“You’re so tense…you need to relax,” he scolded. I squeezed my eyes shut, tightly gripped the sheets, screamed in my head, and prayed for it to be over. October 16, 2015 was supposed to be a night filled with first date festivities but quickly turned out to be the worst night of my life.

I spent the next two weeks not being able to look at myself in the mirror or hear the sound of my own voice, spending all the time I could in bed. I went into a state of denial; it wasn’t until a week later when I told a friend and two weeks later until I told my parents. I quickly developed severe depression, anxiety, and PTSD. I was in a zombie-like state for the following two months. 

My apartment became my hell and I couldn’t bear to be inside of it. Food felt like poison and clothes that were anything other than leggings and baggy sweaters were shoved to the back of my closet. I felt robbed of my confidence, identity, and self-worth. I felt so alone that I would isolate myself instead of being around the people I loved and cared about. This brought me through highs and lows, even to the point of wanting to take my life. 

I am still in the process of recovering through counseling and the support of my friends and family. This journey is a long and rocky one but I hope someday I can look back on this and be thankful for the woman I became. I made a promise to my friends and family to never give up and I hope you don’t either.