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Facebook is something we use to stay connected with one another. Something we use to see the experiences we have and share. Something some rely on to keep occupied in the bathroom. We play games, like photos, share opinions, laugh at the cute and funny dog videos, scroll through current news and happenings around the world, and my personal favourite, look back on our memories.
Just like any night, I lay in bed after my day of being a mom, a housewife, and a full-time student, and I scroll through my Facebook feed. I check my "memories" and smile while I look back and see a photo from six years ago when I was in high school being a goofball with my best friends. I drool over the countless number of videos of mouth-watering food. I tear up when I see a photo of my beloved pets that I have now lost.
Last night I discovered a flaw in Facebook's "memories." I came across a status I posted about the first day of school quite a few years ago. I clicked on the comments to see what silly things my young teenage friends might have said and, to my surprise, there was his name along with his comments.
His comments were friendly, funny even. At that time he was a friend. Facebook had brought us back together after a couple years of no contact and it was exciting! Getting the chance to talk to an old friend after years and catching up on life. It wasn't long after that post that I went to hang out with him. He was nice, funny, the same guy I was friends with for years before.
The only thing that was different this time was that I was seventeen. He was a few years older. We hung out at his house to talk and "catch up." I put the quotation marks because, apparently, this meant two different things to him and I. The night started out normal and friendly. We put a movie on, had some snacks, and chatted about life. Next thing I know, I find myself saying no, over and over and over again. He said it will be quick. I continued to say no. Before I could get up my pants were at my ankles.
Afterwards, he brought me to a friend's house and kissed me on the cheek. As if what had just happened was some romantic evening. I held back my tears and cried myself to sleep on my friend's couch.
He messaged me the next day and thanked me for "catching up." I was disgusted and embarrassed and so very sad that I let it happen. I told him to never contact me again. I blocked him from Facebook. I forgot about him for a while. He started messaging a boyfriend of mine, making fun of him. This was almost four years later. I forgot about him again. Until last night.
I barely slept. I continue to think of the things I could have done to prevent it from happening. I am ashamed to tell anyone what happened because I have been told by someone that I could have walked away. It was my fault. I know this is wrong, but just like any insecure girl who has been betrayed by a friend they once cared for, I have my days of doubt.
Thank you, Facebook. You have given me a wave of unwanted emotion and shared with me a memory that I have tried most to forget.
I try to remind myself of these words:
Rape is never the victim's fault. There is no excuse for rape. There is no justifying it. Stay strong and fight the feelings of guilt and know your self-worth. It was not your fault. It is OK to talk about it. You are not alone and there is always someone there to go to for help.
You are strong.
Thank you for reading. Much love.