I laid there completely numb and in shock while my close friend of 5 years told me if I didn’t have sex with him, he was gonna rape me. He laughed while he touched my chest and inched his hands down to my crotch. “Is this consent?” He kept saying to mock me as I kept saying “no. No. No. No.”. I was not prepared for that moment. I remember thinking that maybe I should just get it over with and have sex with him. Maybe I should consent to him instead of refusing because that would be better than being raped. I got lucky and it all stopped at that. There were two of our friends in the room. At the time I didn’t know nobody else saw what was going on. I thought they were watching and doing nothing. I felt helpless. In an instance I was reminded of exactly how I felt every time my dad touched me inappropriately or hurt me. In that moment, I felt the brunt of every single time I’d been abused. I felt like I was stuck in a loop of abuse. I questioned why I kept winding up being abused by people I love. I blamed myself for choosing the wrong people. I felt it was my fault and I’d already been abused so I should’ve known what the signs of an abuser were. I felt utterly betrayed and helpless and that feeling followed me out of that room and into the following months. I was terrified of each and every one of my friends no matter how close we had been. I distanced myself from family and questioned every relationship I had. I didn’t trust that I was good enough at realizing when people were fucked up so I withdrew myself from everybody. I was terrified of the world and I hated myself. I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror for months and all I wanted to do was numb my pain. I am a lot better than I was then but I still struggle everyday. I do appreciate that coming out of this situation, I realized I am much stronger than I thought. I was able to pull myself out of a very dark place and I did it on my own. I learned I need to have my own back harder than anyone else will because others won’t love you if you don’t love yourself.