14 October 2017

Opening Up About Sexual Assault

This is a post I drafted around two years ago but have never had the balls to publish; I'm talking about my experience with sexual assault and rape. Even now I'm questioning whether this is a good idea, it's damn scary sharing something personal about you on the internet and not knowing whether the wrong person is going to read it or if there will be a dickhead ready to share their unwanted opinion.

I have to be honest and express how much I hate knowing this post will be a trigger for some people but if you spend a lot of time on social media then realistically it's pretty tricky to hide from triggers especially in recent times. The conversations I see on Twitter are part of the reason I wanted to talk about this in the first place because no one will shut up about recent events and even muting keywords isn't helping hiding it from my timeline. As much as I hate the this being on mind I know it'll never be forgotten and all of this has made me realise we should never be scared to talk about what we've gone through because our past makes us the person we are today and most importantly we should be encouraging others to speak out.


Eight years ago I was fourteen and at that age my knowledge of sexual abuse and rape was little to none, I was a naive teenager who didn't know what sexual assault was until weeks after I experienced it for myself.

I was a typical 14 year old hanging out with the guy from school I liked, I invited him in to mine and we kissed, but according to him kissing means I want more. He forced his hand down my trousers and into my underwear; the more I said "stop" the more shit he came out with about how I "wanted" it. At the time I thought I had been leading him on and that I should go along with it, he clearly wasn't going to stop no matter how many times I told him to. I didn't realise what he was doing was so wrong until he pinned my arms above my head and was ready to force himself into me. I remember the realisation of what was happening and ended up saying something about using a condom, using that short dew seconds of paused opportunity to run and lock myself in my bathroom, I sat on the floor in shock wondering what the fuck was going on. He then said he had to go and that was that, it was forgotten and life went back to normal.

I didn't really think about what happened I just though he was a dick, that was until my friends asked for an update on what happened between us. I casually relayed it all and was returned with "Jess, that's basically rape" and those words were the start of something I wasn't prepared for. I came into school the next day with my best friend running up to me warning that a group of girls were waiting for me, I eagerly disappeared into my first lesson but his ex-girlfriend started questioning me about the rumours, I was then pulled out of class by a teacher. I tried to shy away from it and not make a big deal but the school got the police involved. I was petrified and wanted it all to be over so when it came to my interview I just froze and I couldn't string a sentence together.
All I could think about was school and how no-body believed me, I was constantly being called a liar, being threatened and was even being attacked in the playground; I had my head bashed against a brick wall which was followed by a punch in the face. Why would I want that to carry on?

Safe to say nothing further happened in regards to the police, they had no evidence and it was his word against mine. I was happy to let it blow over because I wanted school to go back to normal and I wanted to just forget. Strangely I dealt with it really well, I didn't feel like a victim and I was being a normal happy teenager.

The whole incident was brought back up again a year or so later when a guy I was in a relationship with befriended the guy unknowingly to what he had done to me. It was something I felt I needed to be honest about but this went down like a ton of bricks and caused a backlash of threats and verbal abuse at school all over again. This time round felt so much worse, it was like I couldn't escape what was happening and I was consistently being called a liar - that's what hurt the most. It didn't take long for that boyfriend to become friends with my attacker after we broke up, fucking asshole.

We're now going to fast forward a year or two; when this started to actually impact my life. Prior to this period of time I barely thought about what had happened, as much as I despised being called a liar and dealt with issues at school it wasn't something I let affect me. Unfortunately as I grew older my understanding for abuse and rape grew which only ended up with me frequently thinking about what happened and suddenly it became this big thing that I couldn't get away from and in all honest it really contributed negatively to my mental health - something I spoke about here.

I don't know what triggered the sudden impact after so many years but it was horrible. I just couldn't forget, it was always on my mind and I couldn't stop asking myself questions.
Was it my fault?
What if I was honest with the police?
What if he does it to someone else?

Then the worst thing happened, for the first time since he left school he was in my vision, stood a matter of feet away from me in a pub, we made eye contact and I had this rush of hatred as well as the desire to throw up. I was with friends and my (now ex) boyfriend so he distracted me and kept me calm, of course we all ended up leaving pretty swiftly and that was that.

Not too long after this happened I went out with a group of friends to town and I had a panic attack in a nightclub, why? Because I was petrified I was going to see him. There was no logic to it because he clearly wasn't there but in all honest since seeing him in the pub my paranoia has rocketed and I constantly feel this anxiety inside me that he's going to pop up round the corner. If I have to jump on tills at work I often question what I would do if he came to be served by me though the reality is that is extremely unlikely - I have never seen him there in the five years I've been there there is always a "what if" that runs through my mind and that's one of the hardest things to deal with.

So here we are now, eight years after I was sexual assaulted and had someone close to me try to rape me, oh and it happened in October too. I am very glad I have written this because it's good to get everything off my chest now and again. I feel like I am dealing with what happened pretty well on a day to day basis and as time's gone on I really don't think about it very often but when I do, I talk to someone and that's the most important thing. I hate knowing there are people out there who haven't opened up to a single person, because once you tell someone you feel a weight lifted off your shoulders. Don't let your lives be ruined whilst they're still out their living theirs.
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2 comments

  1. Jeez I had no idea this had happened to you! I'm sending you a massive hug!
    I have no idea what I would do in that situation and you are so brace to write about it and put it out there!
    Sending all the love and hugs x

    Ciara | www.teatimewithciara.com

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