Rape and Being Enough
I wish I never remembered the night I lost my virginity.
When I was eighteen years old, my virginity was stolen from me. I was raped. And not just by one man. By several at one time.
I was so excited to attend Florida State University. I was born and raised in Germantown, Tennessee (a suburb of Memphis) so when I was awarded a full voice performance scholarship at FSU, I couldn’t get to Tallahassee fast enough. It felt like a dream come true.
I went Fall of 1999 and didn’t know a soul! I loved it. I joined an amazing sorority, Delta Gamma, and immediately started building life long friendships. I also was doing great academically.
So if you don’t know much about Florida State, it’s a huge party school. Like while I was there it was ranked #1 party school THREE times in a row!! While it seemed so fun at the time, looking back it was definitely some of my wildest and craziest days.
One night I decided to go with a bunch of my sorority sisters to a fraternity party at some apartments off-campus. The night started off great. Then everything took a horrific turn.
We were all drunk. And to be honest, paraphernalia was floating around too. It had gotten so wild that at one point I remember asking my sorority sisters if we should leave.
But, we didn’t. And we kept drinking. What happened next I have blocked out for nearly 20 years until recently.
I was raped.
I will never forget the night my name changed from “Tennessee Tease” to “Tennessee Please” by some FSU fraternity brothers.
I remember how it was such a big deal to be from Tennessee and be attending a Florida college. And I was very honest about letting EVERYONE know I had NO DESIRE TO SLEEP AROUND. So I quickly was given the name, “Tennessee Tease”. While I thought it was cute at the time, looking back years later, it was not cute at all. It was actually degrading.
So my name got put out there pretty quickly. “Nicole is a sweet, fun, southern Tennessee gal, but don’t you dare try to have sex with her. It ain’t gonna happen.” Oh, and let me add…fraternity brothers talk to dudes in other fraternities when it comes to anything and everything about sex. Especially when sleeping with a women becomes a “competition” among them. It’s downright disgusting.
And while I also thought I was being respected, it later came to light that it was not respect…it had become a game. A game to see who could make me give it up the quickest.
As I close this out to go love on my children, and NOT just my daughters, cause THIS CAN happen to men as well, I beg you to realize you are not alone. I beg you to realize there is NOTHING about this that is OKAY. And I also encourage you to OPEN YOUR EYES to any and all of the possible red flags.
Do I think if I had not still been a virgin the night I attended that fraternity party at those apartments off-campus, would have I STILL been raped…I absolutely do. I absolutely, without a doubt, do. And it disgusts me that my virginity became a fraternity game.
Rape is serious. And I will find justice…
…and so will you. Because no one deserves to be raped. To be molested. To become a game. To be made fun of because you are a virgin. And NO ONE deserves to be “single raped” or “gang raped” like I was. Where I was passed around like a lifeless baby doll and then waking up the following day soaked in my own urine with no clothes on and all alone and in so much physical, emotional, and mental pain. No one deserves this. Not a damn soul.
It has taken me almost a lifetime to truly believe…I am ENOUGH.
I come to you today with open arms. I come to you today to tell you that any form of rape or molestation is not okay. I come to you today to tell you that you are not alone. I come to you today to tell you that I am here for you and you too are ENOUGH.