I wasn’t going to make a post about this, but I can’t get it off of my mind. It was 6 years the other day. I actually almost forgot when the date rolled around for the first time ever, until a picture of myself and a friend at the party appeared on my Facebook memories. You’d have thought that would have made it easier, but it didn’t. You see usually I have the anticipation leading up to the anniversary; expecting it to be way more difficult than it actually ends up being. But this year I was focused on other things for once, and it snuck up on me and was every bit as bad as I usually forsee it being.
6 years ago I was raped in my bedroom after a university party.
Through time and many, many hours of therapy, the trauma of it has lessened a little since then, but I still feel the impact that night had on my life to this day. I’ve unfortunately never trusted male friends in the same way again, and do not trust male strangers at all, but even that fear has lessened somewhat with help from a therapist. I still have nightmares every night, although not all of those can be blamed on him alone.
Most days now I manage not to think about him or what he did. But on the anniversary I can’t help it. It’s not just the events of that night itself that my mind drags up.
Its also of 6 months later, when I first told someone. My high school form tutor who I’d got back in contact with for a job reference. He knew I struggled with depression in school, and wanted to talk about how I was doing, and it just came out. I don’t know if I will ever be able to forget the look on his face.
Its also a month after that, when I tell my boyfriend at the time that whilst we had been arguing I had been raped, and the boy I loved and had been with for three years chose to believe that I’d slept with his friend willingly rather than think him capable of that.
Its my dad’s face when I break down and tell him everything at a family party because by this point when I was drinking I couldn’t stop until I was wasted.
Its remembering how much I was hurting my best friend by drinking too much, lashing out at her with words when she was trying her best to help me, hurting myself and refusing to get medical help until she had to pull away for her own sake.
Its years later when I cried hysterically during an episode of Eastenders because I knew how the two characters comforting eachother about being rape survivors felt, and its my nans voice asking me if something like that had happened to me, because I’d forgotten she was there watching it with me.
It’s the people who looked disgusted with me when I told them I gave my rapist a condom to use because it was the only way I could possibly protect myself because I knew he had an sti.
I honestly don’t know if I’ll ever get to a point where these things don’t loop around my head every February. I hope so. I’d love to get to a stage where I can brush it off and joke about it like I can with a lot of other things that have happened, without the mere mention of his name triggering the smell of his deodorant, or the unexpected sight of his face in an old picture causing me to feel his hand tighten around my neck. I’m trying to get to That Place. I’m doing a hell of a lot better than I was 4 years ago that’s for sure, but I’m still not where I want to be.