I started off this semester thinking it was going to be the best I ever had. I had been talking to this guy hours on end every day and considered him a close friend. I also had a crush that treated me kindly, amazing friends who thought highly of me, and I was confident in all of my classes. Almost all of that changed in sixteen weeks.
Let’s start with the first guy. I befriended him and we talked all the time because it felt so natural. I let my boundaries come down and found myself wanting to get close to him- even though he had a girlfriend. What started out as a two second side hug eventually became cuddling for hours, my head on his chest, watching cartoons. We always did our homework but made time for each other, and even though my arm was only around his shoulder and his girlfriend said she was fine with what was going on, deep down it wasn’t okay, I was tempting him. But that doesn’t excuse the fact he sexually assaulted me when I fell asleep (fully clothed, mind you) in his bed after a long day, and I woke up to his hands underneath my clothes and underwear. At first I tried to brush it off as an isolated incident and he could still be my friend, but then I recognized this was premeditated assault and he could hurt me again or **** me. It was painful to block him, let me tell you. I went from being completely fine and even dependent on his hugs to getting no hugs at all.
I had trouble bonding with my suitemates who often would drink and party. I have to respect their fearless attitude and willingness to experience college head-on, but I always follow the rules so I found myself withdrawing from them. When I had to move to emergency housing because I couldn’t forget how I ran back to my apartment after being assaulted, I never even said goodbye or told them where I was going. I ignore their texts to this day.
I’m still close friends with my first crush from the semester, probably closer than ever. I just realized that I talked about my crush with the guy who assaulted me, and that association happened in my mind. I adore my friend so much, but I can’t think of the half formed feelings I had for him without thinking of the guy who hurt me.
My friends aged overnight as I told them about my assault. So many of them stepped in to protect me and help escape the nightmares. I think it took a toll on them though- they never knew when I would need their help, but always gave it to me. I became dependent on the company of others. I needed to eat with someone and would skip meals or not eat all day sometimes because I needed someone with me.
I sort of lost interest in my classes, constantly tired and acting like a zombie through lectures. My math professor was frustrated with me and how I would always need extensions or straight up not do assignments. My database professor would see me lying down in class. My band director noticed I would latch on to two people, unwilling to accept outside help. I probably went to accounting five times this semester. My science teacher liked me though, and my programming professor showed me an incredible amount of kindness, walking me back to my apartment and listening to me talk. I could tell he really cared for me, though I always wondered if it was because he is a nice person or because I am a girl.
I ended up joining a policy club to try and write positive change for people in my community. I had trouble making friends because everyone seemed so much cooler than me, like I was lacking something. I talked to people but no real lasting friendships have come out of it so far. Except, maybe one.
I developed a crush on this guy at my church who also is in the policy club, though in a different area. He always puts others before himself, does what he is asked, plays piano, and we hold a lot of the same beliefs. I could see my future perfectly aligning with his. He said he had no romantic interest in me back in October, but things can change fast. I keep telling myself that.
Living in emergency housing has been an experience. I liked being off the grid and being able to process my emotions in peace, though I feel like I have slept a lot more. Not sure if that is good or bad, but I am not ready to face other people yet. Especially not my old suitemates.
Someone broke into my apartment in December and stared at me while I slept. This sent me over the edge and I was constantly anxious. This caused my immune system to basically collapse, and now I have a viral throat infection and have to take my finals when I come back in January. That’s good because it gives me time to recover and allow me to take finals while not extremely sick. It’s not good because this semester will never end.
I have had an adventure this semester, and maybe by writing out the bad and putting it out there, I can focus on the good. May S18 not be as bad as this has been.