The Nightmare Before Christmas
He was just as cute as I remembered. We hung out in different crowds but I had the biggest crush on him in high school. I could never work up the courage to talk to him. Tonight would be different. After a few beers, I finally walked across the bar and said hello. We spent some time catching up and it slowly occurred to me that he was flirting! After a few more drinks, I decided I needed to go outside to get some air and he joined me. We started kissing and I couldn’t believe this was happening after all this time!
We hung out until the bar was closing for the night, I knew I was in no shape to drive myself home. He had stopped drinking long before I did and offered to take me home. I hugged my friends goodbye and hopped in his car. On the way home, he pulled into an empty parking lot and leaned across the seat to make out with me. All of a sudden I felt him fighting my coat and trying to put his hands under my shirt. I knew I didn’t want this to go any further and tried to gently push him away, hoping he would get the hint. He kept kissing me and then tried to unbutton my pants. Something in me snapped and I yelled at him to take me home. The whole way he told me I was a bitch and tease. He said I shouldn’t have lead him on if I wasn’t going to do anything about it.
I stayed up crying all night. I felt like it was my fault, I felt dirty and gross. He quickly told friends what happened, telling them I freaked out on him. Even my closest friends told me it wasn’t a big deal and kept reminding me that I had been flirting with him all night. What did I expect to happen? Or reminding me it could’ve been so much worse, he didn’t have to stop. I just couldn’t wait for Christmas break to be over. I thought if I could just get away from everyone I would be fine and things would go back to normal.
When I finally did make it back to school I found myself still struggling with anxiety and had a really hard time getting back into the swing of things. I barely wanted to go to my classes, let alone parties or extracurricular activities. Some friends noticed and tried to talk to me, but after what my friends from home said I definitely wasn’t going to tell anyone else what happened.
A few weeks into the semester my school hosted a Volunteer and Job Fair. I decided to wander through as a way to kill time before my next class started. I stopped and talk to someone with a booth for YWCA Oklahoma City. As they told me about volunteer opportunities, they mentioned their services for victims of sexual assault. After reading their brochures and website, I finally got the courage to call an advocate.
It was the best decision I could have made. During our initial meeting, my advocate reassured me I had done nothing wrong. There is this idea that if you go to a certain point and turn someone on, you owe it to them to go all the way. She helped me see that this way of thinking is wrong, I have the right to say no to anything I don’t feel comfortable with at any time. By talking to her, other clients in group, and a counselor, I am finally feeling like myself again. I’m starting to enjoy the things I used to, and I feel empowered in my decisions. My life was broken, but with YWCA OKC’s help I am working hard to make it beautiful again.