Not talking about it was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. I desperately wanted to tell somebody, but I felt like I had nobody to turn to that I could trust completely. I’m the kind of person who wears my heart on my sleeve. I’m super easy to read, especially when I’m upset or preoccupied with something. My family didn’t seem to notice; if they did I’ll never know. My brother might have noticed, but he’d never ask me what was wrong. He’s not that type of guy.

The longer I didn’t talk about it the easier it was to keep my secret.

I stopped going to “the apartment” and stopped hanging out with anyone that had anything to do with that circle of people. I started chatting a lot on the computer. The internet was still pretty new to me and I was so hooked on it. I started to venture into more sexual content online and found that I got along with the people I was meeting in the sex chat rooms. I spent my nights alone on my computer, but I was getting more love and support from those “strangers” than I was letting anyone give me in my real life.

After a while I was getting very close to one man in particular (B). We talked on the phone for hours a day, and after a few months we decided to meet in person. B bought me a plane ticket to come see him. Once the trip was firmly planned I kind of panicked. I had never had sex with anyone before I was raped. But I had told B that I was still a virgin. It was a lie, but not really. I realized that I had to tell him about the rape otherwise he might discover that I was not really a virgin. So I finally talked about it with him. He was super supportive and said all the things I needed to hear. I had viewed myself as being damagaged, but he convinced me that I wasn’t.

To say that meeting B in person changed my life would be an understatement. He allowed me to start dealing with the emotional implications of my rape. I had been having nightmares every night since it happened to me, and the first night I didn’t have a nightmare was the first night I spent with B. He made me feel safe. He made me feel happy for the first time in my life.