I started doing drugs when I was 16 years old. There was a boy I was dating, he was older and smoked pot all the time. When he offered it to me I knew there was no way in hell I could turn it down. You know how impressionable we can be at that age. As soon as I smoked and got stoned though, i loved it. I had gone from a girl who only tried drinking a couple of times in her life to a full-blown pothead at the snap of a finger.
Then I tried heroin at 17.
It was with him, he had been doing it for a few months before me and as much as I wanted to say no, i told him i’d give it a try. I snorted some and well, it felt like I had a spiritual awakening and had found heaven. I loved it, my worries melted away along with my insecurities.
I feel like I should mention we hadn’t had sex yet. I was a virgin and I made it clear I wasn’t ready and while he didn’t take it too well in stride, he was seemingly okay with it. I think he was more concerned about getting high, to be honest.
One night he took out a needle and said how much better it would feel to inject it rather than snorting it. It took me about a half-second to agree to it. He shot it up for me and there it was, heaven like never before. Except, shortly after he began getting aggressive with me and I went with it as I felt like I was floating I was so high. Then before I knew it my pants were off and he was having sex with me.
It was easily the most violating moment of my entire life. That was me losing my virginity. What girl pictures it like this? Absolutely horrifying.
Was this his motive all along? Get me hooked on drugs so I will finally have sex with him? Did he even really care about me? The questions started flooding in my head immediately after it all happened and they still ring in my head today. He took me home and the silence in the car was deafening. He knew what he had done, the guilt was palpable.
If there is one thing I am grateful for, it’s that I ended things with him immediately. The thing was, none of my friends or my parents questioned it because they never liked him in the first place. Do you know what the worst feeling in the world is though? Telling everyone afterwards that you’re okay about the breakup when you are absolutely positively not okay and I couldn’t tell a soul.
I had this gigantic dark cloud hanging over me after that night and now I had an insidious deadly habit, a heroin addiction.
The next 4 years were a complete blur and the loneliest times of my life. I wouldn’t let a single boy get anywhere close to me, I’d meet some throughout my addiction and simply use them if they had a connection to where I could score more heroin. There were dark days but I’d rather not get into it.
In 2016 my parents convinced me to go to rehab. I was so afraid but honestly, I was so ready to do something about all these skeletons in my closet. My one on ones with my therapist at my facility was the first time I told anyone I had been raped. The liberation I felt in that initial moment is unexplainable, just to tell someone and have them say how sorry they are that it happened to me and that it wasn’t my fault. I had so much work to do ahead but that was one of the most important days of my life.
I am now 3 years in recovery from heroin and I’d love to say everything is picture-perfect but it isn’t. I have made strides but often still deal with major depression in sobriety and have trouble committing to anyone romantically. What I do have is a strong support network of women, many of them have been through what I have and I can’t tell you how much of a difference that makes in my life. To see survivors living independent and happy lives gives me so much faith in myself.
There is hope, you just need to tell someone about it, someone who cares and then the healing can begin.
National sexual assault hotline 1-800-656-4673