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You Believe


Almost two years to this day I was drugged and raped at a party held in Coffrin apartments. After months of shock, depression, anxiety, fear, anger, guilt, denial, numbness, embarrassment, confusion, insomnia, secrecy, flash backs, and self harm I have finally arrived at my current mental state. I am hurting but I am also healing.


Since arriving at Middlebury I have been slut-shamed more times than I can count. It is a fact that I have hooked up many, many people but it is also a fact that hypersexuality as a result of sexual assault is a very real, legitimate response.


You believe that you’re not good for anything else but sex. You believe sex is the only way you could possibly connect to another person. You believe sex is the only kind of intimacy you’re good at. You believe that cuddling after sex is the only way to get nonsexual physical touch. You believe the flashbacks will stop if you drown them out with other memories. You believe that sharing a bed with someone is the only way you’ll sleep safely. You believe your body is the only part of you that matters.  You believe that complete control over your sexual experiences is the only way to feel better about your assault. You believe that being drunk and alone in your room is when you are the most unsafe. You believe that forcing yourself to get blackout drunk is essential because you don’t want to remember seeing your rapist at a party much like the one he assaulted you at. You believe that a guy’s borderline territorial behavior when he is interested in sleeping with you is a valid form of protection. You believe that there is no other way to get attention. You believe that it’s the only way to stop feeling wordlessly desperate. You believe that you need someone else’s compliments about your appearance to be able to stand looking in the mirror. You believe that you cannot expect love without sex.


The relationships between me and my assault, my voluntary sexual encounters, and myself is much better and slowly improving day by day thanks to supportive friends, caring family, devoted therapists, and my ability to finally forgive myself but some days are easier than others.


Today in the dining hall my rapist looked at me, smiled then waved. Today I am struggling.

​Author: Anonymous Middlebury College Student

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