Story of surviving – Pam Swider

Posted By on Nov 27, 2016 |

It happened a long time ago, but it still affects me every day.  I went out for the night with a friend I hadn’t seen in a long time.  Our intention was to have to fun, to dance, to laugh.  Instead I was targeted.  They approached us, danced with us.  I was driving, so I wasn’t drinking, and he kept buying me pop.  Pop that I later figured out was laced with something.  Something to bring my guard down, something to make me not care, something that allowed me to drive him and his friend and my friend back to their condo, which I wouldn’t have done if I was in my normal state of mind.  He took away my ability to make choices.  He got me up to his room and I passed out in his bed.  I woke up with him naked, me half naked with him forcing me to touch him.  Passed out again and woke up with him on top of me, inside of me…

We left, not before he spit ice at me while I waited for my friend, who was not assaulted.   It was me that was the target.  She was just there so to speak.

I blocked it out for over a year.  The first flashback hit me at a dance club that I had taken a friend to for her 21 birthday.  My life changed.  I withdrew, I had nightmares, I didn’t want to leave the house, I gained weight, lots of weight.  I tried to act like I was fine, but far from it.  I started dating someone and every time he touched me, I shook inside and felt like I was going to be sick.  I finally told my Mom, and then my sister and then called RAINN’s hotline.

They put me on the road to recovery.  This road was long, hard, and scary.  It took years and several therapists, a broken marriage, and lots of tears and hard work, but I healed.  I healed because I don’t deserve to be broken; I don’t deserve to live in fear; I don’t deserve to feel constantly violated.  I went from wanting to crawl in a hole to helping to pull others out of the hole.  It was hard, but so worth it.  Being raped changed me.  I lost my innocence, my trust, and myself for a long time.  But I have learned there are people out there to help and who understand. They helped me to rebuild myself into the person I am today, a survivor.