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My Deepest Darkest Secret

Ashlyn Rochester

Written by Ashlyn Rochester

Dear Reader,

Let me start off by saying, to me this isn’t a secret. This is something I don’t want to hide from people, but it’s definitely not something you tell someone on a first date. I refuse to have this situation hold anymore power over me than it already has, so here I am spilling my guts and here you are reading because you’re human, and you’re curious. I have no reason to hide this because this happens to millions and thousands of other people every year. I have no shame or embarrassment by revealing this side of my life to people. I am confident in who I am as an individual and I am happy with myself.

I am sharing this with whoever happens to read this, not because I want pity and to be coddled. In fact, I hate receiving pity so I’m not sharing this to try to get empathy. I am also not sharing this to change how you perceive me, because I don’t want that either. I’m still the same woman you met whenever we happened to cross paths. I am sharing this story so I can be freed from this misfortune. I am sharing this so maybe my story will inspire others. I am sharing this so I can, hopefully, make a difference. I believe that even the smallest person can make a difference, and I’m hoping my story can help someone else. This belief is what has helped keep me sane.

My secret contains pain, heartache, love, betrayal, and a lot of therapy. It already sounds like it’ll keep you on your toes, right? My secret also contains an amazing comeback story that I am so proud to share and invite others to join with me. This event has brought me so much closer to my friends, some who actually started out as strangers, but our same secret granted us membership into a highly unusual and unwanted club.

My secret has also caused the heartache I had endured, because not all of the friends closest to me continued to be my friend after. And that’s okay. I’ve learned you can tell people the facts and show them the evidence, but you still can’t force them to see what you see. You definitely can’t control what actions people take.

I did all the right things and even then, the expectations were met with complete and utter disappointment. Life is definitely not like the television shows. I did all that was suppose to happen after an incident like this, and it’s out of my hands what happens next. I have no control over what happens from here on out, which is a comforting thought, because I did my part.

Not only have I suffered from this journey, but my family has too. They hurt when I hurt and vice versa. But, this misfortune has brought us together. I have no doubt in my mind, the extent and power of my parent’s love, (not that I ever did) but I say this because I am certain in saying it now.

To those who might also be a part of the same unique and traumatizing club, you’re not alone and you are strong. It was not your fault, and you are such an amazing individual to survive this. I admire your courage and strength.

My secret is that in the fall of 2017, I was raped by my friend’s roommate when I was drunk.

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