The Student News Site of the Latin School of Chicago

The Forum

The Student News Site of the Latin School of Chicago

The Forum

The Student News Site of the Latin School of Chicago

The Forum

"To Be Me"

%0A%09%09%09%09%09%09

the Forum. The decision to print this article was made with full support of the Latin administration. A note to the writer of this article: While you have the support of Forum staff, and the support of school administration, please know there is professional help available to you as well. Talking through your experience with a supportive professional can be an important part of healing, if you are ready to do so. Within school, please remember that Ms. Lawrence and Ms. Stevens are available to you as counselors. If you are not comfortable talking to someone within the school, the following external resources are also available: RAINN (Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network): https://www.rainn.org/about-national-sexual-assault-telephone-hotline Resilience (Formerly known as Rape Victims Advocate): https://www.ourresilience.org/support-us/ways-to-support/ National Sexual Assault Hotline: Call 1-800-656-4673 _____________ The political turmoil surrounding sexual assault and rape in the past few months has taken a very large toll on several students at Latin, and one of those students happens to be me. After the end of my freshman year here at Latin, I was raped. For a long time, I said nothing to my friends and family. I was left feeling broken, with post-traumatic stress disorder, and horrid memories that I will continue to carry for the rest of my life. Over time I was able to heal myself and learn to trust boys again. However, at the start of the Kavanaugh trials, my worst nightmare came to life. Dr. Ford’s story, almost a mirror of mine, was being called a lie. A fraud. Somebody begging for attention. One of the common misconceptions about Dr. Ford is that she did it for her own benefit. I’ve heard several people say that she has some kind of incentive to bringing up the trauma she has been carrying around with her for thirty years, and I can tell you right now that there is nothing she can gain. Unless you want to say there is something beneficial about thousands of people knowing your story and calling you psychotic for having the memories you do, and I doubt you do. Yet again I felt broken. Several boys and girls at this school discredited Dr. Ford, some because she doesn’t align with Kavanaugh’s policies, because she didn’t say anything for such a long time, or even because she didn’t have enough hard evidence to prove what happened to her. However, in Doctor Ford’s eyes, I see the truth in her story, and I also see a gut-wrenching fear. I see myself in the story that she tells, the same scared and helpless 15-year-old girl she once was. Most of all, I see the pain in her eyes, and that pain simply can’t be made up. Now, being a girl at Latin means shutting up about this kind of thing. It means being told that your opinion on sexual assault is “wrong,” when in reality those who are telling you that you’re wrong have no idea what they’re talking about. It means being catcalled on your way home from school. It means looking over your shoulder every minute to make sure you’re not being followed on your way off the train. It means being raped, and not knowing how to tell anyone what happened to you. It means feeling invalid. It’s two in the morning and I am crying as I write this. I’ve struggled for such a long time to tell what happened to me, and now I struggle to put my thoughts into words. Yet with all this hardship, there are still people who say we are lying, even though the pain that we live in, the flashbacks we have, and the nightmares we wake up from should be enough proof. Dr. Ford and I don’t have enough physical evidence to prove what happened to us, but we will be silent no more. We must tell our stories. Through telling our stories, we are also proof that our brokenness can change the world for the better. In all of our brokenness, we can each fix each other.

View Comments (17)
More to Discover

Forum Awards Are Back!

Submit by May 1st

Comments (17)

All The Forum Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • H

    hdavisDec 21, 2018 at 2:59 pm

    I admire the strength and courage it took to write this piece and share your story. It breaks my heart that this happened to you and that people continue to ignore victims’ experiences. I hear you. I support you. I believe you.

    Reply
  • E

    ebreitenDec 17, 2018 at 8:56 pm

    To the writer:
    Hearing what you went through and the pain you must feel is something truly awful and the courage you have to talk about it is inspiring. Thank you for sharing your story. You are so resilient! I hope the Latin community can do more to support you!

    Reply
  • O

    okatzDec 15, 2018 at 9:37 pm

    Thank you so much for being brave enough to share your heartbreaking story. Please know that you are NOT alone. I hope the Latin community can continue to become a supportive space for yourself as well as others.

    Reply
  • A

    asatpath2Dec 15, 2018 at 9:31 pm

    I admire your bravery in writing and submitting this beautiful yet heartbreaking piece. Please know that I am with you and here to support you. Thank you for showing everyone, me included, that this issue affects the school and people around us.

    Reply
  • L

    lweaverDec 15, 2018 at 7:32 pm

    To the author: Thank you for sharing your story. You are incredibly brave and so empowering. You are not alone and I hope the Latin community can work to become a more supportive space. There are people here ready to listen and support you whenever you feel ready.

    Reply
  • B

    bvossDec 15, 2018 at 11:32 am

    Thank you so much for sharing this. You are NEVER alone and your bravery and courage for sharing this story is incredible. Sending love always.

    Reply
  • M

    mgandhiDec 15, 2018 at 10:26 am

    It takes a lot of courage and strength to write about a painful experience as such. You have empowered and opened the eyes of many in the Latin community. We love, support, and thank you for sharing the truths that have been silenced and shunned. Know that there are people here who will listen, love, and support you, if and when you ever want to talk.

    Reply
  • T

    tvadaliDec 14, 2018 at 11:01 pm

    Anonymous, I am grateful for your decision to publish this article. Oftentimes, such traumatic incidents can go unnoticed, or worse, they can be overlooked. By publishing this piece, you have done one of the bravest things possible, and for that, we are grateful. Know that as a community, we love you, and we will do all in our power to support you. Sexual assault has the power to affect anyone and everyone, and by sharing your story with us, you have demonstrated immeasurable courage. Thank you for opening up to us, and know that we love you unconditionally.
    Sincerely, Tejas V.

    Reply
  • J

    jwalkerDec 13, 2018 at 11:04 pm

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful piece. I admire your bravery to share this with the school, it is such an important topic, and your courage is admirable in every way. Sending you all the love and support in the world!

    Reply
  • L

    lmccutch2Dec 13, 2018 at 9:20 pm

    Sending all of my love and support your way. May the years that follow and the people you meet along the way help ease your pain. Thank you for sharing your story, being so brave, and finally starting a crucial conversation about assault among students at Latin.

    Reply
  • J

    jnunezDec 13, 2018 at 7:42 pm

    I am left speechless. This piece was amazing yet, I am also heartbroken that this has happened to you. Thank you for sharing your story with the rest of us and know that your bravery is admirable. If you ever need anything, feel free to reach out!!

    Reply
  • O

    obakerDec 13, 2018 at 4:54 pm

    It was such an honor to publish this piece, anonymous. Your bravery is inspiring. I want you to know that I see you, I hear you, I support you, and I am there for you. Always. <3

    Reply
  • S

    sbarkerDec 13, 2018 at 3:44 pm

    You are so brave, anonymous, and you are a leader by offering in words something that so many can relate to. Thank you for your bravery, your leadership, your willingness to bring to light such an important topic. I admire you. You are not alone.

    Reply
  • R

    rigbokweDec 13, 2018 at 3:35 pm

    To the writer: Thank you for bravely sharing your story. I’m sorry that our community hasn’t been able to support you and help you feel safe. But words shine beyond this page and I hope your story will inspire others. Thank you again for this piece!

    Reply
  • S

    scrownDec 13, 2018 at 3:23 pm

    You are so incredibly brave for writing this. Remember that you are NOT alone and you will always have people to support you. Thank you for doing what so many are told not to do.

    Reply
  • C

    cgallagherDec 13, 2018 at 3:03 pm

    This is a heartbreaking, beautiful piece. Thank you for your courage. It took a lot for you to share your story with us, no doubt, and it is powerful to hear stories of truth. People who take great risk sharing their stories are heroes of truth and lead by example. Your writing emboldens me to help our community – students and staff – find support and see the humanity in the stories. In doing so, we stretch our capacity for empathy and become stronger. Thank you. ~Ms. Gallagher

    Reply
  • L

    lcampbelDec 13, 2018 at 2:21 pm

    Thank you, anonymous. This is an eye-opening piece that leaves no stone unturned. You made art out of your grief and it’s absolutely beautiful. The forum needs more writers like you and the world needs more writers like you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Your bravery is empowering.

    Reply