Every time I turn on the news nowadays, I see reports of different activist groups coming forward about all kinds of sexual assaults and harassment situations. I see headlines of company law suits and scary Uber drivers. It breaks my heart to hear these stories, since I feel I can connect with them on many levels based on my own experiences with sexual violation. My heart reaches out to all women and men who suffer in silence from having experienced such pain. As survivors, it is our responsibility to shine a light on these all- too-common crimes for the prevention of future occurrences.
According to the Me Too Movement statistics, 17,700,000 women have reported a sexual assault since 1998.
My experience with abuse are my own scars to bare and I accept them as a part of my making. The most vivid experience I have, while others are shoveled deep in their own graves, is one of a certain kind of horror. One that I believed for a long time was primarily self-inflicted. So I never came to terms with the event as it was, until very recently. I blamed myself, the last time I was taken advantage of because I took the drug, willingly.
I was invited over a man’s house who I’d met at a porn shoot. He was the owner of the house we had been shooting in. He asked me to come by for dinner one night, and I did. After dinner, I asked him if he had any Xanax. At the time, I enjoyed the feeling of taking the benzodiazepine, Xanax, recreationally to calm my new-found nerves of being a rising porn actress. He told me he had something similar and brought out a clear, odorless liquid in a medicine cup and told me it’d give me my desired effect. It was nothing like what I imagined it would be, at all.
After about twenty minutes, I became so heavy that I felt I had melted into the couch. Seconds later, I could no longer lift my arms or legs. When I tried to part my lips, I failed. I could no longer form sentences and my eyelids weighed more than the drink in my hand. After many attempts to simply blink, I found myself naked and on a bed. Another couple blinks, and he was now naked and on top of me. I remember trying to take deep breaths to gain strength and fully open my eyes. With my head turned to the side, I pried my eyes open to find my dinner host now inside of me, thrusting, moaning, and we were having sex.
With a few more deep breaths, I lifted the blade of my left shoulder across my body to hurl myself onto the floor. I used the opportunity to crawl to the nearest bathroom (all while my dinner host watched) and purged whatever I could out of my body. At this point, I now had the strength to stand and use the walls for support. Limping out of the bathroom, I commanded in a slurred voice, “I’m going home, now.” A part of me is always shocked and grateful to God that he casually let me leave after all that. He could have kept me and I would have had to fight. He could have tied me up and chopped me into little pieces with a chainsaw. But he didn’t, and I’m here to share my experience.
The University of Michigan’s center for sexual assault prevention states that “no matter what the situation was, you did not ask to be hurt or violated. Blaming yourself is sometimes another way to feel control over the situation, thinking that if you avoid similar circumstances, it will not happen to you again.” Self blame can be a hinderance toward proper healing.
I understand now that it was not okay. It was not my fault, and for a very long time I believed it was. After doing research I found that the clear, date rape liquid GHB can, in fact, be categorized with Valium and Xanax. So he was not lying about that, but he did not ever have to take advantage of the effects brought on by what he gave me without consent I could not have possibly given. On that fateful night after making it home to my apartment, all alone, I looked into my mirror and knew that I had been forever changed.
I hear men joking about whether or not it’s okay to do something before they do anything as simple as give a “high-five” in a workplace. Frankly, I relish in that newly instilled sense of fear in the air. It’s an inspiring age of positive change and awareness. For so long, it has been a normal thing to suffer with the taboo title of sexual assault survivor. I don’t like using the word “victim” because we didn’t die, and that’s not who we are. And best of all, to be a silent sufferer is becoming a refreshing thing of the past.