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This happened about two years ago, although for some reason it still feels like it is it wasn’t that long ago. I had just returned from studying abroad and had started drinking and partying during my time abroad. While I was abroad I had a friend I would date. We always fell on each other and she always made sure I went with her. When I got home, I didn’t realize what a safety net that was for me. Having broken up with my long-time boyfriend before studying abroad, I also didn’t realize that my separation from him and my former friends could also be a strain.

I went to a friend’s birthday party. After dinner we all went to a karaoke bar. His brother came over and bought buckets of beer for the group. My ex was there but he was extremely drunk and I didn’t feel like talking to him. The birthday boy’s brother got a little friendly, offered me more drinks and put his arm around me. I had somehow gotten used to foreigners being very friendly abroad, so I wasn’t concerned. I was pretty tipsy/drunk. I now know I’m gluten intolerant, so beer really messes me up.

As we all left, the birthday boy asked if I wanted to stay with him – I could stay in his room and lock the door so no one would bother me. It seemed like a better option than staying in my underground apartment where I was alone, so I said yes. He took the couch down and I got his bed. I locked the door. I texted my other ex that night and said I was staying with nice people. I said they were trustworthy.

There’s a knock at the door. I get up and open it. It’s the birthday boy’s brother with a glass of orange juice and an aspirin. OK. I take it and close the door. I’m going back to bed.

There’s another knock at the door. OK? I get up and open it. It’s the brother again, but this time with an extra blanket. I can’t remember the exact conversation, but I lie down and he puts the covers over me and gets into bed with me. He says, “I just want to hold you tight.” My drunken brain is a little worried now. I say I have to use the bathroom. He helps me trip in the bathroom and I lock myself. I remember texting my ex “I don’t want to have sex tonight” but I don’t really think about it. The man in front of the door asks me if I’m okay because I’ve been in the bathroom for a while.

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I’ll eventually get out and we’ll go back to bed. He climbs back into bed with me. I think he starts kissing me. For reasons I still don’t understand, I respond by touching him back and rocking back and forth. But all the time I say, “Your brother will hear us.” He says, “No, it’s fine.” and he he goes on. He caresses me and guides my hand to his penis. He tells me I’m beautiful and then says, “Take your pants off.” I don’t, so he removes them himself and turns me over. I ask him if he has protection. He says: “It’s okay. It’s OK.” Which really means no, but fuck it. He stops before coming and says he needs a break. At this point, I put my pants back on and turn away.

I didn’t get any help. At most I sent him a Facebook message explaining what he did wrong. He asked if he could make up for that by taking me out to dinner. I only met this guy a few hours ago. Maybe I didn’t know how to say no. There’s a lot of guilt. I feel like everything is my fault. What happened is so ambiguous that I didn’t know what to think. Maybe I still don’t. The whole experience was like a shotgun to me. For the next year I was essentially groggy and confused, unable to organize my thoughts. There’s also the uncertainty that I’m overreacting – that this shouldn’t be a big deal and that I should just “get over it”. Blame it too that this wasn’t a “valid” rape because it wasn’t violent. I’ve lost a lot of my identity and am increasingly concerned about interacting with people. I’m not who I was before. I’ve been very involved on campus – a leader in several organizations, a former orientation leader, president and public relations officer. I took pride in organizing and bringing people together to build community through my organization. That’s what a powerful woman does. I feel like she’s gone.

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Men now seem like predators. It’s harder to relate and build relationships with people. I also live in fear that I will be held responsible for what happened. That someone is just going to tell me it’s my fucking fault. That I’m a slut who lets it be. Meanwhile, this asshole doesn’t even think he did anything wrong. I’ve lost a lot of interest in sex, and any advances on me seem like a threat, even if meant in good faith. Any interest in me based on looks is also extremely negative.

This also unfortunately coincided with some other negative events in my life, which was an extremely traumatic time for me. A week later my father lost his job, my grandfather had a heart attack and I was with my father when he had a traumatic bicycle accident later that summer. It was only thanks to the financial support of my extended family and a lot of persuasion that I decided to go back to school in the fall.

I am actively working on my self-help, but not through counselling. I see hope in the future but it has taken me a long time to get where I am now. At least I can see how that affected me. I’m looking for people in my life who love me unconditionally and finding places to build a community that supports me. Perhaps this powerful woman still exists in some form. I wish I had a happier answer, but it is what it is.


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  • Match search results: May the freakbeat be upon you! This is the superior US single version of UK pop psych band The Creation’s “How Does It Feel To Feel” from 1967. The Creation’s guitarist Eddie Phillips was the first to use a violin bow with a guitar, a technique that Eddie had obviously perfected by the time they recorded this superb and WILD version of the “How Does It Feel To Feel” single. The UK version of “How Does It Feel” is pretty TAME in comparison.

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    I do not claim to own the copyright to this recording.

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