24 September 2009


I was taking photography classes at a local community college. Photo was my favorite class -- black and white photography with an honest-to-goodness darkroom. (Remember those? It's before we all got those newfangled cameras with chips and LCD screens.) I was living at home with my dad, but spent most of my time in Norfolk at my then-boyfriend's house with my best girlfriend. We partied a lot, mostly at a bar right down the street from Boyfriend's apartment. Boyfriend had a cool roommate, a musician, who let me take nekkid pictures of him and also spent a lot of time staying up late and talking about life while we listened to Steely Dan.

As often happens, Boyfriend and I broke up. Shortly afterwards, Roommate introduced me to a guy friend of his, who in turn invited me to a party at his house. I went alone (stupid). When I walked in, it didn't seem like much of a party. Just Guy and his housemates, two big military types. I felt very awkward, and something didn't seem quite right. But I stayed (stupid, again).

I sat down on the couch and one of the guys left the room; he came back with a drink and handed it to me. "What's this?" I asked.

"Just drink it, you'll like it!" (Stupid, stupid, stupid.)

By the time I finished the drink, I was drunk. Now, I was by no means a pro boozer at that time, but it usually took more than a single cocktail to get me buzzed. But I figured they'd just fixed me something extra strong (say it with me...stupid).

I don't remember a whole lot after that. I remember getting pushed up a flight of stairs, and then my clothes were gone, and then a lot of really bad stuff happened very fast. Three guys in the house, and one of me. They took turns. And there was a video camera in the room.

Afterwards, they put me into the bathtub and turned the shower on. I'm pretty sure I passed out at that point. When I came to, I was curled up on the bathroom floor. I'd managed to find a blanket and covered myself up with it. It was barely dawn. Everyone in the house was asleep. I stumbled around and found my clothes and my keys, and I got in my car and left.

When I got home, my dad was furious. I'd been out all night without calling -- a big no-no. I didn't tell him what happened; I just said I'd fallen asleep at a friend's house and forgotten to call. He told me to never let it happen again.

I went to school that day feeling very hollow and confused. Did I really do that? Did I just have sex with three guys at once? What the hell? So I called Guy's house, thinking it might have been a bad dream. One of the housemates answered. When I asked what'd happened, he laughed and said, "We drugged you. What'd you think happened?"

I remember laughing. He has to be joking, right? He hung up. After that, I wasn't so sure.

I told my therapist that I had "hooked up" with three guys, and when she got the story out of me, she told me that it didn't sound like a hookup to her. She didn't pressure me to do anything about it, and it just sort of fell out of our conversation after that.

I never heard from or saw them again. I never told my friends that it had been against my will. I never called the police, never told my parents. I buried it, and it's lurked there for ten years.

I don't want this rotting inside me anymore. So, there it is, the first and last time I'm telling the story. It's done.


  1. Oh Sweetie. I wish I knew what to say... but I am in awe of your bravery for sharing this, for your honesty and my heart hurts that you have been carrying this around with you for so long.

  2. I don't know the right words to type, jenny. I love you.

  3. I'm proud of you. And I love you! Now, I hope your heart is lighter and this doesn't haunt you so much. You didn't deserve that.