I want to share this because someone should say it. I wrote Judgement Day after my rape. I wrote it to deal with the emotional trauma and to come to a place of forgiveness. But the song wasn't about my attackers, it was about my best friend. After my assault she cut off all contact with me. She said that I had a drinking problem and that she "hoped I learned my lesson." The more that I share the more that I realize there are very few entirely unique experiences and that someone else has gone through something similar.
The rejection I faced by the people I loved after my trauma was worse than the trauma itself. It took me years, YEARS, to finally not think about it everyday. To stop wondering why someone I loved so much be so cold. She couldn't deal with the emotional support that I needed after being raped so it was easier to just cut it out of her life.
Here's the story of what happened and how I wrote the song.
I was at the height of my alcoholism in 2009. I was living in Soho, I was bartending and playing shows and I had just released my first album. One night after a gig in the West Village I was out with some friends that had come to the show. We were at a bar on MacDougal Street that I had dubbed my “bad luck” bar. I used to haunt that place in hopes I would very non-chalantly run into my ex boyfriend. Something bad usually happened when I went there, like one time the bouncer followed me home and tried to come up to my apartment or another time
Those friends eventually went home and I kept drinking alone at the bar. I finally left and started the five minute walk from MacDougal St. to my apartment in Soho. Two men stopped me on the sidewalk and asked me how I was. I was so drunk and I was so lonely. I got into a cab with them.
This is where when I replay the situation, which I have so many times, that I assume the blame. This is where I must have chosen this, this is where only a crazy person would do what I did, this is where didn’t I know what I was getting myself into, this is where I ask myself how could you be so stupid?
No, no, no. It’s not my fault.
Then why does it feel so shameful?
In the car the two guys talked amongst each other about where we would go. I wanted to keep drinking. We stopped at a bodega and got beers and we ended up at a motel somewhere far away past Harlem. There was aheart made out of Christmas lights above the door of the building. I went in there with them, into a motel room. I remember telling them both that they looked like rappers, one looked like Chris Brown (yeah I know he's not technically a rapper) the other looked like Notorious B.I.G but like short. We drank, we watched television. And then.
I'll skip the graphic part.
I woke up alone in the room, crying, screaming. They had stolen my cash. I texted my ex boyfriend what had happened to me. I ran to the front desk of the motel crying. The receptionist called 911 and the police came. I gave them my report and they drove me to the hospital.
I called my best friend Holly to come and get me. I also texted my friend Zac. They both came and waited with me as they did the rape kit, as the police officers told me not to drink so much, as the sun came up on the west side and it was time to go home at 8am.
We all walked together silently down the street. Walking home as different people than we were a few hours ago. When something that heavy and horrible happens you know it isn't really over even after it's over. Now you have to process it.
I insisted we go into a church. It was an old Catholic church, we were way up on the Upper West Side by Columbia. I asked God in my head why did this happen. I wondered if it was true that I created my reality with my mind why I had created this. I disassociated.
Zac left and got on the subway and Holly and I walked down Broadway in the Upper West Side. She asked me if I was going to go to work that day. I was bartending at the time. I said that I thought I might because I needed the money but I wasn't sure I should.
RIGHT AT THAT MOMENT I FOUND A ONE HUNDRED DOLLAR BILL ON THE GROUND.
That was fucking magic.
How could something so cool happen after something so bad.
I figured we should go out to lunch, since I had money now. I ate soup. I was in a weird disassociated state. I was not sad, I was nothing. I was a shell. I was what do I do now.
Holly and I got to my apartment in SOHO and she stayed for about an hour. She started acting strange.
I asked her if she could get me hot sauce from the fridge when I started to eat my leftovers from lunch and she said "You better not think you can just do whatever you want now."
"Huh?" I replied, dumbstruck.
"Just because this happened doesn't mean you can just act however you want now."
"I hope you learned your lesson." Her tone was stern.
"Learned my lesson?" this wasn't happening.
"Yeah, now maybe you won't drink so much."
"I guess. I think you're not supposed to tell people that it's their fault."
"Well it wouldn't have happened to you if you didn't drink so much."
That was true.
It didn't make me drink less though. I didn't really leave the house for two weeks. Then one day I realized I couldn't contact Holly and she'd disappeared on my Facebook. She'd blocked me. Just like that.
We'd been friends since the 5th grade.
I wrote this song imagining that I had the power to damn Holly's soul to hell. I'd never felt pain like that. I'd never felt the sting of surprise betrayal like that. It was so unimaginable. The first time I'd been abandoned. I felt so shameful, like I'd brought this disgusting thing on myself and I was truly ruined. Even to my best friend.
In the song Judgement Day we're all dead and I get to decide what happens to her soul. When I was able to feel empowered and see her as a soul instead of a person I'd trusted that had betrayed me I was able to find forgiveness. It's true that forgiveness is really for you, it has nothing to do with the other person. Every situation in life can be seen as a lesson in how to love. It's not idealistic, it's the truth. And if you are in a depression, if you've been left, if you've been hurt, if you are dealing with the unimaginable, that is what will save you.