I think it was 2007 or thereabouts when I went on an impulsive trip to Unity, Maine to investigate Unity College on a sort of manic venture. Anyone else might have blamed their mental illness or the impulsiveness of the trip and blamed them self for what went wrong. It ended up being the worst disaster of a time. I really didn't enjoy the trip. The bus ride was too long, nothing was well planned, it was too cold for whatever spiring time month it is, and I was running out of money so had to stay an extended time with a fortunately kind farmer who I had contacted about WOOFING. I did little farm volunteering. I was exhausted. I slept a ton. I don't remember how long I imposed and stayed with her. I was afraid of her pet dog, because she warned me he was part wolf and might be unpredictable.

I never have really written about this time. It was somewhere between a week and a month. I am so blurry on the time.

Before leaving on that horrible Greyhound bus, my good friend had kind of randomly told me this sort of crash course advice on rape and assault. 1/3 of all women will be assaulted. She told me most women don't report their assaults, but she had studied sociology in college and emphasized that from her findings, the women who are more resilient in this hard time are the ones who report their assaults, but she said the most important thing is that the victim have someone to tell. I swear this was like a month before I went away and got assaulted.

I think if my friend hadn't have told me that, I don't know if I would have ever actually got home.

I was assaulted in a remote bus stop near Unity. It was a place with a building, but I was dropped off there due to the fact my host was busy and needed to return home. The building was after hours, so I sat on a bench outside, and a Guatemalan man with a knife came up to me and forced me to touch his exposed penis. I am leaving some details out because it is pretty raw still surprisingly, and I can.

I got on the bus when it came. I was so relieved there were other people. He boarded too. I was terrified he would try to hurt me, though looking back I should have asked the driver to call the police on him. I got off in Portland in the dead of night. I don't remember if I took a taxi. I felt followed. I went to a expensive hotel. I don't know how I afforded it. I think I had just got my month's paycheck, and just barely got home and paid for the night in the hotel, then had no more money that month.

In the hotel I took a shower. By then I told myself I had to tell someone. I called many people. I forget in what order or whom. I know I think I called my youngest sister first. She told me the exact right thing.

I have a mental illness where I get withdrawn at times. I don't remember if I slept. I do remember I had bought a weird little radio and I was on the verge of being delusional because I heard strange things in the head set. I remember being so confused and in shock and withdrawn and just in this place mentally. It never has been so bad. I wasn't sure I would get home.

I had been babysitting a couple kids in Bristol, and I remember I started, inside my head, talking to myself as if I were the six year old, reassuring myself that I was capable of doing this, I could get home. I could figure out which way to go in the big scary station in New York. I don't know why I didn't get on a bus to Tennessee where I needed to go. I guess I just took the train to my Dad's in South Carolina without thinking.

On the Amtrak, this man sat down near me. He was kind and I wasn't talking to anyone., but he said to me, he knew what I was going through. He didn't say he was "praying for me" but he extended this kind of compassion that is hard to describe. If he hadn't I don't know if I would have survived. There are good strangers too.

Then he left. He gave me my space.

I forget why my Dad was angry, but it didn't seem entirely the right reason. I think I told him what happened, but maybe I didn't yet. That was hard. Maybe someone else told him. I told all kinds of people.

Back in Tennessee, it was my friend Deni who made an impression that I needed to officially report the assault. Several other people said I was talking about the assault too much. Some didn't believe. That hurt. Felicia said I should talk about it more. That was the most useful advice.

It was so hard, but I called the police station in Maine and told what happened. Deni was right that the assailant was still out there and he would do it again if he wasn't stopped. I don't know if he ever was stopped.

In terms of sexual assault victims, I never would disbelieve someone who said that happened. Not entirely for conventional reasons. Just because I have been assaulted, and being disbelieved hurts too bad.