Thursday, September 11, 2014

Speak Up.

So I have been back at school for about three weeks now. I guess you could say I am back into the swing of things if you consider my apartment being constantly dirtied (and re-cleaned, of course!), starting my off campus acting class and leading a social life that is the most vibrant as "back into the swing of things!" I like to see it more as "fulfilling my greatest potentials," if you will. But in my three weeks back, I have noticed a lot of things that I want to share. I'll start off today with one that I think is important. First thing to note is that it is never my intention to cause discomfort in any of my readers, but rather to raise awareness and allow individuals to be realize the realities of the world we live in.

I have this friend--Jen*. I previously knew of her, but this year we have gotten to know each other on a much more complex level for reasons I won't disclose. We definitely do not share similar personalities, and we live different lifestyles. I have my reservations, as I am sure she does with me, but all in all, under our particular circumstances, we balance each other out fairly well. We hangout.

Just a few days ago, she was recounting one of her "weekend tales" to me, expecting to hear nothing more than what I have heard in the past from her. "I was trying to figure out if he was cute enough to go home with, but my beer goggles were too strong so I really don't know. But it's whatever. It was a good time." I listen, of course, as a good friend should do, but for the past three weeks, I have heard her preach statements such as this one more so than not. What am I supposed to do? I don't know her well enough to criticize her choices, as what she has been doing, for lack is better words, is NOT my style.

But then it all halted. And it halted for a reason I wish it hadn't. At first, it was casual when she was describing to me how she woke up to a guy who was "having fun" with her while she had a faint recollection of the night prior. Out of respect for her, I won't further any details, but after a few days, it started to eat her alive. She even said and I quote, "I feel really crummy about it. Almost taken advantage of." As I stated before, she is not one of my best friends. I am still getting to know her, so I would never want to intrude on her private life. However, she was clearly trying to let her denial heal her.

But here is my input--That, to me, is rape. She should feel crummy about it. But not because of her choices from that night. Despite my difference in opinion on promiscuity, her choices are up to her, and it is not my place to lecture on what is right/wrong in the world. However, she should feel crummy about it because what was done to her is simply not okay. And I take two lessons from this that I think are way too important not to share. One, set yourself up for success. Have a plan going out at night so that alcohol and drugs will not take control of your psych. Be aware of what is being fed to your body, and only allow yourself to have that control. Tell yourself that YOU are in control. And believe it. Second, if for whatever reason, you find yourself in this type of situation, know that you are not at fault. Do not feel ashamed. Like I encouraged Jen to do, take action, and do not be afraid to tell someone. Whether it happened yesterday, a week ago a year ago and so on, have the courage to express yourself and become a stronger version of yourself.

Whether she will take my advice, I do not currently have an answer. But I offered my support, encouraged her to seek help, and am always there to listen.

*All names have been changed for privacy reasons

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