Some days are easier than others. Some are much harder. After my fiancé left me, I struggled with the motivation to get up and try again. To look for someone that cared about me. This is not the first rape I have had. Sadly, it is the third rape I have endured. The first rape was so incredibly devastating. I lost everything at 15. All of my family disowned me, some even violently attacking me. I love family. Family is incredibly important to me. I went to school because that and my friends was all I had left. After over two years of struggling in school- not with learning, with doing homework, having a safe place to sleep, getting to and from school, avoiding the harassment of my assistant principal (who made it his moral obligation to punish me as often as possible because of the story he had been fed by my father, who had believed my rapist when he was trying to cover his tracks), avoiding the condemnation of parents and staff, and avoiding the harassment of the cops. My life is an endless stream of people I have affected in a positive way. Strength, courage, honesty, and compassion are the words people use to describe me. My friends have seen me in my worst times, and they have always known me to be strong, kind and to act with integrity. My life has been a cruel struggle, the worst of which has been not because I made wrong decisions, but because I was raped by a pedophile my family let live with us- in the very next room from me. After the rape, I was wandering in a cruel, heartless world alone and scared. Being smart and beautiful and extroverted can be a blessing, but when you are scared every day to be raped again for how beautiful you are, you develop coping mechanisms that are unique to rape victims. I did not take care of myself. I was afraid to look beautiful, but I wanted to. The worst thing that happens after such a traumatic event is that in essence, you become like an animal. Knowing that at any moment I could be raped or killed is traumatic enough, but to have to live on the streets and be forced to live with older friends (mostly male), takes that fear to a completely different level. That is how I have lived since my first rape. Until my fiancé. He made me feel comfortable. He took away this fear. He was the first person to love and protect me. Even when he was overseas, I tried to tell him how much I appreciated it. He could never understand how deeply what he did- the simple things he did- how they affected me. For the first time I was safe enough to confront the trauma of my first rape. You cannot tell someone you love about the panic attacks and the nightmares when they are overseas. The deep longing for their physical comfort that only they can give. That is too much pressure and despair to give to one person who cannot do anything to change it. It is torture for that person, so instead I waited for him. He was the only person I have ever trusted or depended on whole heartedly. As a man, I had the ultimate respect for him. Anything he wanted from me, I would give him, and more. And then history repeated itself. I was drugged and raped. And he left me. I always fantasized that had he been there from the first rape, he would have been the one person to stay. The only person I ever allowed myself to think would be there for me no matter what- he left me when I needed him most. So some days I keep myself busy. Some days, it hits me. Hard. But I want to believe, I chose to believe that there is someone out there who is strong enough to be here when I need them most.