It started in the fall, or, I have to say it started in the fall, because that's when I first began talking to GIRL. GIRL was nice and funny, and although she wasn't as attractive as most girls I had been with up until this point, I thought that having someone that might match my outgoing and goofy personality was more important than looks (it's gonna be hard for me to describe her in fluid detail, since my brain figuratively sets on fire when I think about the time I spent with her, and also, my personality today is stale and bitter, not outgoing and goofy). We never officially dated, but we hung out almost every day and watched movies, and it was a slow moving thing, since I didn't kiss her until a month or two in. The first red flag, that I didn't notice because I had never experienced a romantic partner manipulating me, was when GIRL told me she didn't want to date me, but then later texted me and asked if I still wanted to talk to her. When I messaged her and said I thought we were done, she said no, she just didn't want to be an official thing, yet she wanted to talk romantically. A few days later we were out at a bar and she seemed uncomfortable being around me, which was upsetting, so I went to a different bar, but then she texted me to meet up, and then when I met her she pulled me into the dance floor in front of our mutual friends and danced with me. A few minutes later she looked really angry and then shoved me hard in front of everyone. I don't know if she began crying, but a girl stopped dancing and asked her if she needed help and tried to box me out, implying that I was being a creep, so whatever she did must have worked, since I think she planned it out. Up to this point, I had never been manipulated by someone I was being romantic with, and since I was low on self esteem at the time, due to multiple dates not wanting to go further, I assumed all of my trouble with girls was my fault, and that this instance was no exception; I blamed it on myself, and then continued talking to her romantically.
The second red flag came when I told her I didn't want to date her. I was suffering from some awful depression and I said that I didn't want her to visit my house during the holidays because I wanted to be alone. I also said I didn't want to continue talking to her because I was too depressed and it wasn't fair to her. She then began saying things along the lines of "oh, i care about you so much, I don't want you to be depressed, you're such a happy person, you shouldn't feel like this." It was generally considerate, and I said thank you, and funnily enough, right after I said thank you she said " so, do you want to keep talking" as though her kind words cured my depression. When I said no, she became extremely hostile and then, to be honest, I don't remember what I said, I'd have to look at old texts and things I wrote to bring to my lawyer, but I do know that my therapists have all said that what she said was abusive and manipulative. I remember being on the phone for hours, and she kept degrading me as a person, when then, after giving me some verbal lashings about being a terrible person for not letting her come to my house, would start trying to be empathetic, as though to act like she cared about me. I remember only replying with small phrases such as "I'm sorry, it's my fault" or "You're right, I'm being a complete jerk, I'm sorry." I know now that I should have hung up the phone on her, but like I said before, I had low confidence in myself, and at that point I was heavily into community service, so in my mind my life's mission was to promote kindness, so this girl knew that and used it to her advantage, by tricking me into thinking I was being terrible to her. Or, at least, that's what I think was happening. I'm not 100% sure.
When I got back to school, I learned that she had been telling people that I was abusive. Apparently when we got back, she immediately started telling some of our mutual friends that I was an abuser. When I talked to her in person, GIRL told me that I was abusive because I handed her a plant when she tried to tell me something serious about her past. While that happened, I only gave her the plant because she stopped talking completely, and I remember saying "You don't have to tell me anything if you don't want to, but if you do, then I'm here for you." After learning that this was all there is to the abuse allegations, I was relieved, but at the same time I had to start seeing a therapist, because people were starting to treat me different. I didn't understand what it meant to be labelled as an abuser, so I needed help figuring out how to channel my emotions, because, why were people treating me differently if I had handed this girl a plant? My therapist tried to help me figure out why it was happened, and also said that she was probably saying different things than what she told me. I later learned, months after everything happened, that she was sitting mutual friends down and telling them that I used to call her disgusting everyday, and other things like that. What's important to note is that, many people kept this hidden from me, because I think the believed what she was saying, which is crazy because I've never said anything like that in my life. The second I was labelled, there was no escaping it.
I tried my hardest to avoid GIRL, but I still encountered her every once in a while because we had the same mutual friends. Since I was still in my nice phase, I would speak to her when mutual friends were around so I wouldn't be rude, and this also meant I had to invite her to my parties. I thought that everything that had happened before would go away, and I thought that everyone had finally realized that what she had said about me earlier was ridiculous, so, I thought I could go back to being my old self. I feel like people reading this will think why the hell did he invite her to his parties, but at the time, I was probably brainwashed by my friend group,, and like I said before, I was really focused on being nice to everyone, so I thought I was just being a good person. On one Saturday, I had asked GIRL to play pong later at my party. When the party happened, we started playing, and then halfway through she suddenly left. I thought she just wanted to go charge her phone, but it turns out, it was part of this weird acting plan she came up with. For the rest of the night, she would either come up to me then storm out of my house, presumably so people would see her, and then she also would come up and then pretend to cry and just stare at me. I thought she was doing it to get back with me, so I ignored it. People also told me she was sitting on the stairs and started telling people that she was still in love with me, but she was mad that I was happy and she wasn't, so, after hearing that, I thought for sure it was an effort to try to get me to dating her. But, unfortunately, she didn't stop after that. I remember gathering people so we could head to the bars at the end of the party, and just before I got out the door, GIRL said something to me so I went to go talk to her. She said "Have we ever had sex before?" And then I said "No, why?" And then she replied "because I'm going to file you for rape on Monday." After she said that I remember running out the door, ripping my shirt in half, then yelling "what the fuck!" Everything that she had been doing finally made sense to me; at that moment I understood that she's been doing this just to hurt me. I remember trying to go to the police station on campus, but then two of my friends found me and stopped me, and then took me back to my housemate's room. GIRL was sitting there with my housemate and his girlfriend, and she was crying. She began saying that I never did that to her and that she was sorry for making it up. I remember being so mad that I couldn't even look at her. Another important note is that there were still people left over from the party downstairs, so they all witnessed the whole scenario as well.
The next day, GIRL texted my housemate and said she wanted to talk to me in private. I said no way, I would never sit in a room with her alone again, so my housemate said he would be with us while she talked. She ended up writing me an apology letter, and after she read it to me, she asked me to forgive her, and then I said no. She then started asking me if I thought she was a good person, to the point where she was begging for me to call her a good person, but I kept telling her she wasn't. GIRL then said she had mental issues and went to a therapist twice a week, in an attempt for us to pity her, and after she said that, she began to flip the script by telling me that It was also my fault that she did this because I did things to her. When my housemate and I asked what I did, she stayed completely quiet and just stared at us. Unfortunately, we didn't record the encounter, and it ended up being one of the biggest mistakes of my life. If I had recorded it, it would have been a good resource for psychologists because I felt like I was talking to a monster. But we didn't record it for three reasons: the first reason is that, why would we need to record someone who just admitted they lied about accusing someone? Especially when they did it in front of multiple people? The thought a person convicting someone of rape after admitting to lying was inconceivable. The second reason for not recording was because I was fucked up in the head for a few days after the incident. I couldn't think straight, so coming up with the best possible plan to defend myself was a bit out of the question. The third reason we didn't record is because we, as young men, weren't prepared to deal with this situation. In college you're taught that this stuff doesn't happen, so when it did, we didn't know how to properly collect evidence, and we didn't even think about lawyers because we didn't know better.
One of my housemates was an intern for Title IX and told me that I should report what happened. He told me that the coordinator would help me, so I went and I tried to report girl. The coordinator told me that I would open a can of worms if I reported her, meaning that I was probably lying about some stuff so I shouldn't report. I remember leaving the office and feeling terrible, because I was just told that I was probably lying, even though I told her that I had a bunch of different witnesses who wanted to come forward and tell their stories in my defense. I wasn't worried though, because she admitted to lying about it. Four weeks went by, and I took a different girl on a date. GIRL found out about it and then had one of her friends report me for rape to the community service organization i was in. It's interesting that I was reported to my organization, instead of Title IX. The organization then reported me to Title IX, and I was instantly given a restraining order by the coordinator that I had already talked to. This restraining order prevented me from going out on weekends, prevented me from going to significant events on campus, and It made me feel like I had to have my guard up on campus at all times because if she was anyone around I'd have to leave immediately. GIRL and her friends began showing everyone in my organization the restraining order, which was supposedly proof that I was a rapist, so then everyone believed it, even though she had just admitted to lying about it a few weeks before. I remember wanting to kill myself, even though I had never thought of suicide before in my life, because of how stupid it was. People weren't talking to me anymore, they would either see me and walk away, or just stare at me on campus, and then I didn't know who knew about it, so I was scared that almost everyone I knew thought I raped girls. You would think that the coordinator would have to file an investigation because of the restraining order, but she didn't, because if she did, the coordinator would have to interview my witnesses, which would prove GIRL guilty. Instead of investigating properly, the coordinator summoned the girl I went on a date with and asked her if I ever pressured her into sex, and then said I was a known rapist, in order to get dirt on me so I could be kicked out of school. Unfortunately, my date didn't have a recorder, so I could never prove that conversation happened. I ended up having to deal with the restraining order for the rest of my time at school. Also, it's important to note that the coordinator retweeted something that said "you have a better chance of lighting than being accused of rape." She also tweeted a picture with GIRL, so that explain a lot as well.
After finally getting a lawyer, he told me that I couldn't retaliate against GIRL, even with evidence, because she had never filed a police report. I learned I couldn't do anything against Title IX, because they hold an incredible amount of power over students, so if I tried to sue or retaliate, my graduation could have been affected. His advice was to, instead of doing anything, was to sit in my room for my entire last semester until I graduated. He also said I wasn't able to tell anyone about it because if I did, a couple things could of happened. One: People would report me to Title IX for harassing GIRL. Two: GIRL would find out that I never recorded her, and would know what my witnesses would say, so she could change her story and would have a chance at convicting me in court. Three: Even if I told people, what would be the point? They wouldn't believe me anyways, since they would assume I'm just trying to lie about what happened. What's interesting to note is that the private investigator was working on three other cases at the same time as mine at my school, and my school wasn't too big. He said there were over ten cases at a large university nearby that he was hired for, which is pretty absurd.
1 YEAR LATER
I'm still struggling pretty hard, although things have gotten a bit better. I did terrible on my LSAT's ,or, in my opinion I did. I had a lot of trouble focusing after all this stuff happened. For 6-7 months after this, I would go throughout my day normally, but then at some point in the day I would find myself obsessively thinking about everything that happened, and what I could have done to prevent this shit from hitting the fan. This would go on for hours at a time, every single day. It affected my school work and my studying, because I would suddenly go from thinking about a paper to thinking about recording what had happened that one night. Even today, I still think about it before I go to bed, but my mental state is a bit better. I have lost all my friends though, even the ones that didn't go to my school, because I have so much trouble talking to people now. On the bright side, I'm not in jail, so that's good.