Bushcast Episode 4: You Are Not Alone

storytelling, women


This is my contribution to the You Are Not Alone project. It’s sort of like the It Gets Better project, but instead of talking about what it’s like to be bullied for being gay, this is about talking about what it’s like to be sexually assaulted.

This story is about an upsetting sexual experience I had in college. This story is a good example of how grey and muddy these cases can be. If you’re blacking out drunk, how much can consent can you really give? If I, a relatively empowered young woman at an Ivy League school, felt this much shame and personal responsibility around what happened — and never said anything to anyone, not in any kind of accusatory way — it’s hard to believe that less empowered women are reporting what happens to them. Where is the line where we start calling something sexual assault? I don’t consider this assault, since I gave consent in the moment, and yet I was so drunk I couldn’t see. I feel traumatized by this experience to this day.

I alluded to this story in this post about my father abandoning me, making the point that my worst secret (abandonment) is the shame that leads to the rest — that’s what leads to eating disorders and blacking out drunk a lot in college and winding up beneath two football players.

Talking about it helps. Once I share stuff here, it hurts less, and I find it far easier and less charged to talk about in the world. When I alluded to the football players in that post above, that felt very dangerous, because that was one of the bad secrets. Then I knew I would have to tell the story here some day. Now is as good a time as any. I’m a storyteller.

127 thoughts on “Bushcast Episode 4: You Are Not Alone

  1. I’d wish I believed you, but this video and the body language in it are just way too melodramatic for me to feel sorry for you. At the beginning, you even kind of brag about the manly appearance of the two football players who allegedly molested you. Let me ask you and your readers: Which girl, who really had a traumatizing experience with sexual abuse/molestation, would smile when talking about her molesters in retrospect?

    To me, the whole thing looks like you’re seeking attention. Or that you have a borderline personality trait. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong about that, these are just my honest, outspoken thoughts after having watched this video.

    If the whole story is true and not fictional or over-dramatized, here’s my advice for you: If you really want to avoid sexual or other interpersonal disappointments in the future, better take care who you trust, and who you go with. And no, that’s not a gender-thingie. Men can feel abused by their female or male partners too. It’s like: If you like lying in the sun, apply suncream to make sure you don’t get a sunburn. Or if you don’t have any suncream, think twice whether the joy of lying in the sun is really worth the sunburn afterwards.
    And above all: Don’t get wasted/drunk in situations where this could be used against you. If our ancestors were doing this back in the dark times, the could have even been killed by a bear, lion or enemy. You simply don’t do this, particularly not if you want to have (good) sex.

    All the best and good luck.

  2. Partially to Jeremy: That’s not a smile; it’s a painful grimace. We are taught to ignore our real feelings, taught that it is in some way our fault; taught to be victims; and in turn become consummate actors and actresses to avoid feeling the real pain. Had you more experience with survivors, you would have been able to see past the rhetoric and body language. This was rape, pure and simple, of a less powerful entity by two angry hulks. Kudos to Ms. Bush for the courageous telling of an humiliating experience in the effort to help others.

  3. Many of us have regrets (is that the right word?) about a wasted portion of our lives. I’m still trying to catch up after wasting 25 years of mine. I’m glad you eventually found a path that lead you to something you enjoy. I’m still lost in the woods.

  4. Julie, I just wanted to connect with you after watching your video. A similar thing happened to me when I was in my early 20’s. It is really upsetting, and because alcohol is involved and it *seems* consensual to those looking in from the outside (Perfect Example #1: douche bag Jeremy below), you can spend a lifetime trying to figure out what the hell happened and/or trying to forget it.

    Thanks for being so brave and telling your story, and please know you aren’t alone either. Bookmarking your blog because of this post, but also because it’s just a stupendously awesome blog.


    1. Amy,
      Thank you so much for this kind comment. After I first posted the video, I
      felt too overwhelmed with anxiety to respond to the comments. But I so
      appreciate your ability to relate to this story and your support. These
      kinds of situations are very troubling and unclear and leave all the room in
      the world for us to feel shame (and no blame for anyone else). I’m sorry
      that happened to you.
      Thank you for liking the blog. I look forward to knowing you!
      X Julie

  5. You are one of the bravest people I’ve ever listened to. Good for you, posting this video–and writing this blog.

    1. Wow, when I saw in my email that there was a new comment on this post — my heart sank and I was like “great, now what kind of crazy is someone going to diagnose me as?”

      So what a relief to read such a nice supportive comment. Thank you. I don’t know if I’m brave so much as compelled, torn, conflicted, driven to talk more (when everything inside me screams “TALK LESS!”)

      Thank you for giving me the compliment I admire & want the most —

      X Julie

  6. You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be actually something which I think I would
    never understand. It seems too complex and very broad for me.

    I am looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of

  7. Fantastic blog! Do you have any hints for aspiring writers?
    I’m hoping to start my own website soon but I’m a little lost on everything.
    Would you recommend starting with a free platform like WordPress or go
    for a paid option? There are so many options out there that I’m
    completely overwhelmed .. Any ideas? Many thanks!

  8. Hmm is anyone else having problems with the pictures on this blog
    loading? I’m trying to figure out if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  9. I have read so many content regarding the blogger lovers
    except this paragraph is actually a nice paragraph, keep it up.

  10. I do not even know how I stopped up right here, however I assumed this submit used to be great.
    I do not understand who you are but certainly you are
    going to a famous blogger in case you aren’t already. Cheers!

  11. I absolutely love your blog and find the majority of your post’s to be just
    what I’m looking for. Do you offer guest writers to write content in your case?

    I wouldn’t mind publishing a post or elaborating
    on some of the subjects you write with regards to here. Again, awesome blog!

  12. Simply wish to say your article is as amazing.
    The clearness in your publish is just nice and i could assume you are knowledgeable in this subject.

    Fine together with your permission allow me to seize your feed to stay updated with approaching post.
    Thanks one million and please carry on the gratifying

  13. Hi, I do think this is an excellent web site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I
    am going to revisit yet again since i have saved as a favorite it.

    Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be
    rich and continue to guide other people.

  14. Hello! I’ve been following your weblog for a long time now
    and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Houston Texas!
    Just wanted to say keep up the excellent work!

  15. I was recommended this blog by means of my cousin. I am no longer sure
    whether this submit is written by way of him as no one else realize such detailed about my difficulty.
    You are amazing! Thanks!

  16. I’m just writing to let you know what a amazing experience our girl found reading your web page. She came to find plenty of things, which included how it is like to have a great coaching style to let other people with no trouble know precisely various complex issues. You truly did more than our own desires. Thank you for displaying these warm and helpful, trustworthy, edifying and in addition cool tips about this topic to Tanya.

  17. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the
    video to make your point. You clearly know what youre talking about,
    why waste your intelligence on just posting videos to your
    weblog when you could be giving us something enlightening to read?

  18. Good post. I learn something new and challenging on websites I stumbleupon on a daily basis.
    It will always be interesting to read through content
    from other authors and use a little something
    from their websites.

  19. I’m just writing to let you know what a really good discovery our daughter undergone reading the blog. She realized several issues, not to mention what it’s like to possess a wonderful giving spirit to get a number of people with no trouble learn specified specialized topics. You truly did more than our own desires. Thanks for providing the warm and helpful, dependable, explanatory and unique thoughts on the topic to Emily.

  20. I want to express some thanks to you for bailing me out of this problem. After scouting throughout the the net and meeting notions which were not helpful, I believed my entire life was well over. Existing devoid of the answers to the problems you have sorted out all through your main short post is a crucial case, as well as the ones that might have badly affected my entire career if I hadn’t encountered your blog post. Your primary skills and kindness in dealing with all the things was vital. I don’t know what I would’ve done if I hadn’t discovered such a thing like this. It’s possible to now look forward to my future. Thanks a lot so much for this expert and effective help. I won’t hesitate to endorse your blog post to any person who should have assistance on this situation.

  21. Thank you so much for giving everyone such a terrific opportunity to read from this website. It is often so terrific and as well , packed with amusement for me personally and my office friends to visit your blog the equivalent of three times a week to find out the fresh items you have. And definitely, we’re certainly satisfied considering the astonishing pointers you give. Some 1 facts in this posting are absolutely the simplest we’ve had.

  22. A lot of thanks for each of your efforts on this site. Ellie really likes getting into investigations and it is simple to grasp why. I learn all relating to the dynamic form you offer useful techniques on this website and in addition attract participation from visitors on that concept plus our child is certainly discovering so much. Take pleasure in the rest of the year. You are carrying out a fantastic job.

  23. I simply wished to thank you so much again. I am not sure what I might have sorted out without the actual ideas provided by you regarding my problem. Certainly was an absolute terrifying concern in my view, nevertheless witnessing the very specialised avenue you managed it took me to cry for contentment. Now i am happy for your guidance as well as trust you find out what a great job you are getting into teaching the rest through the use of your webblog. I know that you haven’t met any of us.

  24. I not to mention my pals ended up going through the good hints located on the website then at once got a horrible suspicion I had not thanked you for them. All of the men happened to be happy to read through them and have now in fact been tapping into them. I appreciate you for indeed being very helpful and then for pick out varieties of remarkable information millions of individuals are really wanting to know about. Our honest regret for not saying thanks to earlier.

  25. Along with almost everything that appears to be building throughout this specific subject material, many of your opinions are actually fairly radical. On the other hand, I beg your pardon, because I do not subscribe to your whole theory, all be it refreshing none the less. It would seem to me that your remarks are generally not totally justified and in fact you are your self not even thoroughly confident of the argument. In any case I did take pleasure in reading it.

  26. I wish to express some appreciation to you for rescuing me from this particular difficulty. Just after scouting throughout the search engines and obtaining views which are not beneficial, I figured my life was gone. Being alive minus the strategies to the difficulties you have fixed by way of your main website is a serious case, as well as the ones which might have negatively affected my entire career if I hadn’t discovered your site. Your personal talents and kindness in touching all things was very useful. I am not sure what I would have done if I had not come upon such a point like this. I am able to at this time relish my future. Thanks a lot so much for your impressive and result oriented help. I will not think twice to propose your web sites to any individual who should get care on this matter.

  27. A formidable share, I just given this onto a colleague who was doing a little analysis on this. And he in truth purchased me breakfast because I discovered it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the treat! However yeah Thnkx for spending the time to debate this, I feel strongly about it and love studying extra on this topic. If doable, as you become experience, would you thoughts updating your blog with extra particulars? It’s highly helpful for me. Large thumb up for this blog post!

  28. I would like to express some thanks to you for bailing me out of this type of dilemma. Because of searching through the search engines and seeing views which are not pleasant, I figured my entire life was over. Existing devoid of the answers to the issues you have fixed by means of your write-up is a serious case, and ones that could have in a negative way damaged my career if I had not discovered the website. Your good know-how and kindness in taking care of all the stuff was very helpful. I don’t know what I would’ve done if I hadn’t come across such a stuff like this. It’s possible to now relish my future. Thanks a lot so much for your professional and effective guide. I will not be reluctant to recommend your web page to anybody who requires support on this subject matter.

  29. Thanks so much for giving everyone remarkably breathtaking opportunity to read in detail from this blog. It is usually very excellent and also full of amusement for me personally and my office friends to visit your site at the least three times a week to read through the latest stuff you will have. And lastly, I’m so usually fascinated with the surprising knowledge you give. Certain 1 areas in this post are absolutely the simplest we have all had.

  30. A lot of thanks for each of your work on this web page. My mother really likes doing investigations and it’s really easy to see why. Most of us notice all concerning the compelling tactic you convey sensible tips and hints via the web site and as well welcome contribution from some other people on the theme and our own daughter is without a doubt understanding a lot. Take advantage of the remaining portion of the year. You are always doing a terrific job.

  31. I simply desired to appreciate you all over again. I do not know the things that I would have tried without the advice discussed by you over that problem. Previously it was a very horrifying concern for me, but observing the very specialised technique you dealt with the issue took me to leap with joy. I’m just happy for the assistance and pray you are aware of a great job you are always providing training people today via a site. I am certain you have never met all of us.

  32. I enjoy you because of your entire efforts on this site. Kate really likes making time for investigation and it is easy to see why. We all hear all about the dynamic manner you offer insightful items through your web site and as well improve participation from visitors on that theme plus our own daughter is undoubtedly being taught a whole lot. Have fun with the remaining portion of the new year. You are always conducting a very good job.

  33. Just want to say your article is as surprising. The clearness in your post is
    just nice and i could assume you are an expert on this subject.
    Well with your permission let me to grab your feed to keep
    up to date with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please keep up the rewarding work.

  34. I want to show thanks to this writer just for bailing me out of this type of setting. As a result of checking through the world wide web and getting basics which are not helpful, I was thinking my entire life was gone. Being alive without the presence of solutions to the issues you have resolved by way of the blog post is a crucial case, as well as the kind which may have in a negative way affected my career if I had not come across your web page. Your own personal skills and kindness in playing with the whole thing was very useful. I am not sure what I would have done if I had not discovered such a solution like this. I’m able to at this moment look forward to my future. Thanks very much for the professional and results-oriented guide. I will not be reluctant to refer your web page to any person who will need recommendations about this problem.

  35. I must express my passion for your kindness supporting those individuals that need assistance with this particular topic. Your personal commitment to passing the message all-around became remarkably practical and have always permitted individuals just like me to realize their dreams. Your warm and friendly advice means so much a person like me and much more to my mates. Thanks a ton; from each one of us.

  36. I wish to express appreciation to the writer just for rescuing me from this particular crisis. As a result of scouting through the internet and coming across basics that were not pleasant, I was thinking my life was over. Living minus the answers to the issues you’ve resolved by way of this report is a serious case, and the ones which could have adversely damaged my career if I hadn’t come across your web site. Your actual ability and kindness in maneuvering all the stuff was helpful. I’m not sure what I would’ve done if I had not discovered such a step like this. I can at this time look forward to my future. Thanks very much for the reliable and result oriented help. I will not think twice to refer your blog to any individual who ought to have guidance on this problem.

  37. My spouse and i got absolutely fulfilled that Edward could finish off his web research through your precious recommendations he obtained out of your site. It’s not at all simplistic to just choose to be handing out helpful tips other folks may have been making money from. And now we understand we have you to appreciate for this. The type of illustrations you made, the straightforward website navigation, the friendships you can assist to foster – it is mostly great, and it’s letting our son and our family understand this theme is interesting, which is certainly extraordinarily fundamental. Thanks for all!

  38. I used to be very pleased to seek out this web-site.I wished to thanks on your time for this excellent learn!! I undoubtedly enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to take a look at new stuff you weblog post.

  39. Needed to draft you this little bit of observation to help give thanks yet again for those stunning tips you have shared in this article. It has been really remarkably open-handed with you to convey extensively what many individuals could possibly have offered as an electronic book in making some dough on their own, particularly seeing that you might have tried it if you wanted. Those tactics also served like the easy way to realize that many people have the same dreams really like my own to grasp many more in respect of this matter. I know there are lots of more fun opportunities ahead for people who read carefully your blog post.

  40. Thank you for all of the efforts on this web page. My mum really loves participating in internet research and it’s really easy to see why. We all notice all regarding the dynamic method you create good tactics by means of your web site and recommend participation from visitors about this area of interest and our own daughter is in fact studying so much. Take advantage of the remaining portion of the new year. You’re doing a splendid job.

  41. I would like to show my love for your generosity giving support to folks who have the need for assistance with this matter. Your personal commitment to passing the solution all-around was wonderfully important and have in most cases permitted folks just like me to arrive at their goals. Your amazing warm and helpful publication entails this much to me and far more to my fellow workers. Thank you; from all of us.

  42. I definitely wanted to construct a quick remark to be able to appreciate you for these unique information you are writing at this site. My rather long internet look up has finally been recognized with sensible points to share with my best friends. I ‘d mention that we site visitors are unquestionably fortunate to be in a superb site with very many awesome people with good solutions. I feel pretty happy to have come across your entire web page and look forward to plenty of more excellent minutes reading here. Thank you once more for a lot of things.

  43. I truly wanted to jot down a simple note to appreciate you for some of the lovely strategies you are giving at this website. My time consuming internet research has at the end of the day been paid with awesome know-how to go over with my partners. I ‘d repeat that many of us visitors are undoubtedly endowed to be in a very good website with so many wonderful professionals with very beneficial strategies. I feel quite happy to have come across your web site and look forward to plenty of more fun times reading here. Thanks once again for a lot of things.

  44. I truly wanted to write a simple word to be able to say thanks to you for all the lovely strategies you are giving out at this website. My incredibly long internet search has finally been compensated with good quality knowledge to exchange with my visitors. I ‘d state that that we site visitors actually are unquestionably lucky to exist in a great website with so many special people with valuable tips. I feel rather blessed to have encountered your entire website and look forward to so many more enjoyable minutes reading here. Thanks a lot once more for all the details.

  45. I would like to express my thanks to the writer for bailing me out of this type of incident. After browsing through the internet and meeting ways which are not helpful, I assumed my life was done. Being alive without the presence of strategies to the issues you have solved all through your blog post is a crucial case, and those which might have in a wrong way damaged my entire career if I had not discovered your web site. Your actual mastery and kindness in maneuvering a lot of things was priceless. I’m not sure what I would’ve done if I had not encountered such a solution like this. I am able to now look forward to my future. Thanks a lot so much for the reliable and result oriented guide. I won’t hesitate to propose your web site to anyone who needs care about this subject matter.

  46. My wife and i got so fortunate when Ervin managed to finish off his preliminary research because of the precious recommendations he had from your web site. It’s not at all simplistic to simply choose to be releasing information and facts that a number of people might have been trying to sell. So we do know we have got the writer to give thanks to for this. The entire illustrations you made, the simple web site navigation, the friendships your site aid to promote – it’s most astonishing, and it is aiding our son in addition to the family understand that situation is interesting, and that’s wonderfully fundamental. Thanks for all!

  47. I must convey my love for your generosity in support of folks that must have guidance on your question. Your real dedication to passing the solution across appeared to be incredibly productive and have without exception encouraged workers much like me to attain their dreams. The helpful recommendations entails a great deal to me and substantially more to my peers. Thanks a ton; from everyone of us.

  48. Thanks so much for providing individuals with an exceptionally marvellous chance to read from this web site. It can be so amazing and as well , full of a lot of fun for me personally and my office peers to search your site at minimum 3 times in a week to read the newest guides you have got. And of course, I am usually astounded with the fabulous secrets you give. Selected 2 ideas in this posting are clearly the very best I have had.

  49. I’m amazed, I must say. Seldom do I encounter a blog that’s both educative and engaging, and let me
    tell you, you have hit the nail on the head.
    The issue is an issue that too few people are speaking intelligently about.

    Now i’m very happy that I came across this in my hunt for something concerning this.

  50. Thanks for ones marvelous posting! I seriously enjoyed reading it,
    you could be a great author. I will make sure to bookmark your blog and will often come back later in life.

    I want to encourage you to continue your great writing, have a nice
    weekend! pof natalielise

  51. I do not know whether it’s just me or if everybody else experiencing problems with
    your site. It appears as if some of the written text in your
    content are running off the screen. Can somebody else please comment and let me know if this is happening to them too?
    This might be a issue with my internet browser because I’ve had this happen before.

    Appreciate it pof natalielise

  52. naturally like your web-site but you need to test the spelling on quite a few of your posts.
    Many of them are rife with spelling issues and I find it very troublesome to inform the truth on the other hand I’ll
    surely come back again.

  53. Howdy just wanted to give you a quick heads up.
    The text in your post seem to be running off the screen in Firefox.
    I’m not sure if this is a formatting issue or something to do with web browser compatibility but I thought I’d post to let you know.
    The design look great though! Hope you get the problem resolved soon. Many thanks

  54. Hello I am so delighted I found your webpage, I really found you by mistake, while I was looking
    on Bing for something else, Anyhow I am here now and would just like to say
    cheers for a marvelous post and a all round interesting blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to
    go through it all at the moment but I have book-marked it and also included your
    RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read
    much more, Please do keep up the awesome b.

  55. Greetings from Idaho! I’m bored to death at work so I decided
    to browse your website on my iphone during lunch
    break. I enjoy the knowledge you provide here and
    can’t wait to take a look when I get home.
    I’m amazed at how fast your blog loaded on my
    phone .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G
    .. Anyhow, fantastic site!

  56. Please let me know if you’re looking for a author for your site.

    You have some really good articles and I feel I would be a
    good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d
    love to write some material for your blog in exchange for a
    link back to mine. Please blast me an email if interested.

  57. Hey there! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a team of volunteers and starting a new project in a community in the same niche.
    Your blog provided us valuable information to work on. You have done a marvellous job!

  58. Thank you, I have recently been searching for information about this topic
    for ages and yours is the best I’ve discovered till now.
    However, what about the conclusion? Are you sure in regards to the source?

  59. Magnificent goods from you, man. I have keep in mind your stuff prior
    to and you are just too excellent. I actually like what you’ve got right here,
    certainly like what you’re stating and the way by which you assert it.
    You make it entertaining and you still care for to stay it wise.
    I cant wait to learn far more from you. That is actually a great site.

  60. Interesting blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere?
    A theme like yours with a few simple adjustements would really make my blog jump
    out. Please let me know where you got your theme.

    With thanks

  61. Generally I do not learn post on blogs, however I would like
    to say that this write-up very compelled me to try and do it!
    Your writing style has been surprised me. Thanks, very great article.

  62. Hey very cool website!! Man .. Beautiful .. Amazing .. I will bookmark your blog and take the feeds also…I’m happy to find so many useful information here in the post, we need work out more techniques in this regard, thanks for sharing. . . . . .

  63. I was just looking for this information for some time. After 6 hours of continuous Googleing, finally I got it in your web site. I wonder what’s the lack of Google strategy that do not rank this kind of informative web sites in top of the list. Normally the top sites are full of garbage.

  64. I found your blog website on google and test a number of of your early posts. Continue to maintain up the very good operate. I simply further up your RSS feed to my MSN News Reader. In search of ahead to studying extra from you later on!…

  65. Wow, amazing weblog format! How long have you been running a blog for? you make running a blog look easy. The overall look of your web site is wonderful, as neatly as the content!

  66. I like the valuable info you provide in your articles.
    I’ll bookmark your blog and check again here frequently. I’m quite
    certain I will learn plenty of new stuff right here!
    Good luck for the next!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.