One of my friends at the time had just turned 18. Our group decided it would be a good idea to go celebrate in our normal camping spot. By celebrate, they meant drinking. It was wrong to drink underage but everyone else was doing it, so why wouldn't we? Well, we had everything packed to go and we left before sunset. We were at our spot as the sun was setting and everyone started drinking but me. I just didn't want to do that. I stood by my choice while everyone else was drinking a lot. It started getting dark and everyone was huddled near the campfire. One of the guys in the group kept putting his arm over my shoulder, making sure his hand was within reach of my breast. He even attempted grabbing me but I shoved him off. It made me uncomfortable and I let him know it. I even made it a point to move across the pit and sit with my best friend, but she was wasted at this point and she shoved me off. I ended up just going to my tent and reading.
About two hours later, the guy that was by me at the pit stuck his head in my tent to ask me if I was okay and to apologize for what he did. I told him I was fine, that I accepted his apology, and not to do it again. Then I went back to reading. He came the rest of the way into my tent, zipped it and started grabbing at me. I told him to stop and get out. He kept going. And going. I started screaming but he put his arm across my throat to make sure I couldn't draw attention to the tent. I kicked and punched at the tent but nobody seemed to notice. It felt like an eternity. Like it wouldn't end. He ended up finishing and passing out on me. I fought my way out from under him and just sat outside my tent at the pit.
The next morning, everyone was just waking up when he grabbed me from behind and whispered in my ear. 'You will never be loved now. You're damaged. Nobody likes damaged.' I couldn't deal with what he had done and what he just said, so I stormed off and sat in my friend's car until they all decided to leave. When they dropped me off at home, he told me that I better not say anything, but if I did, nobody would believe me. He ended up moving out of state for college. I haven't seen or heard from him since.
Seven years later, I'm still in therapy. I'm no longer friends with anyone from that night. I have horrific night terrors. Horrific nightmares that feel real. Sometimes, I feel like I see him when I'm awake. My parents know with the help of my therapist. Three of my closest friends know. My boyfriend knows. I don't go around talking about it. It's 'not something that happens' where I live. But through all of it, I will always feel like that night was my fault.
I am Gennie, a Brave Babe.
I love and accept myself.