My name is Rachel Ann DeLay and when I was a little girl living in rural New Mexico, I obsessively worried about tsunamis. I’m nineteen years old and attend the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque as a psychology major with a minor in journalism. I found myself to be extremely passionate about mental health after I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder and Major Depression Disorder and started medication two years ago. My mental illnesses took away my ability to enjoy things I once loved such as writing.
I began my freshman year of college in the fall of 2017. My first semester was a bottomless pit of hell. I laid in bed a lot and had a difficult time making friends because I suffer from social anxiety. It was the loneliest time of my entire life. I really wanted people from high school to think I was having the time of my life, but in reality, I spent most of my time feeling hopeless and passively suicidal while lying in bed. When I started my second semester of college, I was optimistic that things were going to get better. Even though I continued to lie in bed a lot, I managed to crawl out of bed every once in awhile and do my homework. Receiving good grades made me feel like I had some sort of control over my life.

But then I was raped.

On March 27, 2018, I woke up deliriously to my phone alarm, to him raping me. I was raped three to six times while I was passed out. After my sexual assault, I went to a rape crisis center to get treatment done 48 hours later. The forensic nurse took pictures of me and my body in the hospital gown. Even though the crisis center took good care of me, it felt I was getting raped all over again during my rape kit. A week later, I began an investigation within UNM and a criminal investigation within UNMPD after finding out I was one of at least four victims to come forward. I also filed a ten year restraining order against my rapist, which took many trips to the courthouse. Unfortunately, I stopped going to class and eventually dropped out of the semester.
It will be the three month anniversary of my rape on June 27th, 2018. I decided to process my trauma by writing again. I created a blog over a week ago about my story, the investigations and my journey with PTSD and other mental illnesses. My PTSD causes memory dissociation and acute amnesia among other things. I frequently forget where my car is parked, or get confused on deciphering if I went to the doctor a month ago, or just yesterday. I can’t sleep at night because I obsessively worry about the police investigation or the college investigation, or if the case will go to trial. I can’t sleep because I can’t get the image of the purple Christmas lights hanging above his bed out of my head. I can’t stop carrying guilt or stop feeling unbearable shame.
When I was little, I couldn’t sleep because I worried about drowning in a tsunami. I’m nineteen now and sleep deprived because I’m drowning in the tsunami that is my trauma.
Rachel Ann DeLay is a nineteen-year-old writer, blogger and student. She studies psychology at The University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. Rachel suffers from anxiety, depression and PTSD. She is very passionate about helping others who also struggle and hopes to become a mental health psychologist after graduate school. Rachel blogs about her journey with PTSD and other mental illnesses, as well as her experience going through a police and college investigation regarding her sexual assault. She hopes her writing will diminish stigma and help survivors and sufferers of mental illness.