It happened to me too.

I was in my early 20’s and I had gone to the bar.  To drink.  Because that is what I did. I went to the bar to drink. Going to the bar to drink almost always ended up with me going home with some random guy. Because going to the bar to drink and pick up some guy was what I did.

This night was different. Slightly.  I went to the bar alone.  I never went to the bar alone.  But this night I did.  It was a bar in a hotel.  A nightclub.  I worked in that hotel. So I knew people at the club. I was a regular.  Like in Cheers. Everybody knew my name.

This night, I went to the club alone. Instead of sitting with myself in my apartment. Because sitting with myself, alone, was not what I did.

I dressed up, did my hair and put on my makeup. And I went to the club.

At the club, I drank. I drank because that is what I did. And I danced.  Because when I drank, I danced.

And I saw some guys from college that I knew. So I hung out with them.  One of the guys was with his brother. I got along with his brother. I was pretty good at getting along with at least one guy when I drank.

When the bar closed, they invited me back to their place. It was in the next town over. We had to take a taxi there. I lived closer, but we went to their place. I didn’t think about how I was going to get home again. I had no money left. But when I drank, I didn’t think. I didn’t care.

We got to their house. There was some sort of party going on. We didn’t join. We went straight to his bedroom. Because, come on, let’s face it.  I was there to pursue my intentions.

We lied down on his bed. Maybe we kissed. Maybe we took off our clothes. I don’t remember.

All of a sudden, the room started to spin and my body became heavy. I could not move. It was so heavy. Almost like being paralyzed. I could not move.

“No.” I said. “I think we shouldn’t do this. I am too drunk.” I slurred.  Barely able even to talk. He did not stop. So I tried again. “No. No. I don’t want to do this.”

He still did not stop. He did not stop.

I could not move.

I knew what was happening. I knew that I had had the intention of doing this. This was the expected outcome. I didn’t know that I would change my mind. I didn’t know that I would say stop. I didn’t know that I would not be able to move.

He finished.

I lay there. I wanted to go home. I wanted to get home. I did not want to be there. But I could not move.

I waited. Waited until the room stopped spinning and my body stopped being heavy. Until I could move.

I eventually got up. I eventually left. I don’t remember how I paid for the cab home  I don’t remember if I got money or if he gave me money.  But I got home. At 5 in the morning.

I called a friend.

“I think I may have been raped.” I said. “But I don’t know.”

I didn’t know. I went to a bar alone. I drank. Alone. I got drunk. I picked up some guy. Because that is what I did.

But I said no.

And he did not stop.

I was raped. It was not violent. He didn’t coerce me to his house. I went willingly. With the intention to have sex with him.

But I said no.

But I still didn’t know.

I blamed myself.  Of course he had sex with me.  I agreed to it.  Right? I shouldn’t have drank so much.  I shouldn’t have gone to his house.  I shouldn’t have been dressed like I was.  I shouldn’t have…

I blamed myself.  I asked for it.

He probably didn’t even know he raped me.  I came over, right? I was in his bed, right?

But I said no.

I. Said. No.

Date rape.

Rape is when you have sex that you don’t agree to.

I said no.

That was 18 years ago. I was 23.

Today, it is my anniversary. 16 years with out a drink. Or a drug. 16 years of not going to bars.

It is not what I do.

It is not who I am.

It was not my fault.

I am not to blame.

I was raped.