When Life Takes a Complete Turn
The day my life became precious to me was the day it came to an absolute stop. Sophomore year, October, 2011. Everyone, myself included, would speak of the girl who was sexually assaulted as if it was her fault, as if she did something wrong. For the longest time we would say,”How could someone let another person do that” until I was in the same situation. After months of believing it was my fault as well, I met some people that told me the truth: that it was not my fault, nor any other girl’s fault that they were sexually assaulted. This could have happened to anyone, but it happened to me. This is the one thing that has changed me from being a child of innocence to being a young adult. I now separate my life into before and after. Before I was innocent and carefree. I did what I wanted. Afterwards, I was quiet.
Before, I was talkative with people I did not know personally. I was considered very outgoing. I would go to a friend’s house and never think about who would be there. I just did as I pleased. Before, it was easy to talk to people if there were something wrong. My friends and family often complained about how willing I was to talk to anyone, how I could make friends with new people. Afterwards, I was reserved and quiet. I became depressed so fast that I did not know what was going on. I knew it was not normal to be so sad but what could I have done? I began to stay home more often, wondering “Would he be there?” “Would his friends be there?” I did not do and go as I pleased anymore. I thought about what I should or should not do for a little over six months. I wanted my life back, the way it was.
The only thing that got me through at one point were my pets. I have two dogs. Taking care of them gave me a sense of security. It also gave me time to focus on something other than the assault. To know that there was still a life that I had to live. This affected what I wanted to be after college. I wanted to protect other people’s animals so that they would always have their pets. I never wanted anyone to have to lose their pet if that was the only thing that they had to keep them from shutting down. After being assaulted I knew I had to go to college, so that I would make something of myself instead of letting this define me. I knew that going to college would make my life better than anyone could imagine. My life was going to be the way I wanted it to be.
Then I realized that I had been living my life in fear and that was allowing him to have control over me again. I was not going to allow this to control my life any longer. I began to reach out to people at school, and tell them what was going on. I got into counseling, and excelled in Upward Bound. Upward Bound helped me realize that I wanted to be to a veterinarian. My pets always have been and always will be there for me.
I am considered a sexual assault victim by some people, but in my eyes I consider myself a sexual assault survivor. My life will never be the same from before, but I do not want it to. Being invincible is impossible, heartbreak happens in life but family and friends and pets are there to ease the pain.
When Life Takes a Complete Turn