though it was embarrassment I was feeling right then. And then he added, ‘..but do I need to get checked for anything?’ I have never felt more disgusted with myself than I did right then.

I then had to walk home in the previous night’s clothes, make up, and shoes. I felt like I was being silently judged by everyone I walked past. They had no idea how much I wanted to die.

I still hate myself. I still fear sex. I desperately want a relationship. I want to feel loved, but I know the sexual side is expected. I just don’t know how I can do that again.