REUTERS

Donald Trump Thinks It's OK That I Was Sexually Assaulted

A green and gray striped men's sweater. I got it because it was soft, and I liked the colors. In Arizona where I lived, it never snowed, but when I was home from college that winter break, it was cold enough to wear my new sweater and jeans.

That's what I was wearing when it happened because I know you will wonder if I don't tell you.

I was 18, and I had just tried alcohol for the first time because I was fighting with my high school boyfriend. A guy in my group of male friends had a condo that his family leased to tourists.

This winter break, he told us, it was going to be empty.

Feeling very grown-up, we borrowed our parents' cars and responsibly packed overnight bags to go have a leisurely adult kickback, with a chill morning brunch to follow, at the condo.

And I got a little bit drunk.

I wasn't comfortable outside my mind, so I told my friends I would pick a bedroom and go to sleep for the night. I was coherent, and I wasn't vomiting, but I definitely wasn't steady. I wanted to be asleep and alone.

So, I shut the bedroom door, curled on top of the comforter in my sweater and jeans and fell asleep, missing my boyfriend.

I didn't hear my attacker come in the room — he didn't ask, and I didn't let him in. But when I woke up, his hands were under my bra. He was kissing my face and neck.

As he continued, I just curled tighter and pretended to sleep. I shut my eyes and cried steadily, not saying a word and refusing to face him.

I shut my eyes and cried steadily, not saying a word and refusing to face him.

The next morning, I showered and buffed the skin off my body as best I could. I felt as if I'd betrayed my boyfriend by experiencing what I did. With soap in my face and hair, I hoped against hope that he would call and absolve me.

I curled into a ball, burning and shivering on the floor of the shower.

I don't know if my attacker ever took to the proverbial locker room to brag about how he'd grabbed me. But if he had, it likely would have sounded a lot like President-Elect Donald J. Trump:

“I just start kissing them. I don't even wait.”

“You can do anything!”

“Grab 'em by the pussy. You can do anything.”

That's exactly what he did.

When I stepped onto the street yesterday morning, I couldn't help but smile. I had never felt such solidarity with every woman, every parent, every person of color and every beautiful weirdo with an "I Voted" sticker I passed. I met every single warm beam of eye contact.

We wouldn't be shattering any glass ceilings tonight.

But by the evening, I was watching as the exit polls rolled in at Hillary Clinton's watch party in Manhattan. Almost as soon as I arrived, something felt wrong. I started to feel the same kind of sickness creeping into me and making an enemy of my body, poisoning my conscience, body, and self-worth, just like it had six years ago in Arizona.

We wouldn't be shattering any glass ceilings tonight.

When the realization broke, I was neither angry nor inspired; I was just broken. I kept realizing and re-realizing my peers are not here to hold me up.

Donald Trump isn't just not the female candidate. He isn't just the least qualified candidate in history. Parse it any way you want, but half of my country (slightly less than half, given the popular vote), through action or inaction, has put a sexual predator in the highest possible office.

Half of my country has put a sexual predator in the highest possible office.

I didn't report my assault. It didn't occur to me that I might not be at fault, let alone that someone else was. By now, I am on good terms with my assailant. I have not confronted him, and I never will.

To this day, I am terrified of having that conversation. I'm terrified of being vilified in my tiny, old social circle. I'm terrified of being questioned. I'm terrified of hurting someone else. I'm terrified of getting the details wrong. I'm terrified of what I might have done to facilitate my attack.

Days just kept turning, and I kept pushing the moment out of my mind, like so many who have endured much, much worse.

But I want every single person to remember that every reminder of a victim's assault turns that person's stomach and jostles their mind.

I will think of my attack every time the good-natured boy who wore a Trump shirt to class smiles at me. I will think of my attack every time a straight, male friend tells me they didn't bother voting.

I will think of my attack every time I see my president.

And I will think of my attack every time I see my president.

Although, that's not quite right. He's not my president. And I am sure as hell not his anything.