ASHLEY

I was sixteen years old, and all I needed at that time was a friend. He became my friend. One day he wanted to come over to talk, and being the friend that I was, I opened the door and let him in. Sometimes I wish I could just go back in time and stop myself, to not answer the door, to go back to taking a different class so we wouldn't meet.

I tried to fight and scratch and scream and yell but it's hard to do when there's a hand over your mouth. My mind went numb after a while, I was in another world, I heard a bird chirp outside, I was wishing I was that bird, being free in the sun.

I can't really remember the time afterwards; I recall stumbling into the bathroom where the lights were too bright and my body was sore. I remember taking a shower so hot that it burned my skin. I thought I could never tell anyone, thinking, "This is dirty," "It's embarrassing," "No one ever talks about this."

Two years later I attempted to take my own life because of this. I ran away from home, took 80 sleeping pills and waited, hoping they would take me away. After 30 minutes, I drove back to my house and my older sister ran outside to find me slumped in the car. I had never been so happy to see my family. I was put in an ambulance and taken to the emergency room. The doctors told my mom at one point that they didn't know if I would make it. I woke up a day later, still out of it.

Five months later and I am learning how to deal with this, I have been hospitalized twice due to depression and suicidal thoughts. I am writing this to you to let you know you can make it . I still struggle everyday because of my rape and the damage it caused me. No, it's not going to be this beautiful healing process where everybody has your back and you're doing great. Its f*cking hard but that's what life's about. Life is hard after something like this happens to you, but that doesn't mean that it isn't worth it.