Healing In Nature
THE APPALACHIAN TRAIL: A PATHWAY TO RECOVERY FROM SEXUAL VIOLENCE
Following the rape in college, I turned to the same harmful coping mechanisms to deal with the trauma. I self-harmed by cutting myself but soon realized I did not want others to notice and began to use alcohol to distract myself from the flashbacks that never seemed to leave my mind. It was not until the following winter that I realized how much help I needed. I had recently joined my older sister's sorority, and my sister, who lived in an off-campus house, was having a party to celebrate the new members joining the sorority. It was a fun night, and I appeared outwardly happy and enjoying life. Alcohol is a depressant, and the front I was projecting was a mask for the pain destroying me inside. I remember leaving my sister's house, her frantic voice begging me to stay the night and not drive - that is the last thing I remember. I blacked out and woke up wrapped around a telephone pole less than a few blocks away from my sister's house. There was barking, and two golden retrievers came down the hill to where my car crashed. Following the dogs, a man came to where I was and invited me inside his house. My sister arrived after, her voice shaking. Without me anywhere in sight, she thought I was dead. It turns out she would be the one to call 911. The police and the ambulance arrived, and I was taken to the hospital. I was not wearing a seatbelt. The telephone pole was hit, the airbag went off, and the car was totaled. The story could have gone drastically different, and the harm I could have caused to another human life still reminds me to this day.
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