*Trigger warning for sexual assault (even though I feel very conflicted calling it that). *

This happened to me over 10 years ago, I haven't talked about it for probably at least 6 years, but I think about it a lot. When I'm particularly stressed out I begin replaying it in my mind, reminding myself of what an idiot I was to get into that spot.

I'll come right out and say it. I was an awkward duckling in middle school. I had glasses, braces, baby fat that hadn't redistributed itself yet, I dressed in boys clothing because I felt exposed in girl clothing. I was always very tall, and even though the boys had finally caught up and surpassed me I still felt very visible. I had lots of friends, both girls and guys, but I'd never had a guy interested in me romantically. I never really cared except ever since 8th grade it became a thing to have a boyfriend. I had unrequited crush after unrequited crush. My self-esteem was seriously starting to take a dive, especially when all my friends were beginning to date. It culminated with me pretty much forcing a guy to take me to the homecoming dance freshman year. He didn't want to but I begged him to take me. We had a nice time, slow danced awkwardly, and that was it. I had convinced myself that if a guy would just spend time with me he'd fall madly in love with me. I was crushed when it didn't happen.

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Meanwhile over the summer my braces came off and I had a beautiful smile, I started filling out in all the right places, and I had a new wardrobe courtesy of Hot Topic. I was showing cleavage and wearing skinny jeans. I was getting noticed here and there. It was great. I began craving it. Freshman year I met some new older kids, including who would eventually become my husband. Before we got together I had a huge crush on one of his really good friends, we'll call him Phil. Phil was a punk, he had an orange mohawk, and at 15 I was a sucker for a mohawk. He took a bit of an interest in me. He'd invite me to hang out with him and his friends; I'd go to their drinking parties and mostly stayed sober. That changed in November.

It was shortly after Thanksgiving. A kid whose parents didn't give a shit would have these huge bon fires and we'd all drink around the fire taking off into the woods when the cops were inevitably called. That night instead of passing when the bottle of Wild Turkey was passed around, I took a huge swig, almost puked right there, but played it off like I had been drinking for years. So of course, I got way too drunk, ended up on a heap on the garage floor, next to a trashcan I had managed to puke into. What had changed my attitude on drinking? Earlier Phil had brought me out to his car to tell me that while he really liked me as a friend, he wasn't really interested in me like that and didn't want to lead me on. I was really pissed. Rejected again. I got drunk. Very drunk. Almost too drunk to walk.

Phil and I went home with his other friend, Chuck and got comfortable on the floor of his bedroom. Next thing I know Phil's tongue is in my mouth and his hand is rubbing my crotch. I hadn't done much kissing before but this was so drunk and sloppy I hated it. I tried moving his hands but they would make their back to between my legs. Then I feel him reaching down my pants and up my shirt. I was so confused because I wanted this right? I wanted it to stop because this wasn't fun, it wasn't what I imagined it'd be like. Soft kissing, alone, me without puke dried in my hair, not after he told me he didn't like me. Then I hear him ask Chuck "Do you have a condom?" My mouth went dry but I couldn't say a word. I laid there in the dark and hoped to god this wasn't how I was going to "lose my virginity." Luckily Chuck told him to shut the fuck up and go to sleep. Phil spent a few more minutes dry humping my leg, rubbing my pussy, and then passed out.

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When I woke up I was confused. But mostly embarrassed about what happened, especially when Chuck teased me about us wanting a condom the night before. He brought it up in front of everyone, including my future husband. Phil wasn't around to set the record straight (not that he would have) so all I could do was turn bright red and say "huh, yeah you know we were drunk and being dumb. Good thing you didn't." And we all laughed, except I felt like shit.

Around 6 weeks later I began seeing my husband, Phil's friend. Phil and I had an unspoken agreement to pretend like that night never happened. That didn't stop Chuck from making sure my husband was aware of everything he knew that went down that night. I guess he thought it was important that he know I had "tried to get with Phil" about 6 weeks ago. It was implied that I was sort of a slut. Of course some of the details he got wrong, including the one where I asked for the condom and I was so mad he didn't have one. This all happened over MSN messenger and I thought for sure my husband was going to leave me forever. I was already falling in love with him and when you're 15 you are sure this will be the end of the world. My husband ended telling me he didn't like that it happened but I didn't do anything wrong, after all we weren't together then and it's not like we had sex. It still scares me to think what would have happened if I did end up having sex with Phil that night. Would he have written me off as a skank and wouldn't want his friend's "sloppy seconds?"

A few years later I opened up to my college roommate, Paula, I had brought home with me for a weekend kegger with the old crew (including Phil and Chuck). I once again drank too much and I told her what happened. Phil had been hitting on her and she was almost too drunk to stand. So I guess I wanted her to know what happened. Paula looked at me, clapped me on the back, and said "At least you weren't raped, right? That doesn't sound so bad." I made sure she got into bed by herself and kept my eye on Phil all night. Nothing happened of course. You want to know the really fucked up part? I, in my overemotional drunkenness, I thanked him for not taking full advantage of me that night. Yup I thanked Phil. He brushed it off and we never spoke about it again. But I still feel like a fucking tool for thanking him. I think I never talked about it with any real life friends exactly because of the reaction Paula had. I hadn't been raped, I hadn't even been penetrated, I was groped and kissed and touched but I never said "No stop this" out loud, and we were both very drunk. I felt like I was to blame for much of what happened. I think about telling my husband the whole truth but figure it was 11 years ago do I really need to reopen a wound that has completely healed over as far as he is concerned? I wouldn't want a confrontation with Phil because I think it would devolve into blaming me for what happened fully. Reading GroupThink has made me very aware that awful things, worse things happen to many of you, your friends, your family. It has also got me starting to really think about what happened to me that night and how it's shaped the person I ended up being. Maybe I can never really forget what happened the night, but I would like to forgive myself for it. I'm hoping this will be a first step.