Last night I went through my phone and deleted all of the phone numbers/text messages connected to my case. I had a little cry, mainly out of frustration and a little because I had to let to go of my ISVA who became my rock these past 13 months. Mainly though because I was so let down by the police. I knew my attacker, I kept my clothes, I had injuries months later well documented on my medical records .. yet because he wasn’t perceived a risk to me and he doesn’t know where I live… my case wasn’t a priority. I had no idea how much that would knock me and shatter my confidence.
What happened to me was sickening the parts I remember are bad enough and I dread to think about the parts my brain shields me from. Sometimes I wish I could remember, I want to know what happened to me and to my body, more importantly I want to know if I fought. My therapist tells me it doesn’t matter and urges me to stop battering myself with should of , would of, could of because in the harsh reality of it all it shouldn’t of happened.
Sometimes in my nightmares a little new information is leaked into my conscious, now generally these things are irrelevant but when it’s something about the assault that I don’t recall my brain goes straight into panic mode. I spend weeks mulling over it, trying to figure out if it’s real or if my brain has filled a gap. I say I want to know but do I really? Does it matter? Is it worth weeks of angst, self harm and crippling flashbacks? Or should I just tell myself it’s ok not to know everything? There’s obviously a reason my brain has blocked the memories.
It took me months to even tell anyone never mind reporting it to the police. I only told because I couldn’t ease the pain. I couldn’t stop the nightmares and I couldn’t stop the flashbacks bringing me to my knees, I wanted it to stop.. I told my GP he asked me how I found myself in that position, at the time I didn’t think anything of it I was too ashamed of myself and ashamed of what I was admitting. But now when I look back.. excuse me?! How did I find myself in that position??? How about how did that bastard find himself in the position to think he had the right to put his hands on me?!
For the past 19 months I have chastised myself, I wore a dress, I had a little cleavage showing, I had my hair down, I wore make up, I let him hug me and I forcefully pushed his face away when he came on to me, so what?? Fuck society and it’s expectations and norms, fuck those people who think men and women bring this sort of assault on themselves?! Not one single person asks for it. No matter what. I don’t care if you wanted to have sex and became uncomfortable or changed your mind, I don’t care how drunk you were or how much of a gobby twat you maybe were/are… there are far too many excuses society deems as acceptable reasons. When in reality there is no excuse whatsoever. I think it’s easier for the majority to victim blame rather than admit the terrifying truth that some people are just capable of doing that.
I find myself slightly hypocritical as I write this because when I have my bad days I beat myself up constantly.. was I too full of myself? Did I need teaching a lesson? Should I have hit him for trying to kiss me? Should I have let him down gently? Should I have fought harder? Maybe I shouldn’t of fought at all… but then from somewhere deep down, from the woman I used to be… she fiercely tells me I shouldn’t of had to do any of that because he shouldn’t of done what he did. I didn’t invite it. Nobody ever gets to have the right to take your body without your permission.
I’m still deeply hurt by the injustice of the criminal system. I was lied to, ignored, minimised and made to feel like an inconvenience. I was told this and that would be happening at this time and date but it never did and I was just left a gibbering blob of extreme anxiety, I couldn’t function. I kept harming myself I just wanted it to stop. Nobody would help me I couldn’t access treatment because those treatments involved talking about it and I wasn’t allowed. So in the end I called the whole thing off. For me. For my sanity. I couldn’t heal I was always waiting for a phone call, I was anxious in the street incase people knew. I needed it to stop and I needed to start to heal.
I look back to picking up the phone and reporting what had happened to me, I tried to change my mind a million times on the phone but the police insisted on sending someone over to chat to me just to make sure I was ok, it all came falling out and that was that I got caught up in a rollercoaster. That rollercoaster has now ended. I haven’t got justice yet. But I think allowing myself to heal and taking back control is my own personal sense of justice.
For the past year I’ve had so much go on, and now I’m in receipt of mental health care from a home response team because I’m too unstable for trauma work.. everytime somebody gets close I harm myself. I don’t think I’m too unstable. I think I’m deeply hurt and I think that not being able to talk about it when I wanted to due to lack of services, insensitive therapists/drs and the police investigation has traumatised me further. Now I can talk about it but I’m so used to not talking about it I think it’s added to my shame and self blame. I find myself apologising before I talk about it with my therapist. It’s a habit I need to break.
I did nothing wrong except turn to a friend I trusted. Not one single person ever invites this. You have the right to walk down the street naked if you so wish, I mean it’s illegal and probably not the best idea but that still doesn’t give anyone the right to put their hands on you ever. Nobody ever has that right. Not ever. So as I say… I’ve stopped my case. I’ve deleted all the reminders from my phone it’s time to move on. Although the pain is very very raw I don’t think I’d change it. People need to know when there are monsters living amongst them. It’s never wrong to speak out. Maybe criminal justice won’t prevail but you will find yourself justice just by allowing yourself to heal. Never be silenced. ❤️