Humans for Consent
cw for graphic description of sexual violence and suicidal thoughts
"The incident. That’s how my family and I refer to it. I don’t talk about it often anymore, mostly because after it happened, I was forced to push it down, fold it up and tuck it away neatly in order to still function as a human being. That night comes back to me often. How he asked to come in, and my roommate faked being asleep. How he sat on the edge of my bed and slowly crept up till his head lay on my pillow. He kissed me. I kissed back. Then, nothing. I was in a drunken slumber. My roommate watched him continue to kiss and touch me. She said that she thought I wanted it. When I woke up, his hand was in my pajama pants, his fingers like sandpaper, He lingered then retracted. The door closed. Two weeks after I filed the report, my roommate moved out with three weeks of the semester left. I got used to solitary comings and goings of my suicidal thoughts. He was friends with the guys on my floor that I used to spend all my time with. He was always around, always hovering in the hallway or bathroom. I didn’t tell anyone, but we had fucked before that night. Just once. We were sober, I was already asked, again and again, if I was sure the incident really happened, because I was sleeping, how could I tell? They said my roommate was lying about what she saw. They said that he wasn’t the type of guy to do it. I knew if I mentioned that we had sex before, it would make it worse for me. Worse than doors being slammed in my face, than losing all my friends and my support system, than feeling more alone and victimized than I have ever been in my time away from home. The college did nothing to help me. No counseling, no way to stop what was happening. I was tormented and tortured and ostracized, and to cope, I shut down. I stopped feeling it, didn’t deal with it."
"I realize now, months later, that this is how I survived. I stopped crying myself to sleep. I held my
chin up in the face of his teammates. I compartmentalized. If I didn’t, I wouldn't have been able to live seeing him on my floor, around the school. I barely made it out as it is.”
"I remember the slow planning. I chose a weeknight. I knew no one would check on me. I made sure my ESA (emotional support animal) had lots of food and hay to get her through till they found me. I wrote the letter. I named names. I cried when I dumped the pills on the counter. I counted them three times. I had stocked them up for years, just in case I ever felt like I needed to leave. As I was crying and preparing, my rabbit, who had been my only support for the past several weeks, started hitting her back paws on the floor. Thumping. Rabbits thump for attention or food. But at that moment, I was absolutely positive that she knew what was going to happen."
"I called the Suicide Hotline that night. I forget the name of the man who I talked to. His words drew me back from the edge, and I told him everything. What my friend did to me, what my roommate had done. How I had written the letter. How my bunny sat on my lap and her fur soaked up my tears. If he ever reads this, I hope he knows just how much his voice soothed me and comforted me when I felt like I was alone in the world."
"I consider that night a suicide attempt. I flushed all the pills I had. I decided to stay, but in reality, it was a refusal to leave. Like a fern, regarding after the destruction of my body and my life and flourishing amongst the trauma. Life after death, shedding my skin like a snake and growing into something stronger, more beautiful." - Frankie Anne.