MY SEXUAL ASSAULT STORY
Let me clarify something before I even begin, this is NOT clickbait. I know that revealing this particular story on the blog won't make friends. The truth is, I already lost friends over this happening and for the longest time I didn't even realise that what had happened to me was in fact sexual assault until someone else very brave recounted her story and told me that it was. I remember not wanting to 'make a big deal' about the whole thing. He was my best friend's boyfriend and though we weren't close, I knew him. Because she loved him and I trusted her, I trusted him and I shouldn't have.
She was there the night it happened, in fact I think she was sitting right next to me when it happened and she didn't bat an eyelid. We've all heard the term 'boys will be boys' but truth be told I'm sick and tired of hearing that. I wasn't raped so I don't know what rape feels like and I don't claim to know nor am I able to imagine it. What he did though and what he said was at the very least sexual harassment. I don't remember saying 'NO' or 'STOP'. I think I told him to stop but maybe I didn't. I do remember being in a group of 10 guys (maybe more) and around 3 girls. The girls who were there knew me and claimed to be my friends. I wasn't drunk at the time and I don't remember what I was wearing (nobody should care). I was drinking but not even tipsy. It was a birthday party. The girl I called my best friend was one of the only other girls there. All I really remember is the boys taunting me, a few of them trying to touch and grab what was never theirs to touch. Then him. He claimed protectorship on the basis that I was his girlfriend's best friend. I don't know how much he had had to drink at that stage. To be honest, I don't care. All I know is that he grabbed me, touched me inappropriately commenting on how my hair was now the same colour as his girlfriend's hair and so obviously he could have both of us. I remember that he touched my breasts. Nobody has touched them since.
That night after all the taunting and touching and inappropriate behaviour (all at the first bar) I couldn't work out what was 'wrong' with me, why I didn't feel myself and why I was constantly fighting the urge to cry. I couldn't figure out the pain in my chest or the unfamiliar feeling that was flowing through my body. I wanted to scream, shout or hide in a corner and cry maybe all three. Instead of going home, calling an uber or calling my parents I stayed and I smiled and I pretended. The girl I called my best friend didn't stand up for me when I couldn't keep it together anymore at the end of the night. The boys drove home with a guy in the group who was notorious for drinking and driving. From the car, her boyfriend called her and lied (joked?) that the friend in question had been arrested and that they were all being driven home by a third party. He did this when he knew that just a few months previous to this 'party', I had been held overnight in a police station for drinking and driving though the charges were never upheld and I wasn't drinking and driving anyway. They thought it was funny when they pitched up in the car with the driver not arrested and instead killing himself laughing at our (or rather my) expense. They thought that I was overreacting when I wanted to walk and didn't want to get into the car. They laughed. I gave them the finger. I wasn't sober enough (nor did I feel mentally able) to drive myself home and the plan had been to stay with at her house with the group. She attempted to calm me down and wondered why it didn't work. She didn't notice what was actually a full blown panic attack. That she didn't see the signs earlier in the night amazes me. That when I shook and cried and held myself, she didn't see it. I cried, they laughed uproariously from the living room. I called my Mum and I left.
I saw her maybe the next week. I wanted to explain myself, explain what had happened. She repeated that I had overreacted, was in fact currently overreacting and that everything was 'just a joke'. I haven't seen her since. I have survived suicide attempts, anorexia and depression and I have no doubt that I will overcome this...in time. Right now though, I'm not sure I know how to be in a relationship or how to be touched. I know that I cannot expect someone to love me when I cannot love myself. I'm giving myself time to heal, as much as I need...
*This probably wouldn't be everyone's version of events from that night but this is mine, this is my truth.
*Also, this is not aimed at anyone but I feel that enough time has passed and it is important to speak out on issues like this. We need to stop the stigma. This is my story...