Part Seven: Game Fucking Over

Let her cry if the tears fall down like rain. Let her sing if it eases all her. Let her go, let her walk out on me. And if the sun comes up tomorrow, let her be.

Let Her Cry – Hootie and the Blowfish

Josh and I spend the first year of our relationship like two teenagers who have fallen in love for the first time. I love him more than I ever thought possible. Unfortunately, alcohol starts to cause some complications on both of our parts – as alcohol has a tendency to do. Unnecessary drama fueled by others, insecurities, jealousy, and hurt feelings get thrown into the mix – all because of drinking. But it’s nothing that we can’t and don’t power through. I love Josh, more than anything, and I know we can make this work no matter what.

Sometimes, life has a funny way of punching you right in the throat. Almost a year and a half into our relationship, life comes crashing, smashing, and utterly falling down around us. I was raped the night of October 11, 2016 by a married “friend” of Josh’s and mine, JJ. Game Fucking Over.


The night starts out like any other. My friend Linda asks if I want to join her and her husband, Mike at a local bar to listen to music. Of course! I’m having dinner at the restaurant where my mom works and ask if she wants to join but she’s not up for it tonight. Ok, no problem. I’ll call Josh. Josh has some errands to run but tells me to go have fun with Linda and Mike. Ok! No worries! I’ll just head on over, have some drinks, and catch up with him later. When I walk into the bar, JJ is also there with two of his friends. It’s a surprise to see him since he hasn’t been around for a while.

Drinks are poured, the music starts, and the night begins! After some time, JJ asks us all if we want to come back to his place for one last round. Linda and Mark pass on the offer but JJ’s friends are in! Great! I text Josh to let him know I’m going across the street for one more drink and then I’ll be home. Only, time passes and I’m not home when I said I would be. “Hey babe! Everything ok?” It’s a text from Josh. “No,” I reply. “I need to talk to you.”


I wake up in the morning, still dazed and in shock, like my body and mind are on autopilot. I hear JJ’s voice in my head: you knew what was going to happen when you came over here; I thought you would be more mature about this; you need to pull your shit together. I find enough courage in me to call and confront JJ. I need to make sense out of what happened. I tell him that I’ve told Josh and my mom and after several minutes of denying the incident, he attempts to cover his ass. “Tell Josh you made the fucking thing up. Tell him you were drunk and upset, that it was a misunderstanding. Tell him that you take all back.” He asks if I’ve told his wife. “Not yet.” I say, fighting back tears. “If you tell her, there will be a shit storm, please don’t tell her. What can I do to make this go away? I’ll do anything.” You could have not fucking raped me. “Nothing,” I say. “There’s nothing you can do. You were supposed to be my friend and you hurt me.”


I need to drown the world out. I hate everything and everyone. I hate myself. I get myself into therapy the following week and as much as I want help I also want to drink until there’s no more alcohol left in the world. There is nothing anybody can do to make this better. Not Josh. Not my mom. Not my friends. I don’t report the incident to the authorities. Call me selfish and judge me if you will, but I don’t want to go through the added torture of the whole process. Because in the end, it doesn’t matter to me whether he’s in jail, on the street, or if he gets hit by a bus – it doesn’t take away what he did. I am still left with the nightmare. This is the turning point to where my drinking becomes 100% self destructive and everyone and everything can go straight to hell.


I spend a little over the past month after the assault drunk most of the time and I start hurting myself again, a behavior that began (and temporarily stopped) during college. Why won’t this pain just go away!!! I want to feel better now!! The voice inside my head is screaming! No matter what I do, every time I close my eyes, JJ is there. I am broken, I am lost; my safety, my trust, my happiness has been stolen. Josh can’t even give me a simple kiss without me feeling like I’m going to burst into tears.

It’s become routine at this point that I apologize to Josh the morning after I’ve been drinking. It is likely that I have either had an emotional breakdown over the assualt, I have gotten angry and upset with Josh for no reason or I have brought up something he did while drunk in the past, or I become extremely jealous and clingy and want to monopolize his time. If he doesn’t give me the level of attention I feel like I deserve un my drunken state, I get overly flirty with anyone else that is around. Drinking turned up the volume on my flirty behavior in general but when fueled by negative emotions, it becomes a spiteful practice. I’m making myself more miserable than I already am but who the hell cares. I feel like I’m dying inside and there’s nothing anyone can do to help. I’m disgusting. Despite the horrible nightmare I am in, I still manage to successfully continue my online Master’s degree. It’s the only thing I have right now that I feel I am succeeding at.


The morning of November 22nd, I wake up with very little memory of the night before. What’s the last thing I remember? Being at my friend Dan’s condo with some friends partying the night away then being with Josh. No memory of the in between moments. I assume one if not all of my usual behaviors have happened, and therefore means I need to apologize to Josh. I have bruises on my legs and arms. He tells me it’s from me falling trying to get into the house. My head hurts, I’m nauseous, and again, I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck. I need to get some control over myself. I decide I’m going to take a break from drinking, just for a little while. A week later, I am still hungover, proving to me that I’ve made a wise decision. I make it to New Years Eve 2017 and feel comfortable enough to start drinking again. Since I haven’t done any self-reflection during this time, it doesn’t take me long to slide right back into my old drinking ways and repeating bad behaviors. As expected, my depression and anxiety skyrocket and I am just repeating this broken record over and over again.

In May, I have the wonderful opportunity to run into JJ at a local convenience store. To say that I do not handle the situation well is an understatement. I am with my mom and I hear her say “Do not turn around. Just go outside for a second. JJ just walked in.” My face burns, my eyes water, I all of the sudden feel like I can’t breathe. The second I step outside, I burst into tears. I call Josh but there is nothing he can do to make me feel better. I want to die. My solution to deal with this situation is to drink until I can’t stand. It causes an argument between myself, Josh, and my mom which ends with me sobbing uncontrollably. I admit that I need help dealing with the emotions from the assault. Therapy is only working so much and I can’t continue this way. I don’t want to live anymore. I’m done fighting. I just want all of these feelings to go away. I come clean about my self harming and I plead for help.

It took me a while to realize it, but out of this horrific, traumatic experience, came something incredibly beautiful and something that would change the course of my life as I knew it. A few weeks after my meltdown is when I try acupuncture for the first time. I am desperate to get help and I don’t want to go back on medication again. I was on antidepressants in college and it caused more suffering than not (although it probably didn’t help that I was abusing my prescription and combining it with alcohol). Still, it wasn’t a course of action I wanted to take so I looked for an alternative. A friend of mine suggested acupuncture since it helped her daughter with anxiety and depression. My mom had success when it helped her with sciatica. So I decided to give it a stab (pun intended). I mean this with all of my heart – acupuncture saved my life. The relief I experience from the first session alone is enough to make me cry. I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. I have hope for the first time. I have such success that by the end of the month, I’ve told my mom and Josh I am going back to school. I am going to get my doctorate degree in Acupuncture – I have found my purpose.


I spend the rest of the summer learning more about acupuncture and holistic medicine. It makes me start to question my drinking again: How can I balance my relationship to alcohol with a career in holistic medicine. Isn’t that hypocritical? In early August 2017, Josh and I are celebrating my accomplishment of finishing my graduate degree with honors. We order a pitcher of Sangria. “I think I might take another break from drinking, what do you think?” I ask Josh. “Whatever you want to do babe!” He says. The break I took back in November felt nice. I wasn’t worried about what I did or said. I remembered everything. I’ll try it again and see how I feel. Plus, if I’m serious about this career choice, I need to work on myself more. We finish the Sangria and enjoy the night with no blackouts, no tension, and no emotional breakdowns.

The morning of August 12th, I sign up on a sober forum, buy a couple recovery books, and tell a few friends. This will be a new chapter of a healthier, better lifestyle. I smile at the thought of no hangovers, I’m going to feel great! As much as I am trying to fool myself into thinking I am turning over a sober leaf, I am not being totally honest with myself. There is a Christmas party Josh and I blocked off a year in advance and it’s something I am looking forward to. In the back of my mind, I know I’m drinking at this party but I try and push that thought from my mind. Still, I write on my sober forum, I talk about how wonderful I feel since I stopped drinking, I try to trick myself into thinking I can actually do this. Everyone around me is encouraging and supportive. I even get through the year mark of the assault without feeling like I need a single drink. For the next four months and four days, not only do I not drink, but I do some introspective work on myself. I start to honestly reconsider my relationship to alcohol. So much so that on the way to the party, the game of tug of war that is going on inside of my head is too much to handle. If I have to debate this much about whether or not I should drink, I probably shouldn’t. Do I listen to my own advice? What do you think…


On what should have been a celebration of four months and five days, I spend that day feeling like someone ran me over and beat me with a baseball bat. Just like that, I am back to Day 1.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s