Trauma Flashbacks

Content Warning: Rape Part 2

During the last 15+ years since I was raped I have occasionally been hit with a parts of the lost memory that completes the timeline of events from meeting the man in the pub to being picked up by my friends mum.

For many years those parts of the story were complete black holes. Blank. Unconnected. I couldn’t link one flash of memory to connect correctly with another flash of memory. How the events unfolded made no sense. There was a sketchy outline that I could form, but the flesh of the story was bare to the bone.

For 15+ years it both comforted me and tortured me in equal measure. I do not know if it was the cause of something put in my drink; heavy intoxication or my brain taking charge of what I can be aware of in a way of survival.

While I am quite happy leaving this world without the full knowledge and awareness of the pain that was inflicted upon me when I was unconscious. The ugly truth of the depravity he subjected my body to for his own selfish gratification. The curiosity of whether the fact I was limp and pliable was what gave him a greater sexual thrill. Those aspects, I’d rather not know. I have seen them play out dramatically in the form of vivid nightmares that would awaken me with panic attacks.

However the mystery of how, why, when plagued my subconscious. During the nightmares I experienced, both the intensity and accuracy varied. As dreams go, some are just nonsense with a connection with the venues, or there were people present in the dream who were never possibly there.

A lot of my dreams had running in them in the same tone of panic as the ‘run away’ I remember that day. A lot of the dreams followed the same sequence with much repetition. Over time it became clear that the frame of the story was forming and becoming part of my consciousness. Some guidance was formed in this way, however it was the flashbacks that provided the details.

Every few years or so I’d become triggered by something and a flash of real memory would appear. They only ever came to me when I was alone. The calmness that came after waking in a panic and realising I was in a safe space, were the flashbacks that appeared most clear.

The main issues I couldn’t explain were

  1. How did I come to be in the toilet?
  2. How did I end up on the floor?
  1. How did I get from the pub to the house after being raped on the toilet floor, in the pub?
  2. Why did I go with him?
  3. How did I come to regain consciousness lying on a bed with a stranger inside of my body, in a room I didn’t know?
  4. When I left the house, why did I run for a solid mile in the wrong direction without wearing shoes? Did I not feel the pain?
  • Last night, while writing alone (The Lib Fem Lie) I finally got an answer to points 3) and 4). It really hit me. And I now understand why my brain couldn’t release it.
  • The flash of memory was strong, really clear in places, but more importantly the way I felt came back. I was prepared for the facts, not the feeling.
  • The gap it filled was:
  • Coming back to the table after being anally and vaginally raped in the disabled toilet, on the floor. I rejoined the group in shutdown mode. I must have looked blank to they eyes. Lost in a state of horror. Staring into the overwhelming feeling of violation. My genitals burnt with pain. I didn’t know where I was, what or who I was any more. Just a hollow shell of a person. This spurred him to proclaim I was ready to go home, too much to drink, cant handle her ale! I overheard him assure the bar staff, “I’ll make sure she gets home in one piece, get her in a taxi.” In a ‘what’s she like’ kind of manner.
  • The memory hazes here but connects with the only flash of concrete memory I had from the night it happened which was the vision of my own hand pushing open the side door to the pub, being followed but led from behind by the man and his group of friends.
  • Once outside the pushed door, the memory is blank. Did I walk? Be carried? Why didn’t I run then?
  • The flash of memory I gained before this was about 2 years ago. That part was about the travel from the pub to the house and it was tripping over a bin bag in a narrow entry in a convoy of single file, people behind me, people in front. I remember there being an atmosphere of excitement coming from the men around me. I was unaware what the excitement was about. I recall being told “I’ll get you lied down now” Which may be the reason why I went with him. In my traumatised, naive little mind, lost in hurt I was seeking comfort from a protector. The trouble is the only offer I was receiving was from the person I needed protection from. The insatiable thirst for being rescued and looked after was too much, I must have actually believed he was actually going to help me.
  • That’s such a vile deception to inflict on a 16 year old you just broke without a care for her well being or welfare. What kind of man would abuse the already broken?
  • The location of the entry makes sense as the house was a very short distance from the pub. We could have crossed over the road, walked up the back entry and either entered the house via the back door, or easily round the front door.
  • One realisation I have only just identified while writing this was, why the back entries? Why not walk along the road? Did he realise he knew what he was doing was wrong and needed to hide? Smuggled with minimal detection? Does this highlight the fact his intentions were sly, manipulative and defensive? It makes sense to me. If I was a stumbling, drunken mess, being led or worse being carried like the spoils of war; The only girl with a gang of older looking men, there’s a high chance of a passer by intervening and foiling the second chance of his sexual gratification at my expense. I’d say that was a calculated move.
  • The next part of the memory that I have available was regaining consciousness while lying down on the bed. There was a penis in my vagina and I must have clenched with panic when my senses regained control, recoiling my body away from his. I sat up on the side of the bed with my legs down to the floor. A full length mirror reflected my image back to me. I could only look at my knees. It took me a lot of bravery to look myself in the face in a mirror again. I couldn’t bare to imprint my visual brokenness upon my mind yet. I wasn’t ready.
  • What followed was me getting dressed while he tried talking to me. The only words I remember were “let me walk you home?” He continued to talk at me, not that I had any comprehension of what he was trying to say to me for the duration of my escape. I must have got dressed in a hurry as I had no shoes on and my pants on backwards. I didn’t discover that until much later on. I can visualise clearly standing at the top of his stairs, in the early stages of panic. I quickly but clumsily made it down the stairs, opening the door to the visual of a lamppost over the road. Blinding light against the dark backdrop of the night sky.
  • I ran. Not a single thought went through my mind for the first few minutes. I just ran. Hard. Sobbing. I must have crossed roads, been seen by people. Running in no shoes. In wild panic. I ended up in an entry again, running. There was a gang of teens half way and I grew frightened and don’t think I could have stopped my legs from running if I tried. I passed them and heard them like “wtf just happened?” I think I even heard someone ask if I was ok. I was gone before they could engage. Running. Hard. Sobbing harder. My heart was beating like it could explode. My body was spent.
  • As I reached the end of a street, joining the brightness of the streetlights on the main road, two men saw me. They ran to me. They knew something was badly wrong. I think I screamed “I’ve just been raped!” But I don’t know if it was just screaming in my head or out loud. I couldn’t tell anymore. I was sobbing hard still not making an ounce of sense. Somehow a call was made to my friends mum who lived practically opposite the road of the house I’d just fled from.
  • I was picked up. My friend with her. My friend was ready to knock out the two men who helped me, I’d managed to express it wasn’t them. They’re the good guys.
  • The police came shortly after and I don’t have much recollection of the words I spoke. I remember a few thoughts that were in my mind while confronted with alerting the police of the vile things I wasn’t sure how had happened. Or why it happened?
  • What do I say? I remember about 3 seconds of the assault. There was a toilet light on the ceiling. I said ow when he entered my anal passage, with my pants and underwear pulled down and my legs held up, folding me in half on my back. before unconsciousness resumed. Next I remember my hand pushing a door. Next I wake up with a man inside me in a room I didn’t know. I ran away. My body has been violated. It hurt to sit. It hurt all over. What the fuck are they going to think of me with that? I remember being afraid that if I share this incoherent story, it’ll be in the paper. I don’t wanna be in the paper for this.
  • And him. Him. The whole world is going to know you have evil in you. Everyone you meet will know. Everyone who loves you will hate you. You’re about to lose everything. His mum is going to learn she created a monster of a boy.
  • I have no idea what incoherent nonsense I shared with them in that moment. I think I mentioned a gang in an entry- which was true there was a gang in an entry. I just didn’t have the facts or awareness myself of what had happened to me available to me to share. 15+ years later and I still don’t know the full story. But it’s clearer than its ever been.
  • To be fair to myself, what 16 year old girl, while intoxicated, experiencing black outs, just experienced all that depravity inflicted upon her body, then being found away from where it happened after hysterically running to the point of collapse. In what fit state was I in to provide an accurate account? One that is to be recorded as such an important document relevant to gaining a conviction and being able to receive justice for what has just happened. Was it right protocol to take a statement in that way? I’d say it was highly unfair.
  • 2 thoughts on “Trauma Flashbacks

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