In early 2011, I was raped. Not by one person but by two people. Gang members in fact. It was on that night that my world came shattering down around me and I realized that I was in fact not as strong as I once thought I was. Little did I know at the time the burden that I was about to have to bear.

At the time I was just a homeless girl in a big city with no family to speak of and then I met these guys. Which they seemed nice at first…harmless. I could not see the devil that hid beneath the surface when they invited me back to their apartment for the night. I just figured it was a place to crash that wasn’t on the street. I was a good girl at the time; I didn’t do drugs or hook…mainly I just drank from time to time, but I was trying to pull my life together. On that particular afternoon, it was raining and that is why I took them up on that offer for a place to crash. I was desperately trying to keep dry and their offer seemed like a gift from God.

This next part is the part that haunts me. Not a day goes by that I don’t wonder what I could have done differently. But the answer is simple. Nothing! Nothing could have changed the outcome of that situation because they had me picked out from the moment they saw me. It was going to be me! One of the guys made me a drink when we arrived at the apartment and I literally took two drinks from my glass before I blacked out. As I recall when I blacked out the first time it was still light outside because sunlight was streaming through the living room windows. I can remember opening my eyes as I lay on one of the beds in the bedroom. The room was dark by that time, but I could see a faint glimmer of light shining through the bedroom door from the living room. I knew that at least a few hours must have passed if it was already dark at that time…I had no memory of how I had gotten into the bedroom or on the bed. Let alone how I was naked. Oh yeah; I almost forgot to mention that part…

One of the guys was on top of me. My body felt almost paralyzed like it couldn’t move. No matter how much I wanted to get up and run I couldn’t. All I could do was try to scream but nothing came out. Everything was still spinning from whatever they had dosed me within my drink. Once again I felt myself drift into darkness. Then after what felt like hours later I once again woke to find the other guy on top of me. This time I had a much better grasp on myself as well as my surroundings and I tried to get away. But he held me down choking me and punching me in the ribs. He then proceeded to hit my head into the wall until I once again passed out.

The next morning I woke up sicker than hell laying in the bed between the both of them. The worst part was remembering what they did and knowing that I could do nothing. The bruised ribs hurt like hell too. Those men threatened my family as well as myself so I couldn’t go to the hospital or the cops…plus who would believe me because after all, I was just some homeless girl. It took several years before I could tell anyone but by then I had fled the state, gotten my own place and started college.

You know, it’s funny…even though I live in a safe environment now I still check my door lock at least five times every night before bed. It is just a natural reaction. And even though its been years and I am in therapy I still shake during sex. Which is a case of PTSD…from not dealing with the issue sooner. I am here to say that there is hope! Never be afraid to speak out because you are not alone!

I overcame by running which is not always the answer but in my case, it was because it got me out of the city. I moved to a country area where I was able to get my own place and an income. I’ve even started college for a psychology degree…yes, I know it sounds ironic. But I have found that people can be pretty resilient when they are put to the test. And sometimes life has a lot to through at you but you just have to grin and bear it. Remeber that every day you wake up is a gift and you have to cherish it.

Oh and I just want to add this in too because it rarely if ever talked about but men also get raped so I want to give a shout out to them…you guys are not alone either!