I organize the events of my life into before and after June 20, 2007.
Before: I was a daughter of God. Happy. Innocent. Pure.
After: I was dirty. Stupid. Naïve. Broken.
It’s been eight years, and there are still so many things that I don’t know. I don’t know why I was at that party. I don’t know why I didn’t leave when I became uncomfortable. I don’t know why I left my drink alone. I don’t know who drugged me. I don’t know with what. I don’t know who I lost my virginity to. I don’t know how many of them there were. I don’t know why they felt it necessary to leave bruises on my stomach and thighs. I don’t know why they put their cigarettes out on my breasts. I don’t know why I woke up naked in a bathtub. I don’t know why I thought it was my fault.
There are things that I do know. I know that my rapist(s) didn’t use protection. I know that I got pregnant at 13. I know that I got an abortion. I know that I bled out the evidence of my attack for weeks after. I know that I started cutting myself because I deserved to be punished. I know that I have struggled with that addiction ever since. I know that in eight years I have had blood transfusions and so many stitches that I've lost count. I know that I tried (and failed) to drown my misery in a cocktail of alcohol and drugs and sex.
I know that talking about that night and the aftermath is simultaneously the most terrifying and liberating thing I have ever done. I know that I am not the same person I was then. I am stronger. I am a mosaic—once-broken pieces of a soul glued together with the gentle and unconditional love of the people who surround me every day.