I had just transferred to a new high school, boarding school in fact. I didn’t know anybody there. I thought that was going to be my only problem in high school. For the first time in my life I started to experience a relation between my issues and my health. So here I was in the new high school living on an immune system that was slowly falling apart on itself. But there was this one person there who looked at me and said “hey you are really amazing’. He made me feel like there was nothing wrong with me, he would be with me when I was sick, he would put lotion on my scars. First 3 months of our relationship I was really happy. After those three months passed he started becoming very possessive, everybody I talked to made him very uncomfortable. I kept cutting people off thinking one day I would make the right group of friends and he will be okay. It only got worse after that. It didn’t matter if it was my shoulder, my legs, my face, he had to be touching me. And I kept making all of these excuses as to why it was okay. It kept going on like that. Our relationship was not perfect; it was not healthy. He was a problematic kid. Grew up in a gang environment, had been in and out of juvenile jail, and his morals were clearly not straight. Every problem that he had, was put on me. He had anger issues, so if he was mad for some reason, I would take the hit, and I mean that literally. Sometimes it was a simple slap to my hand, and others it was smashing my head against the bathroom wall. But no matter what it was, I was taking the fall for it and no one ever stood up to help me.

One night, it was April 2016, prom night. We went to this friend’s house after the school dance was over. My best friend and her boyfriend, who was older, had brought a couple of bottles of hard alcohol to the party. I remember seeing my boyfriend pour shot after shot, getting drowsy, laughing, running. Then he started getting angry, at me, for not drinking. I had never been the one to drink, I never liked the way it made me feel. But I guess the feeling of him being more vulnerable than me by being intoxicated made him angry. Most people started leaving and calling it a night. So me and him were alone. I remember I didn’t want to be there, I knew he wasn’t a good person but my feelings towards him made me feel so weak and so meaningless that there was nothing I could do about it. He laid on the couch, expecting me to lay with him. He kissed me, and it was nice, but he got a little carried away with it. He started holding my wrists against the sofa, making me paralyzed under his body. “You need to take all of your clothes off” he said. I got scared and did not move. He kept repeating the sentence over and over again, each time more aggressively, louder. I told him “I really don’t want to do this right now”. I was fighting to keep my pants on and he kept trying and it sort of turned into this dance of us kissing and him wrestling with my clothes. He picked me up and put me on the floor where he reached into his pants and pulled out a pocket knife. He looked at me and said “I love you, and you love me too”. He pressed the knife horizontally on my chest, making it hard for me to

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. I remember thinking to myself “how do I position myself just so he can’t get me”. The amount of times I had said no got me scared, because it proved that he had no respect towards me. Every time I moved, or I tried to get up from the floor that knife would penetrate into my chest. I didn’t want that feeling of someone being inside me that I didn’t give permission to. I remember thinking “He has no idea how terrified I am right now; he has no idea how disgusted I am”. Because he was just in it, moaning, it felt good to him, he enjoyed it. I held on to the little hope I had, and pushed through 10 minutes of a living nightmare and he then got up and I said “I think you should go”. And he did and then I just sat down and I cried for a long time, holding onto my open wound, bleeding. I locked myself in the bathroom and I threw up. There was so much in my head that I was blaming myself. If this were somebody else’s story, I was supposed to have sex with him, and I was supposed to like it. I just seems like saying “oh I am not in the mood” turns into “oh let me get you in the mood”. A perfect world is where we can talk to each other about it. I don’t think it’s just bad guys versus victims, not just girls, but as in humans. For whatever reason you have to be willing to be the other person to be able to speak their language. I never sat him down and asked him “Do you have any idea of what that did to me?” Because maybe he has no idea. Maybe this whole time he had been telling himself and his friends that it was a crazy drunk night that he had.

For the next year, I spoke to no-one, I failed classes, I cried myself to sleep every night wondering why this happened to me. I was alone, my friends had left me because of my depression. I was going to weekly therapist sessions but not having the courage to tell her that my supposed to be boyfriend had raped me with a knife on my chest. I felt worthless, I felt like I didn’t have a future, and that I didn’t deserve one. I felt like since this was something that I couldn’t control, there was no way out. My psychological state kept getting worse, and went into deep depression. I could trust no one, and looking back I think how could I. My health hit its all-time low. it was like my body knew that no one was there to take care of me. My hair started to fall out. I didn’t have any energy to get up out of my bed. Everything about me was breaking and everyone could see it. It was killing my parents but they were all I had. I woke up at 3 am one night and I was trying to walk to the bathroom because I felt an unbelievable pressure on my chest and I heard my mom crying to my dad, she was so upset. I heard her cry about my emotional state and how she was worried I wasn’t going to survive. I realized if there is nobody in this world who I am doing any good for anymore, and if the two people I love most, I am hurting, then I don’t want to be here anymore. I had had suicidal thoughts before, but this time I was sure. I went to the bathroom and took the rest of my steroids, I snuck downstairs and there was about a quarter bottle of vodka in the fridge that none of us had touched. So I took that with my pills. I went back upstairs in my bed and went back to sleep. I didn’t want them to think it was their fault, when and if I died. The next morning I woke up the same way I had woken up every night before that. I had a stomach ache, I had to go to the bathroom, but I wasn’t dead. I was supposed to be dead, it’s what I wanted, I had spent so much time researching how I would kill myself and learned that the chemical reaction between steroids and alcohol would stop my organs one by one and I would die slowly, painfully, but in my sleep and I would not have to worry about anything ever again, because I’d be gone. And I thought no one will care if I left. They would be sad for a couple of days but you get over it, right? I felt horrible. Like a bad hangover morning. And I could not be more thankful that I woke up that Saturday morning. Since then things went uphill. I decided to accept the help people were offering, I listened to my therapist, and took the medicine they gave me. And day by day I started building this hope that is pushing me through what are, probably, the worst years of my life.

Now, two years later, I am a biochemistry sophomore in one of the top universities in the United States, pursuing pharmaceuticals. I fear feeling like I did every day. I’m terrified of living and wanting to die again. Talking to other survivors is what actually saved my life. We think that we are in this really tiny bubble and nobody sees us, because that’s how we feel, because we are empty. But in reality we all feel the same way. Going to a therapist is probably the best thing you could do for yourself. Having someone who is there, interested on what you have to say, gives you some sort of purpose you can’t get anywhere else. If you had a broken leg you’d go to a doctor to get it fixed. This is the same thing. You need to go get the help that you need. Everyone is worthy of life, every single person that is born is worthy of life. Whatever you are going through is a lot stronger than you think and it can really control you. All those people who are trying to help you, you need to let them in. It’s going to be the hardest thing you do but you need to let them in. Try to think about what you need. If there is no one around, for whatever reason, because that does happen, figure out one thing that can get you through one minute, and then another thing that can get you through another minute. Understand that you and only you have the power to save yourself. You have the control. Get up, keep living, whatever they say, or whatever they do, just keep pushing. Because I promise life is worth living. Surviving doesn’t mean that the struggle will be over, because I am still suffering depression, I still have suicidal crises, I have to maintain my health, I still sometimes want to hurt myself, but the fact that matters is that I have tools and I have a support system and I can make it through and I do make it through, every single day.

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