Editor’s note: The writer’s last name is omitted to protect their identity.

The drinking and the costume definitely made IT easier for them. But IT shouldn’t have even happened. I was not a target, I was the bullseye. Unknowingly in the center of a malicious plan. My vision was clouded and my dexterity was diminished. As my strength deteriorated, so did my judgment. I like to dance, but why did I venture so far that night? I trusted a stranger to bring me home safely on an unfamiliar campus. 

Mistake. Mistake.

Like an idiot, there was no alarm going off in my head. The liquor had transformed me. No alarm, until I was pulled in a room by the arms of multiple men.

For days after the assault I laid in bed unmoving, other than the tears rolling down my cheeks.

Do you know what emotions canter through your body? How self-blame is inevitable, and how self-worth shatters in your face? Your former character is exiled from fear. Your previous being is dethroned. In the following months, there were two monsters that controlled my thoughts.

The first was an ebony cave, with an absence of light. It induced hibernation and no appetite. My ambition became limited, yet my idleness ran rampant. It acted as an empty cavern for my anxiety to reside. The walls were reverberators for the echo of its breath. Slow and unsteady, like the beating of my chest. Ready to cease, yet relentlessly unfailing. Agony: He would gawk at me.

The second was a sharp high, with that full-body absentee. It forged enhanced sensations and hyperreality. My awareness was active, but my response was impaired. It operated as an induced insanity. Emotions free of gravity. Active when they wanted, and not when I needed. Attendance in rhythmic motion with my most inconvenient moments. Panic: She would take over me.

They entered me without my permission. All the perpetrators and prevailing emotions. Physically and mentally. It dismantled me inside, then out.

Catherine N. is an LSA student.

If you would like to share your story, learn how to submit to our series here. The submission deadline for the fall 2017 semester is Oct. 26, 2017 at 11:59 p.m., but after that you may submit your piece as an op-ed.

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