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Breaking the SilenceJasmine LopezComment
Photos by:  Jazi Photo  Makeup by:  Jacqueline Gamache

Photos by: Jazi Photo Makeup by: Jacqueline Gamache

How to even begin. I am a Type A control freak and I have a night of my life that I have no recollection of. I have only been able to piece it together, with photographs of that night and nightmares. I was the poster child. I did not drink in high school or go to any parties. I was very predictable and only hung around other kids like me. In college, I had my fair share of dates and of course I went to the bars, however, I was always in control. I learned as a child about stranger danger and never left a drink unattended. If I did, I spent the extra money and bought another. I always thought I was super careful. 

In college, my drink of choice was commonly referred to as "my old man drink." What 22-year-old girl drank gin and tonics? None that I knew. I knew how much I could drink and I knew when to stop. Like I said, I was always careful. Until I wasn't. 

I went to a party at a life long friend's apartment. We had grown up together and been each other's dates to every school dance. We had a pact that if we were 30 and unmarried, it would make sense for us to just get married. That is how good of friends we were. I was casually dating this other guy and brought him to the party. Being that it was my friend's house, I brought my own alcohol along so we could share. Let me repeat that, I brought my own alcohol. How much safer could I be? Right? Wrong. I set the bottle down on the counter and walked into the other room to meet everyone. There was this casual acquaintance of my friend (I had never met him before) and he offered to make me my gin and tonic. Not even thinking, I said, "Sure, Thanks!" I remember him handing me a large plastic cup and taking a few sips. This was my first drink of the night and the very next thing I remember was being slumped over on the bathroom floor. My friend came to check on me and said that I was acting strangely. I had been passed out for 45 minutes on the bathroom floor. After my first drink. I got up and said, "No, I am fine." I came into the living room and continued to hang out. The very next thing I remember was waking up on an air mattress the next morning with nothing on but my shirt and my pants around my ankles. The same guy who made my drink was passed out next to me. I never met this person before and was not into the casual hookup scene. I would have never hooked up with this person. I did not even know his name. I got up, got dressed and left the apartment as soon as I could. I walked all the way home and never thought about that night again. Why would I? I couldn't remember any of it. 

A few months later, I moved across campus to start my graduate program and began having nightmares about that night. Nothing concrete, just flashes of that evening. I still can not remember anything except waking up on the bathroom floor and leaving that next morning. There were pictures taken that night with a bunch of us having fun and I looked completely out of my mind. I would have never normally acted that way. I believe with every fiber of my being that I was drugged that night by the guy who made my first drink. I only had one drink that night and have never felt the effects of gin as I did that night. I later asked my friend who that guy was and he had no idea, he thought I shared a class with him, but couldn't remember. I haven't spoken to that friend since. I completely distanced myself, I know it wasn't his fault, but being around him just brought back the bad memories. 

I do not really consider myself a victim. I am not really sure what I consider myself. I have not let it define me and I think I am stronger because of it. I have never touched gin again and can't really stand the smell of it anymore. Unfortunately, sexual assault, workplace sexual harassment, and rape are so prevalent in our society today and it needs to stop. People need to be aware that it doesn't have to be the creepy guy following you in the alley. Though, you should always be aware of your surroundings and trust your gut. It can also be the nice looking guy who hands you your first drink of the night. My gut was clouded by the allure that I was safe at a friend's house. In hindsight, I do not think I was.  I am not sure what is worse, knowing for a fact and having to live with that knowledge or not being sure; always living with the question.