College brought a fresh start, a place to breathe and enjoy my new found freedom. Putting my acting skills to the test, I joined our university’s theater group. I had no idea just how badly I would need them.
I had always been the good girl, a goodie-two-shoes. Before college, I never went to any parties, I didn’t drink, didn’t do drugs, nor have sex. In college, I had a completely new freedom and by this point, I had a new desire to live my life outside of the prison I had lived in for so long. I still was a good girl though, I was a moderate drinker, never tried drugs though I had plenty of opportunities, and I was still saving myself for marriage. One of my friends described me as, “A good girl who tries so hard to be bad…but just can’t.”
It was a custom in theater to hang out at someone’s house after most rehearsals and performances. We were a close-knit group. Even though I was with friends, I was still smart I would only drink from a bottle I’d opened, one I poured myself, or watched being poured. I regularly volunteered to be the designated driver, drinking plenty of water and waiting until I was completely sober before driving anyone anywhere.
After a rehearsal in the spring semester of my freshman year, my friend and I decided to split a bottle of Crown. Not knowing my limit and not being the DD that night, I was bound and determined to drink the half I paid for; famous last words. I drank everything so quickly, that I didn’t know I was drunk until I started violently throwing up in the corner of the backyard. One of my friends sat with me, holding my hair back as I threw up until only stomach acid came up burning my throat. Another friend carried me into the front room where a few others were sleeping.
Needless to say, I awoke to find myself in every woman’s nightmare. Once again, frozen with fear, I did nothing to stop it from happening. Instead of living in freedom, I found myself bound once again by a self-imposed silence; protecting the theater program and directors I loved so much. This time I had completely bought into Satan’s lies that it truly was my fault. After all, I allowed myself to get drunk, I left myself vulnerable and I was a fool to be so trusting.
For the next few years, I went about my business as usual, letting the actress in me take over. In my junior year, I finally shared my most recent humiliation with a trusted friend. I remember sitting with her after an Introduction to Counseling class (ironic). I sat there for what felt like an eternity before I actually said anything, though I tried several times. She was patient, simply waiting for me, not saying a word, just waiting until I could get the words past my heart. Once again, I was reminded that it wasn’t my fault, but I still knew better than that. I knew there was nothing to be done, no action that could be taken. He’d get away with it just like the others but I would be the one left with hurt and with shame and a guilt that should not belong to me…
This story is not over and there is a reason why it’s called a Beautiful History, just hang on and find out why…