This is Jamie’s story about how she overcame a violent night after drinking with some friends.
Trigger Warning: Mentions of rape; drinking
Running out of a friend’s house in underwear and an oversized men’s t-shirt, I never intended to look back. I ran out into the cold of the New Year and drove home to my grandparents’ house and showered immediately. My body hurt and my inner thighs were bruised. I drove to Kansas City and laid on my best friend’s couch for as long as college break would allow me to become completely numb.
I had drove home for New Year’s Eve and ran into a high school friend. She invited me to a party and being in my late twenties I didn’t have any other plans. We went to another friend’s house and started playing beer pong. I can’t really remember drinking that much but it’s possible that I did. There was a guy there I’d worked with in my early twenties and he flirted with me in the past. To be honest he was never someone I even thought about. I can’t ever really remember us having a conversation before that night and it was just small talk. He brought me champagne in a tea cup and that’s the last memory I have before coming to in a bunk bed with him on top of me.
It felt like a fever dream. It took me an eternity of seconds to realize what was happening before hitting him in the chest. I never went back for my clothes. I just ran and I kept running from the memory for a long time. It took me a year to tell the friend who invited me. I ran into the friend who owned the house we partied at recently and I wanted to tell her but I couldn’t say it. It took me over 3 years to tell my grandma. I still haven’t told my mom though I know she noticed the changes in my behavior the first year.
My last year of college I found my road to healing in the words of Andrea Dworkin who said, “Feminism provided a way for me to understand my own life.” I found healing in the words of Susan Brownsmiller, Shlulamith Firestone, Kate Millett, Germaine Greer, and the countless other women who addressed gender disparity and sexual violence. When a woman puts thoughts and stories to paper she provides resources to other women who are searching for an answer. The greatest resource women have are other women.
Photos by Jess Gringinger