These are the underwear that I was wearing the night that I was sexually assaulted. I thought that they were cute and fun. I got them off of the clearance rack at Target for $1.75. 
That made me feel good.

The night that I was assaulted, a battle was fought over these underwear. The person who assaulted me was someone I had known for seven years. Someone I was fond of. Someone I trusted 100%. Someone that only hours earlier I had chatted with another woman in a bathroom about what a nice person he was. I thought maybe he might like her, and she might like him.

I had gone with a big group of friends to watch a band made up of several of my friends from high school. We had a great time. We got dressed up, we danced, we had a few drinks, we laughed, we sang along to our favorite songs.

I agreed to go watch a movie at the apartment of this friend, this person I liked, I trusted, I had known for seven years. When he pressed his weight against me on the couch a few minutes into the movie, when he kissed me forcefully, when he without warning pulled my shirt off my body while I struggled to keep it on I was taken off guard. I tried to slow things down, I told him I didn't want to rush anything, I told him I really valued our friendship but he didn't care. He began to determinedly undress me as I politely struggled to keep as many clothes on as possible. Because I trusted and liked and had known this person for so long I felt like this must be a mistake, that I must have created a misunderstanding. I had, after all, looked pretty that evening. I had danced and smiled and laughed and worn a skirt and agreed to watch a movie and greeted him enthusiastically at the concert.

When he finally got me down to my underwear, it became a battle. I felt like if I could just focus on keeping them on, I would be okay. I remember sliding back and sliding back away from him until I was all crammed up in a corner of the room with nowhere left to retreat to. I remember that all of the friction of him trying to take the underwear off of me and me trying to keep them on made the lace irritate my skin. It kept running and running through my mind that I couldn't be rude because I had looked pretty and laughed and smiled and worn a skirt and been happy to see him and agreed to watch a movie and he was my friend and I trusted him and liked him and had known him for seven years. He finally got frustrated and penetrated me with the underwear on. They hadn't kept me safe. I remember the lace rubbing and rubbing the skin raw and it was so painful and I felt so defeated. I remember saying "Please, don't do this" and the blank look on his face as he continued anyway.

It has been four years since I was sexually assaulted and I can't let go of these underwear. I got them for $1.75 at Target and that made me feel so good. I gave up laughing and dancing and singing along and smiling and being friendly and wearing skirts and being happy and greeting people with enthusiasm and agreeing to watch movies and trusting long-time friends but I can't give up these underwear. I feel like if I can just focus on not letting them become another thing that is taken away from me I will be okay.

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