This will be the last blog post describing the traumatic incidences. Then I will transition into my healing process. I know I came right out the gate diving into the darkness with you and I appreciate you being here with me. This is where it all begins. In the depths of our despair. From there we rise. I go more in depth about my perceptions of the trauma that took place in college on my podcast, Creating Light with Kelsey, on episode 5.
I am not sure what I expected the college experience to be. Society makes it out to be this amazing freeing time. It is an opportunity to be yourself, have fun, and make friends. I wanted all of that. It is difficult when you enter a completely new phase of life already in survival mode, but not knowing it. I was living through the lenses of trauma and projection.
I went to two different colleges and was an athlete. I was a cheerleader. These teams won UCA and NCA Nationals (if you watched Cheer on Netflix you know). I wanted to be friends with all of my teammates. I just had so much shame from generational trauma and experiencing my own trauma, that I prevented myself from connecting. I literally did not know how. I felt like I never fit it. I was friends with only a few cheerleaders out of 3 or 4 different teams.
It seemed like the cheerleaders went out to a club, bar, or house party most weekends. I wanted to be a part of the party lifestyle just because I was desperate for connection. Again, society made it look like it was so much fun, but I let shame get in my way. Alcohol was another aspect that was heavily shammed in my household growing up. I was afraid to put myself out there to go drinking with people. I was fighting an internal battle of feeling like a bad person for drinking but was curious about it. Throughout my entire college career, I did not go out that much.
Then junior year happened which began the unraveling.
I will share two out of the four sexual traumas I experienced.
In October I was pregaming at a friend’s boyfriend’s house before going to a Halloween party. I went to the bathroom before we left. I came back out and everyone was gone. Not knowing what to do being left in a stranger’s house without a car I messaged this guy I just met to pick me up to take me home because I was over it. Well, he decided to take me to his old family’s house that was currently for sale and vacant. I was drunk and did not think anything of it, but it quickly shifted. He sexually assaulted me, then he decided to take me home.
In April I was hanging out with a big group of teammates (which normally never happened). We were at one of their houses drinking then went out to a bar. I was already really drunk before going to the bar. I remember a random guy buying me drinks. Then all of the sudden he said he could take me home. My teammates believed him and left me at the bar. I was raped that night and I lost my virginity. The next day that man finally did take me home.
Let’s take a collective breath to honor these stories.
I know in my soul that these stories ring true for so many other young women in college. The bar scene can be fun, but it has a dark side. Rapes are rarely ever reported. There is so much pain that is left untold. I am here now to be a voice for the voiceless. It is time to keep the conversation going. Not just raise awareness. It is time to make a change.
It is on my heart to continue to talk about the stigma of sexual traumas when alcohol is involved. There is a toxic mindset around it and it is time for the collective to reconstruct that mindset. I am not sure how I will deliver the message or challenge the narrative, but I know a ripple effect is already in place.
I am here to tell you right now that this is NOT all there is. This is not the end of my story. It is the beginning. You can heal from this. What you are left with after sexual abuse is not permanent. I am a living testimony of that. You hold great power and you can take it back. This is a part of my mission to help others do that. To rediscover their light. I love you. I am glad you are here. Stick around and be a part of the healing journey with me.
When we see the light in ourselves, we create light in others.