Prom night. It’s supposed to be the best night of the year. For seniors, it’s a time of celebration and of things coming to an end. It’s supposed to be great, right?
Sadly, prom night will always represent something horrendously different to me. It marks the beginning of sad neuroses and terrible dreams. It isn’t a night I remember fondly with friends but instead a night that I still struggle to talk about. I will always remember what I wore, but not because I will always love that dress but because I will always remember what I was wearing when my prom date tore it off.
My story begins at the after party, where the drinks were flowing and I actually was happy for the moment. I had many drinks. I very solidly still don’t remember most of that night when apparently my date and I were making out in the club. He had been drinking too but he was very much aware of his actions. Towards the end of the night, my friends and I were making arrangements to go home when my date suddenly grabbed me from behind when my friends weren’t looking and dragged me to a taxi outside the club. I don’t remember the taxi ride. I don’t remember the walk to his apartment complex or the ride up the elevator. I don’t even really remember the walk to his room. I do, however, remember him taking off my clothes without asking and holding me down as he took his off too. He didn’t have the courage to have sex with me, although at one point I remember thinking “it’s OK, this is how most girls lose their virginity, isn’t it? It’ll be OK, I’ll be able to deal with this if it happens.” He did other horrible things to me, however, that I can’t erase from my mind. He finished his business and then put me in some of his own clothes. He left me on his bed and slept in another room.
It was all about the power, in the end. He lied when I confronted him at first, saying he didn’t do anything. He told all our friends that I was a slut and a liar. He told me I was being ridiculous and that I was crazy.
He wrote me a few years later to tell me how sorry he was for everything, and that he was wrong to have done what he did. He was my date that night; I was supposed to trust him. He was also my on and off boyfriend of 6 months; I was supposed to believe he would never hurt me. Did that make any of it right? No. Did it make the pain go away? Not really. Even if he had gone to jail for what he did, I don’t think I’d feel any better. Retribution isn’t a cure.
There is no cure, really. But writing this blog and actually seeing my story on paper helps. Knowing that I have taken important steps in my life to protect myself also helps. And knowing that events like this happen and that I can support others by sharing my story and encouraging people to come forward with their own stories significantly helps.