NOTE FROM ZOOGIE2: We’re about to jump into some really heavy subjects, so I’d advise anyone with emotions or a heart to just skip this post. I posted earlier today to make up for you missing this one.

No, really. This post sucks. It’s depressing.

Seriously, turn back while you still can.

Oh, you decided to keep reading? Well, I warned you…

Evelyn is leaving.

Best friends since the womb, partners in crime for over 20 years, I love Evelyn more than my own family. We haven’t just been in each others lives, we like to say we’re mirrors of each other. Every experience one of us has, the other undergoes. If I have a bad date, Evelyn knows that her next date will suck. If she gets in a car accident, I start driving safer because I know I’m getting rear ended. Guess what? I always end up rear ended right after her.

She’s been my rock, the only one I know I can count on unconditionally. When my step dad crossed the line and started hitting me one day when I was 13, I ran to the phone and dialed her without even considering anyone else. I screamed into the phone that if I didn’t call back within five minutes, she needed to send the cops to my place. It worked; my step dad knew she’d call and he’d be arrested so he left me alone. It was Evelyn who stayed on the phone with me for hours. RockStar (who was present when it happened) never said one word about it. My mother moved us out a week later, but never spoke about it either. It was Evelyn who hugged me and took my calls when I had nightmares. I did the same for her when her step dad shoved a dresser onto her.

When I moved away for college, I sobbed knowing that it wouldn’t be the same, but Evelyn came to visit every chance she could. Whoever invented unlimited text messages should go directly to heaven, no purgatory. Now that Evelyn is leaving, I haven’t even been able to grasp the concept of what will change. I moved 2 hours away to Generic College, she’s moving 1,600 miles away. She knows my every secret and I know hers. She’s one of a handful of people who know the truth about my commitment problems. If you keep reading this, you’re about the join that exclusive club. I’d recommend turning back now and abandoning this post, because I’m writing this for me, not for anyone else or with regard to what anyone wants to read.

In my Throwback Thursdays, I wrote about my first roommate in college, my roommate from hell (RFH). In my stories about her, I left out one vital incident that happened. One momentous night that I regret more than anything in my life. I’d known RFH for two days when she invited me to a dorm party – my first college party. I was so excited, I’d never really partied in high school preferring to have my fun surrounded by a few close friends. We showed up, dressed to the nines and I immediately started doing more shots than I’d ever done before. I took some very large bong hits and ate three brownies. Not the normal Pillsbury brownies, if you catch my drift. In short, I became the poster child for “stupid dipshit college girl” and soon realized I was beyond fucked up. I looked in vain for RFH, but I could barely walk. Her friend BigD appeared while I slid down a wall to sit on the ground.

“Zoogie2?” I looked up and cracked a smile at BigD. “Are you ok?” I shook my head and he helped me walk to one of the bedrooms. “You can crash here while I look for RFH. I’ll be right back.” I may have nodded, or maybe I couldn’t even do that. I think I had some scattered thoughts about staying awake, but they didn’t last. I fell asleep.

I know better, I really do. I took a self defense class in high school, I heard the lectures in health class and I knew better. When I woke up there was a man on top of me and I was only wearing my shirt. I always thought that in moments like this, I would get superhuman strength (since I have the muscle mass equal to my ten pound cat). It would be like those parents who lift cars to save their kids. But that didn’t happen, if anything it was like when you’re dreaming and it feels like you’re running through quicksand. Or you try to lift a feather and it feels like a steel beam. I fought, but every part of me felt so heavy, like I was made up of bags of sand instead of flesh and bone. My therapist said the drugs and alcohol probably suppressed my natural adrenaline, making me even more vulnerable. Then came the one clarifying moment when I knew for sure that this was really about to happen. It wasn’t a dream and I wasn’t going to be able to stop him. I was going to be raped and it would be all my fault.

I chose to drink.

I chose to get high.

I chose to lay down in a bed in a dorm where I only knew two people.

I did all of this to myself.

Everything is really fuzzy from that night, but that moment is crystal clear. Everything was happening so quickly, but also so slowly. Then BigD walked in. He gave a shout and the guy was off me and running. I only have a few memories of what happened after that; BigD told me later that he tried to help me get dressed but I was freaking out so he got some random girl to help. Then he and RFH took me back to my dorm.

I can’t even tell you what the guy looked like. It was dark and I was so drunk and high that I only get flashes of his face and they don’t match up if I try to paste them all together. I can see his eyes, but when I try to align with his nose it turns out horribly convoluted, like a Picasso painting.

The next part I remember very well, it was burned into my mind. RFH dumped me on my bed and then leaned in very close, her face millimeters from mine. “This is your own fucking fault. You deserved it you stupid c*nt.” I hate that word, so I refuse to put it on my blog, but you know what she said. Obviously we were never going to be friends after that. She stormed out and went back to the party. I crawled into the bathroom and threw up until there wasn’t anything left in my stomach. I kept retching for a while, then I pulled myself into the shower, clothes and all. I stayed there, the water pounding down on me for seven hours. I fell asleep and woke up intermittently to throw up some more or to scrub at my skin.

I was too ashamed of my stupidity to tell anyone, including Evelyn. I’d felt so adult, moving out and going to college and three weeks into it I’d already done something incredibly dumb. I eventually confessed to each her and found out that her ex had attacked her one night. We had a long night of chatting about how it affected us, but that was after both of us underwent therapy. I’m glad I told her, even if I’ve never been able to tell my family or the majority of my friends.

After that I stayed away from men and I isolated myself. A few months later I fell for Pretentious Author, but every time I tried to tell him what happened, I couldn’t say it. If it had been random, in a parking garage or dark alley, at least I could say it wasn’t my fault. But everything I did that night directly led to that incident. I know everyone says that, and I know everyone else says “it’s not your fault”. In my case, it really, really was. After I was unceremoniously dumped by Pretentious Author, I dated around but I barely let a guy kiss me before I felt the panic settle in. I serial dated, leaving men before they had a chance to try anything more than a quick goodnight kiss.

I didn’t go to therapy or tell a doctor, I didn’t seek help. I hated being in my own skin; I hated being me. I had terrible fantasies about cutting my skin off and finally feeling free. Or making the outside of my body look as terrible and scarred as the inside felt. I became depressed and suicidal. I started doing anything I could to stop the panicked feelings I had and I became increasingly self destructive.

After doing a lot of stupid and dangerous things, I decided to do Shrooms alone. I had a paranoid delusion and was convinced that all of this (the world, people, everything) wasn’t real. Basically, Solipsism. I became so convinced that I decided to kill myself and end my torment since I was the only living, real thing anyway. I had barely cut myself before I was distracted by the thought that no one would know why I was dead, if they were indeed real and not a figment of my imagination. Just in case, I started writing a note. I’ve reread that note sober and it’s full of crazy writings and jumbled sentences that make no sense.

Once I started therapy I started to see what I was doing to myself. I picked myself up and started group therapy as well. It was an all-woman “survivor” group and I’m indebted to them for their insight, understanding and advice. Individual therapy helped, but the support I received from women who had similar or worse experiences changed me. It made me want to be here.

Then I met a man I grew to care about very much, KC. After months of dating, my group urged me to tell him everything. I knew he deserved to know why I acted the way I did sometimes and I thought he cared about me too. He had already mentioned a few times that he couldn’t picture being without me.

I went over what I wanted to say and I felt fear dance in my soul. What if he didn’t want me anymore? I worried. In my wildest dreams, I pictured him hearing my story then telling me everything would be OK and holding me. I resolved to tell him because I felt like I couldn’t keep it inside anymore. I confessed almost everything, including my fears and also how much I wanted to be with him. He was quiet for a long time.

“That must have been really hard for you to tell me.” He said finally. I nodded. He gave me a hug and then left for his next class. I was happy; he had listened and hadn’t been derisive or judgmental. But for the next few weeks I didn’t hear from him; I texted, I called, hell, I Myspaced him! Eventually, I figured out that he was avoiding me and the pain I felt increased tenfold. He was avoiding me because of what I told him, all of my fears were true:

I am not worthwhile
I am ruined
How can any man want me?

Typing those words is incredibly difficult, but I still feel that way a lot of the time.

After two months of avoiding me, I finally ran into KC again. I confronted him in a really awkward way in the hallway right outside of my class. He asked me to get some lunch with him and we headed to a fast food place.

“Zoogie2,” KC said heavily, munching on a french fry, “I’m sorry I didn’t call you, I just didn’t know how to say it.”

“Well, now you can tell me to my face. What the fuck is wrong with you?”

He sighed. “You can’t just tell me…you know…what happened and expect me to fix it.”

“I didn’t ask you to fix anything.”

“But I’d be the guy who would have to comfort you and help you accept men again. It’s just not fair. That’s too much to ask of any guy.”

I can’t even describe what I felt. There was rage, and hurt, and a feeling of confirmation. I was right, there isn’t a guy out there who can hear what happened and still want me, I thought to myself. I slid out of the booth and threw away my lunch without eating a bite. I walked out of the restaurant and never once looked back.

After that, I dated around but it was like I’d taken two steps back. Back to the panic, back to never, ever letting any man close to me again. When I dated Jarhead, I was too scared to tell him the truth, since I didn’t want to lose him too. He seemed to realize something was wrong, but never outright asked me. I continued my group therapy and as we can see from my encounters with HOTTT, I don’t have panic issues as bad as before. Now it’s more with the emotional aspect of a relationship. I don’t think I can trust any man I care about to stay with me after hearing the truth. But it is intolerable to keep such a large secret – I want the man I’m with to know what happened. I feel like I’m two different people in the same body when I’m in a relationship – the woman I tell him I am (happy and normal) and the woman I truly am (hurt but recovering). That’s the one I want him to know.

I’m still waiting on the day when I tell a guy that I care about the truth and he tells me it’s OK and holds me. Maybe that’s just a fantasy. Maybe it’s my version of a fairy tale and I shouldn’t ask or expect that. Maybe KC is right and it’s too much to expect of any man.

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