This piece comes from an extremely talented writer and close friend and I urge everyone to check out her piece about tragedy, despair, and overcoming mental anguish.
Trigger Warning: Rape, Suicide.
I still think about the day that I was taking a walk with my dad in early spring, and we were talking about rape. I remember saying, “I would definitely kill myself if I was ever raped. I don’t think I would want to live through that. It’s probably the only reason I would ever actually commit suicide.”
It was a heavy topic for a nice leisurely stroll, but we were talking about a recent story in the media and had veered off into personal examples of people we knew that were rape survivors. I knew people survived all kinds of sad, traumatic experiences – cancer, loss of loved ones, car crashes, physical violence, child abuse – and I’ve gone through a lot myself. I lost my mom unexpectedly when I was eleven, and I lost one of my best friends to a car accident when I was eighteen. I came out as bisexual in middle school and went through a long period of intense bullying. But for some reason, I couldn’t shake the idea of rape as being the most horrible thing for a person to have to live with.
This was a couple years before the night that changed my life. I attended a college party at UMass Dartmouth with a friend, where others drank but I didn’t, and where I knew a couple people but not everyone. It was my first experience spending significant time at the school. When I woke up the next day, I realized I had been drugged during the night. I woke up in the afternoon, groggy and confused, and I knew then that I had to make a decision.
I had been raped. But I didn’t know if I wanted to make good on that promise to myself: to end my life if I became a survivor. I only knew one thing. I didn’t want to survive.