Friday February 9th, 2018.
This date probably changed my life. This was the date that lifted the rug, and uncovered all of the ill, suppressed memories and emotions that I had brushed under it. This was the day I felt the worst outer body experience for the first time. I felt like my body wasn’t mine anymore, I felt like it was just a tool used to make someone else feel good. Maybe it had nothing to do with me anymore. Society builds these stigmas around how a woman should be and how she should protect herself before someone else gets in. This was the day that opened my eyes to it all.
I made a promise to myself that 2018 would be my year. I wanted to achieve things that I once thought would be unattainable. I wanted to see how far I can go, I wanted to explore, try new things, and finally live life for myself because for a long time it was all for others. I’ve always done things for others and to make them satisfied, it was never really about me.
One day I decided to download tinder again. This was a conscious decision, not because I wanted to find another relationship, but because I wanted to talk. I wanted to share my journey and get as much help as I could as I was preparing for interviews. I was so motivated to get what I wanted for myself.
So, a week goes by and I start talking to a guy who I thought was very helpful and nice. He would message me day in and day out asking how I was, giving me advice to do well for my interviews, saying all the right things that I needed at that time. I decided to meet up with him and grab coffee. I don’t even like coffee, but I agreed because that’s what people do nowadays as a professional way to say, “lets hang out and talk about boring stuff.”
As I was getting ready to go meet him that day I felt like I needed to wear something nice. I wanted to feel confident and I wanted to feel feminine, so I decided to wear a black dress and my big winter jacket over that. It was like I was ready to go to the club and it was definitely not me, if you know me I’m the type of girl that’ll show up in sweats and an oversized t-shirt for a school presentation at a business school. I wasn’t myself that day.
When we met he was nice, sweet, held the door for me, talked about his job, life and I guess it was a “date.” I may say to many that night was a blur but I vividly remember every single detail: his laugh when I told him I wasn’t ready for it, him telling me that I looked sexy in my dress and that I wore it for a reason, my heart racing and my stomach turning when he held me down, my breasts being felt up to the point where it hurt, my arms pinned to the seat no room for me to move, my fingers digging into the car seat, my face turning side to side doing everything I could to avoid seeing anything. I’ve never felt that guilty, disgusted, pathetic, deceived ever in my life.
I remember rushing into my house with my eyeliner smudged, my hair messed up and my leggings ripped, and my mom asked me if I was okay. I felt like running over to her and crying and telling her everything but didn’t want to hurt her. I didn’t want to hurt anyone that day, but I ended up effecting some of the most precious people in my life. They were all there for me and even though they didn’t need to be.
I remember my best friend telling me it’s not my fault and repeating it as much as she could to somehow get it through to me. I couldn’t live with myself. I blamed myself every day for going on tinder, for stepping out of the house, for agreeing to go on a date with a complete stranger. I regret not fighting hard enough to get myself out of that situation. It was a constant battle. Every article I read online, every sexual assault story, every rape story just broke me. I couldn’t walk in a public place without being afraid that I might possibly see his face again. I couldn’t sit in a class or a lecture without replaying the scenes in my head. I couldn’t sleep or think straight for days.
I remember going to school two weeks later and attending an 8:30am class on a Tuesday morning and my marketing professor said, “it’s hard to get lost in this world, always find something or someone who inspires you.” He mentioned an article he read on the Wall Street Journal, about a Chinese man who discovered a company named “Geely,” China’s first global auto maker. He struggled for so long to create his brand and differentiate himself, he even tried to buy out other companies with all the money he ever owned to start his business. Now self-started brand is challenging Tesla and Mercedes with its new technology and it is going to be better than he could’ve ever imagined it to be. That’s exactly what I want to do. I never really had a true ambition, a goal to tie myself to but I always knew that I’m here to do something great, to do something out of the ordinary.
I had 2 final rounds of interviews for Amazon the following week and I did everything I could to prepare, to stand out and to give it my all. I put school aside and in the process of preparing I realized my potential.
I realized how hard I try and how persistent I am, I realized what I’m worth, I realized that nobody and especially no man can ever do or say anything to bring me down ever again. I took whatever fear I had of being judged and of not being good enough out the window. I did it and I got the job. I’m writing this to hopefully inspire someone. The bad things that happened to me, those feelings of being stepped on, being used, feeling like my body wasn’t mine anymore were all real, but at the same time I could’ve chose to keep feeling those things or flip it around and feel empowered. I know people say go get help or go talk to a therapist or some bullshit like that. But the only person that really helped me was myself, the mind is such a powerful tool. I still want to make my mark here, I want to help people, help animals. I want to do great things and achieve great things.
It was not my fault. Just because I wore a nice dress does not mean I was asking for sex. There is so much more to life, I will not let a man ruin it for me. And most of all I definitely won’t let a man ever think that he’s superior to me, because I am 100% far more superior. I will never ever let anyone have that kind of power over me. And I hate calling myself a victim, it’s time I speak up and make sure that he doesn’t get away with this and more importantly I want to make sure he never does this to any other girl.
Friday February 9th was the day that made me unbreakable.