How my Sexual Trauma led to Drug Addiction

How my Sexual Trauma led to Drug Addiction

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When I was about 13 years old, I lost my virginity to rape at a 4th of July party. I was naive and unaware of my limits in regards to alcohol and drugs, so I binge-drank and took Xanax to the point of blacking out. The next morning, I woke up naked in a bed next to a man in his mid-twenties whom I had never seen before. I felt dirty, used, and worthless. I was too afraid to tell anyone what had happened to me because I learned from our society that if girls just dressed more modestly and didn’t go out drinking, then these things could be avoided. I tried everything I could to bury my guilt and shame for years. When the memories would creep back up, I would try to use substances to drown the thoughts out. 

Eventually, the weekend parties started to seep into the weekdays, until it got to the point that I was constantly using drugs just to calm my nerves and avoid my emotions. I did not realize that processing my trauma was the real solution, so instead, I took to unhealthy coping mechanisms that were easier for me to deal with. 

Somewhere around the age of 15 or 16, I found methamphetamines. I felt like I had arrived. I began to chase the high 24/7, doing anything I could just to score some meth. Any morals that I had developed went out of the window and I turned into a shell of the girl that I used to be. My life went from doing my homework and playing sports with my friends to selling drugs, prostituting, and slowly killing myself in a matter of a couple of months. All I had wanted was to forget about my sexual assault, but I ended up putting myself at more of a risk for new traumas. 

At the age of 17, I was raped by one of the people I did meth with. This time I was awake, and he was violent. I won’t go into the details for the sake of assuring I don’t trigger any readers and because I am sure some of you have experienced similar trauma (I wish that wasn’t the case). After this assault, I couldn’t leave my house. I told my roommate at the time what had happened to me and she pushed me to get sober. I was not ready to attempt sobriety for about one more year. On my 18th birthday, I realized that the drugs were not getting me high anymore and as a result, my flashbacks and memories from both assaults were louder than ever. This is what led me to finally go to a drug rehabilitation center, where I was taught how to love myself again. 

According to an article“For each traumatic event that happened to a child, they were two to four times more likely to grow up to be an addicted adult”. When I read those statistics I felt a lot of reassurance that I was not alone in my experiences. In treatment, I also met many women who shared the same trauma as me; which allowed me to feel accepted and less shameful about my past. I learned that my sexual assaults were NOT my fault, that I deserve love, and I have begun my journey towards recovery from my trauma. I urge anyone who is dealing with sexual assault by themselves, to find someone they trust and talk about it with them- once you are ready. Dealing with trauma alone is nearly impossible, and can lead you down a dark path. I share my story in hopes that it will help someone who has gone through the same issues as me, or to keep someone from making the bad decisions I made about how to go about dealing with my sexual assault. 

 


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20 comments

  1. eagle206 Volunteer

    Hi kaileymarie1,

    I’m so sorry to hear about what happened to you when you were 13. What that man did was wrong and none of that is your fault. Society is wrong to teach girls that the way they dress could be the reason for such horrible actions. The way you dress is never an invitation to anything. I’m sorry that you went through a horrible period with meth, but it shows how strong you are that you got yourself to a rehabilitation center and are learning to work through it. You deserve so much love, especially from yourself. We are all here to help you work through the trauma. Thank you for sharing your story with everyone.

    Stay strong,

    Tyler

  2. Ashley Day Captain

    Hello kaileymarie1,

    Thank you for taking the time to share your story with our community.

    I can only imagine how terrifying it must have been to wake up next to a complete stranger after blacking out. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to place blame on people who experience sexual violence and I’m sorry that society caused you to feel fearful about coming forward. Instead of society saying that others need to dress modestly and avoid alcohol, it would be better to encourage people to keep their hands to themselves and to not engage in sexual acts with someone who’s not able to provide consent.
    You were carrying a heavy secret and it’s understandable that you wanted to prevent the memories from emerging. Following the second experience of sexual violence, I commend you for confiding in your roommate and it’s wonderful to hear that she wanted to see you get well. The fact that you made the decision to enter a rehabilitation center demonstrates that you’re a courageous person. I’m glad that you found comfort in the statistics about the correlation between addiction and trauma. Also, I’m glad that you had the opportunity to connect with women who had similar encounters. I definitely believe that someone, or maybe even several people, will feel inspired to seek help after reading your story.

    You’re not to blame for the sexual assaults and you are worthy of love 🙂

    Ashley

  3. music2799 Day Captain

    Hi kaileymarie1,
    I’m so sorry about what happened to you and about what you’ve been through. You’re right – you didn’t deserve it, and it wasn’t your fault. I’m so glad you’ve realized these things and that you began your recovery journey. You have come so far!!
    Thank you for sharing your story with us. We’re here to support you, and we’re glad to help. You’re strong, and you’ve got this.

  4. Kayla Volunteer

    Hey kaileymarie1,

    Thank you for posting, your story is really articulate and helpful. It’s so true how sexual trauma and assault is often linked to drug abuse. You are certainly not alone. I’m proud of you for getting help, and for sharing your story.

  5. Knina7 Volunteer

    Hey kaileymarie1,
    Thank you for being brave and sharing your story with us. What happened to you was NOT your fault and it sounds like you have come to a place were you understand that, which is amazing. I am beyond happy to read that you are not using drugs anymore and have learned to love yourself. I admire your strength, please keep us updated on your growth and remember you are never alone, you have us.
    Sending Love and Hope,
    Kelly

  6. Jordan Volunteer

    Dear kaileymarie1,

    I just want to say thank you for coming on here to share your story with us. At such a young age, you experienced so many hardships and continued to face many more. I think it is amazing to see how far you have come, that your healing process has lead you to understanding that what happened to you was not your fault and that you do deserved to be loved <3 Because you do. You have overcome so much and continue to do so in many ways. Never give up. Healing is more certainly a journey and it does take time for things to heal, but I just want you to know that if you ever need more support that you can always come and talk to us. We will be ready to listen and believe you <3 Sending hugs your way, you got this!<3

    – Jordan

  7. Natalie M Day Captain

    Hi there,

    Thank you so much for sharing your story! I am so sorry that you had to experience all of this. But your emotions toward it are valid. After experiencing a traumatic experiences like you did can be extremely difficult and at such a young age, it can be even harder. What happened to you was not your fault and it was not okay. But, the trauma you experienced does not define who you are. We are so much more than our worst days. I am so glad you had a friend who listened and urged you to get the help you needed. You are not alone! We are here for you and we want to support you in any way that you need. You are so inspiring and strong for sharing your story in hopes that you can help someone else! Thank you again for sharing! Stay strong!

    -Natalie

  8. Harton.13 Volunteer

    Hi kaileymarie1,
    I’m so sorry to hear what you’ve been through. You should be proud of how much strength you have and how much you’ve been able to grow despite your trauma. You are not alone in turning to drugs because of something horrible happening to you, and it’s amazing that you’re learning to love yourself in your sobriety. I hope you’re finding more healthy coping mechanisms and that sharing with us at AVFTI helped you feel a little freer. We are always here and believe in you 100%!

  9. Lizzi

    Hey kaileymarie1,
    I’m so sorry to hear about your struggles with drugs after your first trauma. Not that drugs are a healthy coping mechanism, but people wouldn’t use them if they didn’t work to numb out from the pain that we’re feeling. I’m so thankful to hear that you were able to go to rehab and work towards loving yourself again. The pain and memories may always be there, but you don’t need the drugs anymore. You are so strong and can work through anything life throws at you in a healthy way. Thank you for sharing your story with us, and for trusting us with this part of your life. I wish you the best in your sobriety! You’ve got this!

  10. Alyssa Day Captain

    Hi kaileymarie1,
    I’m so sorry this happened. I loved your inspiring words at the end. That means a lot to me because I am also going through hard times right now. You didn’t deserve what happened to you. What society says is stupid. Don’t believe it. There is a story that my friend once told me and I’m gonna tell it to you. This will help you will what society says, “is right and wrong.” There was a girl sitting on her front porch of her house naked. A man came up to her and raped her. Now here’s where I ask who is at fault. Society might say the girl because she was naked, but that girl was 2 years old and did not know better than to be outside of her house alone like that and the man was 40 years old, which is why the man is at fault because he was old enough to know better than touch that little girl. Remember, society is wrong about a lot of things including sexual assault. It doesn’t matter if you were drinking or going out to parties or doing drugs. If you say no or aren’t sober enough to say yes, it is not your fault.
    I’m happy that you are sober and you got help. It sounds like your roommate is a great support system and I’m happy you have her. If you need anything else we are always here for you. If there is anything you need help with please let us know. Thank you for trusting and sharing your story with AVFTI. continue to stay strong.
    -Alyssa

  11. musicislove

    Hi Kaileymarie1,

    First off, I’m really sorry for everything you’ve been through. Traumas are so hard to deal with, I’m so glad you decided to get treatment and that you know none of what happened to you is your fault. Nothing about your past is shameful so I’m happy you know that, and meeting others that have been through similar traumas is helpful to remind yourself you’re not alone. Thank you so much for sharing with us and we’re here for whatever you need.

    Delaney

  12. Thomas Volunteer

    Hi kaileymarie1,

    Thank you for sharing your story with us. I’m so sorry that this happened to you. But you’re absolutely right, none of this was your fault. You deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. And you’ve shown a tremendous amount of strength and courage to begin your journey of healing. Please let us know how else we can help. Stay strong.

    Thomas

  13. Julia Mandel Day Captain

    Thank you for reaching out to us. It takes a lot of strength to get sober and overcome the things you did, so you should be proud of yourself for accomplishing that. Keep on sharing your story and being an inspiration to others <3

  14. blashea Volunteer

    Hi, I am so sorry that this happened to you. I am so proud of you for sharing your story and for seeking help. You are so strong and brave. It takes a lot of courage to accomplish the things that you have. You are absolutely right, none of this was your fault and you do deserve love. Your positive attitude and hopefulness are truly amazing. Thank you for trusting us with your story!

  15. sfmbelle413 Day Captain

    Hey there kaileymarie1,

    You are brave for sharing your story – thank you for being brave and for sharing. I love to hear that you learned how to love yourself again. You’ve taken all the right steps into getting the support you deserve.

    I appreciate you linking the article. You are completely right that the assault were not your fault and you deserve love. We’re here for you to help you through this. If you ever need more immediate support, our friends at Crisis Text Line are there for you 24/7. You can reach them by texting VOICE to 741-741.

    Sending lots of light,
    SFM

  16. Marissa Day Captain

    Hi kaileymarie1,

    Thanks for sharing your story with us. I’m so sorry you went through such awful experiences. You didn’t deserve anything that happened to you. You’re right – it was NOT your fault and you certainly deserve love. It’s amazing that you are using what happened to you as a way to show others that there is hope. I can’t imagine what you went through, but you are so strong for turning it into a positive for others. I’m so proud of you for telling your roommate what happened to you and for seeking help for your addiction, even if it took you a little while to get to that point. It’s important to take everything at your own pace, and it seems like you recognize that.

    Please let us know if there’s anything we can do for you. We’re here for you, no matter what!
    Marissa

  17. Breanna Grunthal Volunteer

    Hey there kaileymarie1,

    Thank you for coming to share your story. It takes so much strength to be able to confront your addiction and seek help. I am so happy to know that you are on your path to recovery and have come to learn that these assaults were not your fault. You were so young and taken advantage of, you did not deserve what happened to you. It takes a lot of courage and strength to get sober and start processing your traumas, and I hope you are proud of yourself for taking these really important self-care steps. If you are interested, you can explore our Find Help tab for some helpful resources. And of course, this is a space for people to share their stories and if you ever feel the need to discuss the details, we will be here to listen.

    Sending you love and support on your healing journey,
    Bre

  18. Bluebell13 Volunteer

    Dear kaileymarie1,
    Thank you for sharing your story with us and thank you for your words of acceptance and encouragement to others. You are strong to have been able to evaluate where you were, how you got there, and make such a life-changing decision for yourself. Congratulations on completing rehab and on learning to love yourself. That is usually the most difficult piece to any recovery. Please feel free to write to us as often as you would like and let us know if there is anything we can help you with.
    Sending you love and strength,
    Roxie

  19. zelda Volunteer

    I’m sorry that you’ve experienced all of this. While I wasn’t raped as a child, I was molested. And in my early adulthood, I was raped 8 diff times. I spiraled into my own drug addiction as well; I did heroin. Like you, the drug wasn’t getting me high anymore so I decided to get clean. It’s still an uphill battle for me I’m not gonna lie, but I know my life has been better because of it. I’m glad that you’re sober and I hope that you’re doing well. My heart goes out to you as a fellow survivor and fellow recovering addict.

  20. Erin O'Callaghan Day Captain

    I am so sorry for what happened to you. You didn’t deserve any of this, and this wasn’t your fault. I am glad that you have begun your journey towards recovery, and that you got helped a lot during treatment. Thank you for sharing your story with us, and let us know how else we can help you.

    Erin