Before & After.

I am changed forever.

I can see that most people do not like this new person—she is even more complicated than before. And they do not want to even get themselves into the ‘hassle’ of asking how she is, or even offering a single word of solidarity.

I may have a wonderful boyfriend now, but that does not fix everything. It does not suddenly rebuild my trust in people (male or female) or rebuild my confidence. It is a process, and I wasn’t exactly the most confident person before, which made it easier for me to end up with someone I should have not been with at all. And then things took a really dark turn.

I am used to being surrounded by people—living with multiple roommates, spending most of my time in the BMSA office and in Slavin, going to any events possible (if not planning them altogether). I do not do well being shunned. From my college that became my home. Not that anyone would. I thrive on the laughter of others, the warmth of their hugs, the union of our differences. But on top of everything, I cannot be expected to pull myself together on my own, without friends. But they do not seem to understand this (which just requires common sense) or do not want to understand. Just a week or even a few days before I left Providence College, there were individuals that held me by my shoulders, looked me in the eyes, and said, “You are one of my best friends. I will always be there for you”. Most of them have not. Out of sight, out of mind.

How interesting is it that strangers can look me in the eyes and see my suffering, but my closest friends could not. They could not even have faith in me.

Sometimes we must be thrown head first into the unknown to truly grow and comprehend these things.

Restarting in a new place is difficult in itself. But to do it because it is your only choice makes it even harder. I did not ask for any of this to happen…But I will not feel safe or happy at Providence College ever again. I will forever fear retaliation and judgements and scrutinizing eyes. Because I can no longer stand people speaking for me, telling my story as if they know it better. As if they have lived it for me, in my place.

In many ways, I am still a broken little shell of a person. And the pains of yesterday inevitably impose themselves on today. I have lost a lot of respect for myself, for my body. I sometimes wish to peel my skin off and step out of this exterior. And become someone else. So that I can be free of the stigmas and judgement that surround my name and being.

But I have to remind myself that I have nothing to hide. And I did not do anything wrong. Nothing to deserve any of this.

I find myself putting events along a timeline that are on one side or another of a single point. That point is November 15th, 2015. When thinking of memories, or looking through photos, I always recall or check the date, and label it in my mind as ‘pre-November15th’ or ‘post-November15th’. This is always done subconsciously. My mind has created a clear division between the me before and the me after. Not for the simple fact that I was a virgin before and then not—that’s not so important to me. It is regarding the trauma that I still suffer from. Of course the fact that I was a virgin and the fact that I cared about and trusted this person makes it more painful than the other incidents. There are other very significant reasons too, which you would know if you follow the rest of my blog. But there is no doubt that that event—and everything surrounding it—changed me forever.

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