Maple Lake, Minnesota
When I think of important permanent connections and supportive people, I think of my grandmother. Throughout most of my life, she has been there. Without her guidance, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. I think of her because she raised me for half of my life.
When I was in my first semester of college, I met someone through a dating app. I had fallen head over heels for this guy because he was giving me the attention that I thought was healthy and that I had missed out on throughout childhood. At first, he was kind, loving, and considerate. Then, he wasn’t. He started being controlling and manipulative. I found it harder and harder to keep my answer “no.” Afterwards, I threw away the outfit I had been wearing and stopped any contact with him. It took me months before I told anyone what happened. When I finally told someone, I felt guilty.
I was always told that I could handle whatever life threw at me so I felt like it was my fault that I was sexually assaulted. On the outside, I appeared to be my “normal” self. But on the inside, I was depressed, anxious, guilt-driven, and isolated. When I finally got the courage to go to the police, I was told the case would be dropped because there was no physical evidence, which just put me into a deeper hole of depression.
Looking back, I wish I would have talked to my grandma about it because I needed to tell someone other than my friends or the police. I didn’t tell her because she was dealing with health problems. Things would have gone so differently if I had told her. It would have made our relationship stronger and given me the support I needed.