TAKING BACK THE NIGHT: A SURVIVOR'S TALE
This is the video of when I first shared my story publicly, at take back the night. Later that night after speaking, I shared the video to my Facebook page. Prior to this only a handful of people knew, but the amount of love and support I received after sharing was amazing. It's taken years of therapy, numerous medications, a few hospitalizations, and years of working with a nutritionist, but I finally have my life back together. I recently ran my first marathon, graduated with a double major from undergrad, and will be starting vet school in the fall. I almost took my life numerous times because of what happened, but right now I couldn't be more thankful to be alive. It gets better, make sure you're around to see it! - Betsy Larsen
I was 14 when I was raped by my brother's best friend. I believed it to be my fault, so I didn't tell anyone for 4 1/2 years. I developed an eating disorder and a self harm addiction in order to cope. I started talking about it after leaving for college,1000 miles from home. I developed severe PTSD after going to college, and nearly dropped out of college numerous times. I now have a PTSD service dog who accompanies me everywhere. It took me a long time to find a therapist who stuck with me, I had 9 different therapists over the course of 3 years before I finally found my current therapist - I would see someone for awhile, only to be told that they couldn't help me and that I needed to try someone else. I was required by my university to go to counseling with the threat of being kicked out of school if I didn't comply. I nearly committed suicide numerous times. My grades took a hit due to the insomnia and dissociation (I was losing hours of my day), and I was terrified that this was going to ruin any chance of getting into veterinary school - I have wanted to be a vet since I was 5 years old.
It has now been 8 years since that night that changed everything, but I am back on my feet and stronger than ever. I even volunteer as a victims advocate and work the hotline for a local sexual assault victims advocacy center. I can use my experience to help others. The journey to get where I am now has not been easy. It almost killed m and, to be honest, I used to wish that he had killed me instead. But right now, I couldn't be happier that I am alive, because it really does get better.