I had a weird hookup. I had never invited boys back to my apartment. I wasn’t against doing that, I just never felt comfortable doing it.
The morning after my junior homecoming at Georgia College, I woke up to a pounding headache and a nauseous stomach, then I felt a hand touch my shoulder and a naked body cuddle up to me.
I started to cry as I thought to myself, “what have I done?”
I spent the entire day before at the infamous tent city. I illegally drank my weight in alcohol with my peers — professors and GC employees watched me. I knew he would be there and I knew he thought I was pretty. I never really got attention like that from guys, so it was nice.
As the night winded down and the homecoming king and queen were announced, I continued to drink and ended up at a fraternity party. He was there. We proceeded to drink and flirt until we headed downtown. The last thing I remember is taking a tequila shot he bought for me.
Then I woke up.
To this day, I can’t really remember what happened that night.
I will tell you what I do remember.
I remember him touching me the next morning, saying that he remembered everything. I remember him saying “it’s not a big deal” and that “nothing really happened.” I remember him making crude jokes about me to his friends. I listened to him joke about what he did with me, to me.
I remember walking out of my room the next morning and telling my roommate that I had a weird hookup and that I thought it was wrong. I remember the look of disgust on her face as she said “How could you accuse that poor boy of that? Do you know what that would do to his life? Deal with the mistakes you have made.” He remembered everything and I remembered nothing.
I remember the deep depression that followed, along with the anxiety. I remember the parade of guys that followed. I barely remember the binge drinking that I partook in multiple times a week to try to forget. I remember my mom texting me telling me she was proud of me and the pit that hit my stomach, because how could anyone be proud of me? I remember hating myself, wanting to die and I came to remember parts of that night and remember the feeling of him entering me and the tears streaming down my face.
I remember the flashbacks whether they happen during sex, in a nightmare or walking down the street at night.
I remember walking into my counselor’s office for the first time and hysterically sobbing as I told her what happened to me. I remember months of counseling that lead to a life changing realization: if I would have asked to drive a car, everyone would have said no.
If I couldn’t drive a car, then I couldn’t consent. It doesn’t matter what was said, it doesn’t matter how I acted or what I wore. The fact is, I was blackout drunk and I couldn’t consciously make a responsible decision.
So I have forgiven him, as much as I have been able to, but it is the bystanders who I have a tough time forgiving.
To the people at tent city, my roommate, the bartender who served me the tequila shot, I have a question for you. Did you know my life was going to change forever that day? More importantly, did you know that you would play a major role in it?
To all of you, I would say I was raped. It was not my fault.
I hope that you think of me the next time you see a girl stumbling downtown holding onto a guy who is walking perfectly straight.