Who am I? What events have taken the slimy wet lump of clay I was and molded it into the cheap, tourist-trap spoon holder I am today? Well, there was this one time in kindergarten; I got in trouble for giving one of my male peers a bloody nose. In all fairness, however, he was trying to kiss me. Then, in second grade, Allen Hunter and I were punished staying immersed in our books while the rest of the class was engaging in "group time"; a synonym for positive group interaction while engaging in meaningless activities. As a second grader I was much beyond such trivial matters. After all, Paddington Bear was waiting. My most embarrassing childhood memory was my first time bra shopping. Little boys had it so easy. No flowers and bows and ribbons and jewels, no cotton or satin or silk or lace. Oh, the horror when a well-meaning mother raises her voice to say, "Oh here we are.
Training bras!" Yet none of those parallel the events of December 22, 2000.
It was on this day this entire world crumbled, leaving me broken and scarred. After finishing all my last minute Christmas shopping I decided to go to a party. Four friends and I crammed into a car built for two. We managed to get to the party in one piece and we went inside.
As soon as I walked in the door I saw the beer and liquor flowed freely. I didn't want to drink, so I chose cranberry juice as my beverage of choice. We danced, watched TV, played with the new puppy and had a good time. All of a sudden I began to feel woozy and my head began to spin. It was later determined that GHB, more commonly known as the date-rape drug, was put into my drink. I stumbled into another room and passed out on a couch.
I was ripped from the heavy blanket of unconsciousness by a searing pain. As my eyes began to focus I saw that my shirt was tied over my head. The pain came again, a wave of blinding white heat. Tears sprang to my eyes, and I realized what was happening to me. I was being raped. My first thought was to fight, escape, flee. I tried to scream, but I realized I had no voice with which to make even the slightest noise. I tried to move my hands and arms to no avail, finding them pinned by iron grips. After being violated three times I slipped into the sweet release of unconsciousness once more. The last thing I remember is the laughter enveloping me like a thick, evil fog.
I've gone through a lot since that night. My life has morphed into that of an adult, leaving me to grope my way along until I catch up to it. I have been cast into the churning waters of hell and left to drown. Yet slowly but surely, I am making my way to the shoreline. Although I am not yet sure of what will come, I am sure I will be able to handle it. I have been to the darkest recesses of the soul and lived to tell the tale.
So who am I? I'm a survivor. I am a living testament to the strength of the human spirit, even when it is faced with what seems like death. Or bra shopping, whichever comes first.