If you are reading this, it will mean one of a few things. 1) you searched for #ptsd #assault #depression. 2) you found a link through my Facebook page (and thus you are, I hope, one of my friends. Or, 3) this is just a random blog that you happened to happen upon today.
Either way: welcome!
I would like to point out, before I start telling my story, that what you are about to read is as truthful as I can hope for. Given my experiences, and the time that has passed since they occurred, my mind has become clouded. But recently, it came back. In one, fast, horrifying moment.
My story is not unique. It is not special. What happened to me has happened to countless women and men around the world, in many different forms.
Emotional abuse. Physical abuse. Psychological abuse. Stalking. Humiliation. Ruined.
“Did he ever hit you?”
These words had little impact on me until recently. Until I realised what had happened five years ago. My story extends back further than that, but for now we can start here.
I had met this person before. We went through many years of high school and college together. Seeing this person again, I didn’t really think anything of it. He was just another boy who was a jerk in school. Looking back on this, I feel like such an idiot. My first impression was that this guy was a charmer, looking only to have his way with me. A conquest to prove that he could do it. I should have followed my instincts, which were to run as fast as I could, away from this monster of a human being.
I was about to turn 22, I was in my third year of a four year degree, on the road to becoming a primary school teacher. I was so close. I was on my way to the beginning of my new life. It was all planned out in my head: Graduate, have a beautiful classroom (similar to Miss Honey in Matilda), meet my future husband, get married and have a beautiful white brick house, with a green roof and green awnings. We would have three children, who would be absolute delights. We would be in blissful, joyful and irresistibly in love with each other, our children, and our lives together. What a life it would be!
Considering what I just wrote, I realise the naivety that consumed me at that age. What a life. I couldn’t even imagine my life this way now. How could I think that I would be that lucky? What had I done in my life to deserve that kind of happiness? Nothing, at that point. I still haven’t done anything to deserve that kind of happiness.
On the other hand, experiencing the brief thrilling highs of the beginning, and devastating lows of the next two years, I didn’t deserve that either. I still don’t. No one deserves to be treated that way.
Anyway. This boy and I started to hang out as just friends. Just. Friends. Which was fun, for a while. These stories don’t usually start out with “he abused me at the beginning” and neither does this one. Being the hopeless romantic that I was at the grand old age of 22, I began to look for signs that he may like me as more than a friend, and that there was something beneath this persona of confidence and cruelty. Something there that no one else but me could see. No one else could fix but me. I began to think of him as the Beast from Beauty and the Beast, and that if I helped him, I could make things better for him. I could fix him. I could make him happy and he would love me just as I was in return. It was perfect. We would have a magic life together, he would play footy on the weekends with his friends and I would sit and watch him enjoying himself.
The weeks turned into months and by June we had certainly moved past the “just friends” stage. He had an idea, which at the time I thought was genius. He made a bet with me that he could have his way with me by a certain date. He called it “storming the castle”, or “castle day”. He even put a notification in my calendar. It was around here that I should have seen the signs of what he was doing. Objectifying me and my body. Like I was just a bunch of skin with some holes to stick himself into (I know this line is from a movie of some kind, but he used it to describe me).
This boy was clever and talented in a lot of ways. He had such a creative mind, and he could write and tell stories that were exciting and fascinating. It didn’t matter to me that he couldn’t spell or use grammar correctly, or that his stories often depicted graphic violence (often against women). He was a strong and tough soul, and for the first few months I loved that. He was strong. He would protect me from everything. He knew every detail of my life. Everything about it. He could see right through me and could tell when I was lying to him. He just knew.
Fast forward a few months more, and we were dating properly. Not on Facebook or on social media though, because I was an awkward loser in high school and he had a reputation to maintain. Being seen on social media with me was not an option. I wasn’t as hot as his last two girlfriends. He and I both knew that going in. I am fully aware of how imperfect my body is. I am also completely aware of my personality flaws. all of it. Acutely aware.
The next 15 months that followed are still an absolute blur of horror and pain and nightmares. The purpose of this blog is to write down the memories as I remember them, so I can process them and put them away. I hope to use this tool as a way to heal. Full disclosure, this blog will be graphic. No one will be identified by name. Although, if you are reading this because of reason number 2, you will know who you are when you read it.
Currently I am in PTSD counselling and working through a myriad of different pills to try and get my brain sorted out. Constant nausea, restlessness and sleep deprivation because of nightmares are all an issue for me at the moment. I can’t even begin to describe the horror that fills my brain at night. I am too scared to sleep, too tired to stay awake.
My hope is that at the end of this blog series, you will understand what happened to me, what I did about it, and why I did what I did. I hope you can take away some lessons, or at least understand that there are other people out there who have experienced what you have. I hope that you will leave comments telling me that there is a light on the other side of this empty blackness that consumes me.
Finally, if you are the person who did these things to me in the first place and made me who I am today: Congratulations! You set out to do exactly what you intended to. Ruin me. Ruin me for other men. Ruin my life. Rip that silver spoon right out of my mouth. Congratulations. I hope that no other girl falls for your trap, although I’ll bet they already have. That’s how it works you see? You set the trap and the girl falls in, and you destroy her. You destroy everything about her that she ever loved. You completely ruin her life. I’m not the first girl you have done this to, nor will I be the last. I’m sure you will make sure of that.
Until the next nightmare,