Today I'm linking up with Becky from 'From MRS to MAMA'
I haven't blogged in a long time and I honestly thought about giving it up. But there was something in me that wanted to keep blogging, and maybe make a difference in someone's life and perhaps save someone from going through what I am going through.
(I'm not looking for a pitty party, I am sharing my story to tell others that they are not alone and that they will make it through and let my story serve as a warning that should not be ignored)
My story is not always a pretty one, but its mine and I wouldn't change it. Everything happens for a reason, even the bad things in our lives, and I am a firm believer of that. I'm a Christian and all my faith is in God. He has a plan for my life, and this was part of His master plan. I am just now starting to realize that this is where my passion is, and I want to make a career out of it (Lord willing). This is a pretty long story, just so ya'll know
WARNING: I left out the details, but some people might experience triggers..
When I started college I was 21 and recently moved to the States from The Netherlands. I was really naive and was trying really hard to fit in and not stand out too much from the other freshman who were all 18 and away from their parents for the first time. I hadn't really been a drinker before I came to college (drinking is legal at 16 in the Netherlands) but by trying to fit in and be popular I had my fair share of alcoholic beverages in college :)
After my freshman year, my parents bought a house and I lost a lot of my friends because I was no longer living on campus and part of their lives. I adopted a puppy (yay Izzie) and was pre-occupied with other things besides drinking and going out every night. In an effort to find more friends, I got an invite thru facebook to go to a party. It was November 9th 2008 and it is a day that is etched in my memory.
Shortly after arriving at this house I realized I was the only girl (bad sign #1). I brought my own alcohol, knowing the dangers of drinking someone else's drinks at a house with people you are now familiar with. There was maybe 10-15 guys there and I knew none of them. I had a few drinks and I lost conciousness. To make a long story short, I ended up getting raped by at least 3 of the guys that were there. I was there for over 7 hours and I was in and out of consiousness so its hard to remember (I have a collective memory of that night of maybe 10 minutes). Sometimes I wish I remembered all the details and other times I am glad I don't.
I reported the crime 2 days later and decided not to press charges (I am not really sure why and looking back I wish I would have). I just recently requested a copy of my statememt and it is heartbreaking to read because I can tell that I was really confused about what had happened, and still am. After stuggling to keep my head above water in school I dropped out and moved away. My GPA was so bad I almost got expelled and being on campus gave me too much anxiety so I never attended classes.
Being away for 2 years has really opened my eyes and made me realize that I am a much stronger person than I thought I was, strong was all I had. I felt like I had unfinished business here and after talking to school and realizing I could come back, I decided this was my chance to get my college degree...after 6 years.
I have had to overcome many obstacles coming back here, from driving past the house, to having a mild case of PTSD, and it hasn't been easy. This is something that I deal with almost every day. I try to tell every girl I meet or become friends with my story, and I encourage her to tell her friends so that this can stop.
One in 4 women will become a victim of rape before they graduate from college, that is sickening. I recently spoke in front of 100 people at my school's 'Take Back The Night' event and I was so empowered. I felt like God was finally telling me that I found my calling, this is what I am meant to do!
I am meant to share my story, so that others can learn from my mistakes. So that people, men and women, can become educated about the risks. I feel so inspired to do something really good with something so bad. I have finally found my job, my life, my passion. I am thinking about starting a company that goes around high schools and college so I can share my story and REDUCE the number of victims, or work for a sexual assault prevention and education company. Girls should be careful when in bad situations and alcohol can be a main factor when it comes to making decisions. Guys should be educated on how to speak up when they are a bystander and see things they don't want to see happen. It will take time, but with a lot of people and will power, a change WILL be made!!
I am doing better than ever in school and I am more focused and driven than ever. Once I put my faith in God, He opened my eyes and my heart and showed me the way.
I feels really good/nervewrecking/anxious/excited/scared/bless to be able to put this out there. I would like to add that if you have nothing nice to say, then PLEASE do not say anything at all. Thank your for reading all of my story, I know it's long..so thank you!
Please don't hesitate to email me if you have any questions, concerns or want to talk