Warning: this post is kind of scary and painful and horrible. Read at your own risk.

When I was 19, I had a bartender friend who would serve me drinks at the bar he worked at in Adams Morgan. I was not in a good place at the time, and I would leave bars with strangers way, way too often (read: ever is too often). One night, I got extremely drunk. Maybe the most drunk I’ve ever been. I vaguely remember dancing with a guy, and getting ushered into a cab by him and his friend, and then I remember nothing else that night.

The next morning, I woke up. I looked around. I was in bed with a blonde guy. I was naked. We were in a twin bed in a room made of cinderblocks, and there was a guy in another twin bed across the room. I had no idea where I was or what to do. I had no idea how I got there or what had happened the night before.

I lay there for a while, with my clothes on the floor and way out of reach. At some point, the guys woke up. While I sat naked under the sheets, various men in uniform streamed in and out of the room. None of them acknowledged my presence. The guy whose bed I was in did nothing to suggest that I deserved some privacy to put my clothes on or that it was inappropriate for all these men to be coming in and out of the room while I lay there naked. Everyone in the room ignored my presence.

I was too young and too panicked to know what to do. I didn’t try to assert myself because I was just terrified and didn’t know how they would respond to my assertion, anyway. I was scared of just being shut down.

Eventually I put together that I was in the Marine Barracks in Southeast DC. I have no idea how they got me in. Women were not allowed inside, let alone to stay the night.

Finally, around 10 am, the roommates started talking about me.

(At some point, I asked the men to turn around so I could put my clothes on. One of them, the one I hadn’t been in bed with, said, “I’ve seen a naked woman before.”

“Well, not me,” I said.

Eventually, I convinced them to give me a second of privacy and I put my clothes on.)

“Shit,” one guy said, “how do we get this bitch out of here? How did she even get in?”

They discussed lowering me out the window. Seriously. Their final plan was to have me wear a hoodie and walk twenty feet behind them down the hallway to the exit. Seriously. God, it makes me cringe to even think about this. I did it. I walked the worst walk of shame ever down the hallway of the Marine Barracks.

Eventually we got to the guys’ car. They put me in the backseat and told me to duck down until we were outside the Barracks’ gate. I did so. Once we were outside the gate, they told me that they didn’t want to drive me all the way back to Adams Morgan, where my car was. I could just get out and find my own way home.

Finally, I threw a fit.

“You are taking me the fuck back to my car,” I said. “You got me here, you are taking me home.”

They argued (Question: “How did you even get here?” Answer: “You put me in a cab and took me here.”) and then complained the entire way, but they did it. They didn’t talk directly to me at all until we had gotten back to my car. Then, the guy I had been in bed with asked me a question.

“So, want to give me your number?”

I was blown away. These people had just treated me as horribly as I’ve ever been treated, and they seriously thought I wanted to go through it again?

The sad part was, I was so shaken by the whole experience, that I gave the guy my number. I just wanted to get out of there and I didn’t want any more argument or talking. I wanted to get in my car and drive as far away from those people as I possible could.

To this day, this experience was one of the worst in my entire life. I shudder to think of the possibilities of what could have happened the night before, when I was blacked out and alone with these horrible people. I experienced nothing but disrespect from the ten or fifteen Marines I came into contact with.

And those men are supposed to be the great pride of our country.

Ugh. Uggghhhhh. Ugh.

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