I have been through my fair share of assaults in my 21 years of life. But the most recent one happened August 3rd and 4th. I was going through an awful time, coming from a mentally and emotionally abusive relationship, loosing a baby, loosing my grandfather, developing insomnia and much more. All in the space of a few months. You’d think that in all the pain that’s occurred, the universe would have said “Right, enough is enough” but no. I spent a while trying to get myself back on track, Work became harder, sleeping became a struggle and going about my day to day life was more than I could handle. A friend who I had known for years had asked me to pop down and have a catch up with his friend and mine. We’d gone out for a drink before I thought it would be nice to spend time with some good people and let myself have a night where I enjoyed. The night was fun, we had a drink, laughed, played some good music until his friend left, and mine wanted to go home. Seeing as I trusted this person, felt no need to be uncomfortable and unsafe, I decided to stay. I’d known this person for a long time and had spent a lot of my time with him. We chatted about the past, people who we used to see almost everyday and then it hit me. Tiredness had hit me like a ton of bricks and I couldn’t help but close my eyes. A little bit of alcohol had helped the tiredness rise and take over. I found myself falling asleep to a song and getting comfortable on the sofa. It felt like a dream but I couldn’t wake up. Hands over my breasts, my clothes being moved and the warm breath of his mouth all over my body. When my body forced itself awake, I felt. Wrong. Waking up to my underwear damp and my breasts exposed left my laying there, staring at the ceiling. My mind blank but a thousands thoughts still racing through. I didn’t feel scared, I didn’t feel upset or distraught. I felt absolutely nothing. I turned my head to face him and he was soundly asleep on the floor next to me, arm to close for comfort and I just kept looking at his face. My heart starting beating so hard and fast I could hear it in my ears and I slowly readjusted my clothing, covered my chest but notice how damp my neck and chest were, pulled my leggings up and tried to hide my modesty before trying to climb off the sofa as quietly as I could. I put my shoes on and just stood there. Looking at him. My body felt, different. I felt well.. I know my body. I know how it reacts and I know how it feel to have someone touch me. I found the keys by the front door and let myself out quietly. The weather that night was horrendous. The torrential rain, the loud wind, the darkness. I checked the time. 4am or so, and I begin to walk home, getting caught in the downpour. No coat, no cover. Totally catatonic. I let the rain wash my face. Soak through my clothes and hair. I finally mustered up the courage to ask a friend to talk me home and he picked me up and drove the rest of the way. He was worried about what happened and I just didn’t know what to say, because I didn’t want to say it out loud. I didn’t want to admit to myself what had happened. We sat in scilence for a while and he let me warm up and partially dry off until a sudden pang on anger hit me and I messaged that person saying I knew what he did and why I left. I got home, climbed into bed with my damp clothes on and just stared at the ceiling until 10am. The reply I had was

“I know, and I’m sorry”

Admittance and apology.

You bump into someone in the street and apologise. You knock over a drink and apologise. You do something wrong and say you’re sorry because you know it was wrong. Yet this apology only made me angry. Saying sorry after you violate me, abuse our friendship and trust, take total advantage of me where my choice of consent had been taken away and you’re sorry? Worst part of that conversation was “I stopped myself from letting it go any further” So in blatant terms you wanted to have sex with me without my consent so settled with assaulting me instead?

It took a while to report it to the police. I admitted to myself it had happened after numerous baths and repetive washing because I felt so dirty. This person was a father, a father of 2 little girls. And I had this feeling in my stomach that hurt like hell, as much as I want someone to know I could never ruin two innocent children’s lives. Take away their father or ruin a family all because I told the truth. I felt awful. Even after what happened I didn’t want to inflict pain on anyone else. It took a while for me to speak up, finally telling an officer what happened that night was like it just happened yesterday. And it took a while for someone to do something. Even after my statement and 2 others they didn’t arrest him. It took for my to break my heart down the phone to them begging them to help me because he lives down the road and I can’t aleep at night or leave my house because my anxiety got so bad I felt like I was drowning. And of course, he denied it. Retold his version of events where I had consented when I didn’t have the choice to say yes or no. My right of choice had been taken away, my trust and friendship was abused, I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t leave my house and stopped socialising all together. I broke down constantly in work and had to go on the sick because having people near me was scaring me. I don’t even know what to tell you about how I felt afterwards. It wasn’t even a relief to tell someone what had happened because I felt everything and nothing at the same time. In fact as of now, 6 months down the line a decision hasn’t even been made about what’s going to happen. And i wake up every morning wondering whether or not I will eventually walk away from limbo. And as hard as it is, I am trying. It has affected more than I can explain. For now, while this is still a continuous cycle I will try to get better and work towards a better way to cope. A better way to live and a better way to finally be brave and deal with my assault.