When I was in the 8th grade, my best friend committed suicide. She hung herself. The girl who taught me how to throw a softball, tie my shoes, put on makeup... hung herself. She's dead. And I will never forget how plump her face was from preservatives, how cakey and make-up covered her skin was, and how I never cried at her funeral. When I was 16 my parents moved across the country for work leaving my 18 year old sister and I in Arizona to finish the school year. Before we moved, I got in a fight with my sister and went out for the night ending up at a random group of guys' apartment. I didn't know anyone there. One of them brought me into his room we played music, drank beer, laughed, talked about life, and then with the reasoning, "It's okay, I'm in love with someone else too, this doesn't mean anything, it's just fun." he raped me. I moved to the Middle East. One of my father's coworkers stalked and sexually assaulted me on a regular basis. I didn't want my family to be torn apart so I kept it to myself. My uncle died that same year. My father came up to me at my school one day and told me. At 30 years old, he had dropped dead from a rare heart condition. He was my best friend, and he died too. I became an 18 year old alcoholic with an affinity for promiscuity. It felt good to be wanted, to be desired, to pick out a random stranger and feel like I was in control of the situation. But I was never in control. I would end up in a public park, an alley way, a stair well, a stranger's house, always having to find a cab to take me home in the middle of the night when my parents were asleep and no one would recognize me. I went to college and was raped again at a party. He took pictures of me crying and showed them to his friends. I kept drinking. Drinking and screwing. Because it's the only thing I knew how to do. I didn't know how to make real friends. All my friends were drug addicts and alcoholics. But I met a guy who made me want to be better and I finally decided I was worth taking care of. He tried to be patient with me, but one day he kissed me without my permission and growled under his breath with pleasure. I got out of the car and walked 5 miles home by myself that night and I never talked to him again. I know he's probably a good person but the thought of him disgusts me. He violated me too. But I kept making progress. I saw a counselor, started taking medication to deal with my intense anxiety. I spent the summer working out, going to art shows, seeing movies, laughing, not drinking and not having sex. Then I came back to school and that all disappeared. I was managing to hold it together, I had had a couple encounters with drugs and alcohol, but nothing I wasn't in control of, until the Monday before thanksgiving. One of my close friends had been shot and killed and a protest. He's dead now. He's dead now and I can't think of anything else except all the pain. I can't come to terms with the fact that he's gone. He's gone and he's not coming back and I keep trying to say that to myself to come to terms with the fact that this is real but instead I just carry those words around everyday when I'm walking to class, when I'm at lunch with friends. It's driving me crazy. I was so angry but now I'm just lost. Maybe this was the straw that broke the camel's back. It seems that this loss was just more than I could take. I'm just so broken, and I'm so hurt, and I'm so alone. My friends are tiptoeing around me, I'm keeping secrets from them, and I'm getting paranoid- I feel like everyone knows what I'm doing- the drugs, the drinking. Now that I'm coping with the assaults, I'm too scared of physical contact to have anything sexual happen, but I feel like I'm throwing everything away. I got so drunk Friday night that I lost my purse at a bar. I couldn't call my friends, get home, or eat. I am such a wreck. I don't know if I can deal with all of this anymore. I know I've been dealing with it, but I'm just so hurt and so tired.