The same year Tara started experimenting with alcohol and drugs, she says she experienced something that added to her pain.

One night, after drinking and taking pills with a group of friends, Tara found herself alone with a man. "I acted a little bit more wasted than I was so I could go to sleep, because I didn't want to deal with the guy that was there," she says. "Then, he picks me up. ... I knew something was off, and he was being bizarre, but part of me was just thinking: 'I wonder what he's going to do. I wonder how far he's going to take it.'"

Tara says the man carried her from her home to his car. Then, she says he raped her. "I didn't do anything about it. I just sat there," she says. "I was like: 'Wow. Everyone else hurts me. Now, what are you going to do?' I would bring on all of these situations and put myself through this pain because I felt so dirty, and I felt so ashamed and I felt like damaged goods. I expected these things to happen to me."

Around this time, Tara says she started cutting to ease the emotional pain building up inside her. "It was a controlled pain," she says. "For cutters, like if you are having a moment or had a feeling—because, heaven forbid, we feel—it's a way of controlling what you're feeling."


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