I was there for a “birthday party”.
I worked at a Mexican restaurant the summer after I graduated high school and a guy I worked with asked if I wanted to go to a party with him. Having already honed my partying skills, I gladly accepted. I walked into the tiny apartment and within seconds, I was offered a shot. I asked where the bathroom was and the guy behind the kitchen counter handed me my shot and said “through that door; on the left in the bedroom”. I took the shot, walked into the bedroom, hid my purse under the dresser and walked into the bathroom.
The next thing I remember was waking up on the floor, half dressed and in excruciating pain.
The light was so bright it hurt my eyes. My first thought was 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘥𝘶𝘮𝘣𝘢𝘴𝘴. 𝘠𝘰𝘶 𝘨𝘰𝘵 𝘥𝘳𝘶𝘯𝘬 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘣𝘭𝘢𝘤𝘬𝘦𝘥 𝘰𝘶𝘵...then I tried to get up.
Pain radiated from the inside out. Every inch of me hurt. I could feel my insides; my skin even hurt. I laid my head back down on the cold tile trying to figure out what was going on. I turned my head and saw my belt laying on the floor next to my head, still buckled. It had been pulled so hard from the buckle that the leather snapped in the back. The pain was so bad when I moved that I grabbed my stomach.... I felt skin where my pants should have been.
I had been raped.
I mustered all my strength and stood up. My bra was up over my boobs, my underwear in the trash, my pants at my feet and shoes nowhere to be found. My hair was disheveled and littered with vomit; my makeup was smeared all over my face. Fight or flight instantly kicked in. I had to get to my purse, but I didn’t know what was waiting for me on the other side of that bathroom door. I got dressed, wrapped my belt around my right hand, buckle side out, just in case I had to fight.
I cracked the door and sunlight poured in. It was the next day.
I realized what had happened. I had been drugged. I took a deep breath and flung the door open to run to my purse. Instead of a fight, I was met with the silence of reality. Two half naked girls, one on the bed and one on the floor, both passed out. The carpet was covered in liquor bottles and beer cans. There was a mirror on the bed, dusty with the remnants of coke and condoms. Used condoms and wrappers covered the carpet like confetti.
I grabbed my purse, got my keys out and slung my bag over my shoulder and around my body. I moved the belt to my left hand and laced my keys between my fingers on my right hand—I still had to get out of the apartment and I was getting out of there one way or another...or I was gonna die trying. I slowly opened the bedroom door; no fight, just more reality. 2 more half naked girls. One passed out, one half coherent and crying. “They stole my car”, she said. I looked around and saw more of the same: alcohol, drugs and condoms...and 4 dumped out purses laying on the coffee table—the only thing that saved me was hiding my purse when I got there.
I didn’t say a word. I just ran.
I ran down the stairs and got in my car, squealing the tires as I burned outta the parking lot. There was a gas station at the next corner and I pulled in and started to cry. Crying from pain. Crying from fear. Crying from embarrassment. Crying because I was sick to my stomach. Crying because I knew what happened but I didn’t know what happened.
Then the phone rang. It was my mom, and I was late picking her up from work. “I overslept, I’m 15mins away” I said quickly before she could get a word out. “Ok. Drive safe”.
I grabbed pajamas out of a bag that was in my trunk from staying at a friend’s house the weekend before. I went into the gas station, changed my clothes in the bathroom, stuck my head under the faucet to rinse the vomit from my hair, bought a pack of cigarettes and a dr pepper to cover the smell of alcohol and the taste of vomit. Then hauled ass. I got lectured about being responsible and following through on commitments for the 20 min drive home.
I never said a word. Having her think I was irresponsible was better than her thinking she raised a whore. Because that’s what I was now. Dirty. Worthless. Disgusting. Trash.
When we got home I went straight to the shower to try to wash the filth off of me...it didn’t work. I’ve been trying for 22 years.
The details of the 9 missing hours are spotty and graphic, but this is what I remember:
I remember loud music and laughing. I remember feeling like a ragdoll. My arms and legs no longer functioning, just lifelessly hanging off my body. I remember being spun around from one set of arms to another. Each barely catching me and laughing when I fell to the floor. I remember being tossed on the bed and hitting my head against the wall. I remember what their hands felt like on my skin. I remember the smell of their spit from licking my face.
I remember being called a whore.
I remember being told that I liked it.
I remember begging them to stop.