In the last installment of this Chronicle of Nonsense, our ‘plucky’ ‘heroine’ had managed to attend a rather sedate party and crash out so hard she missed her own damn anniversary. Can I say right here that no matter how hard I try to be honorable and noble and fair to all, this is a pretty amazingly Horrible Human Being move?
I couldn’t believe it myself, being sure it was roughly seven a.m., because even when I’m ill I have never in my life made it past two in the afternoon. So I perked out of bed and had an instant hissy fit when my phone – which I had left at home so as not to lose it – had decided to croak anyway. And another hissy fit when I saw that the lounge clock, whose battery I had only changed this week, had lost so much time it said ten to five in the morning. And a third hissy, when I went through to the kitchen and saw that the oven clock reckoned it was ten to five in the morning; and yet it wasn’t even flashing like it does when it’s been switched off.
It definitely is not five in the morning. But it is NOT five in the afternoon. It is NOT.
So I fired up the laptop to check the time on there, and lo, it was five in the afternoon. No it is Not, it is five in the Evening, said the Bossman on skype, And I thought you were Dead.
Oh bollocks, I had so very nearly held everything together so well, as well.
The Bossman was mightily concerned that someone had put something in my drink last night, despite my assurances that having spent a fortnight scared as hell that I was about to genuinely crack up, to the point where I went to see my GP about precautionary measures, I had (probably) instead passed out like anything as soon as the crisis point was finally past. (See, I knew there was a good reason to sit in all by my lonesome and miss all the fun last night).
In other news, the busses and trains were apparently all off because of some gigantic deluge that somehow surpassed all the other downpours we’ve been having for the last month and actually managed to close the motorway. Damn, once again I missed it. So he decided he would come across to mine instead (me being blatantly still unfit for anything).
What a sweetheart, he bought and made tex-mex for dinner, sat through a hiariously badly-dubbed Korean martial arts film I don’t even remember purchasing, and presented me with the Anniversary Bottle of Really Superior Gin (at which point I remembered IT IS OUR ANNIVERSARY OH FECK, and failed miserably to be anything other than miserable at my failure to do anything worthy of having an anniversary right now).
Are you sure you were not spiked? he kept saying. Bless. But alas, (no not alas, YAY) I was absolutely one-hundred-percent confident that not only would these mates not put anything in my drink, they would not invite the sort of people who would put something in someone’s drink either. And I have a firm belief they would even keep an eye out for such – and it was a small party; which is not to say people I could supposedly trust haven’t done this to me at other small parties; which is when I realise that I have displayed markedly less than the abject level of gratitude I should be feeling that This Sort of Thing – and the ensuing Horribleness – is Not happening to me any more. Well, so far. Touchwood.
Trigger warnings! for nonconsensual not-very-sexy-funtimes (past, mercifully).
And then I realise that in an ideal world, I shouldn’t have to feel abjectly grateful that woo, it’s been two whole years (and a week!) since the last time somebody tried to – yeah anyway.
(But I have kept photos of the bruises you left, you bastard. In case the police ever change their minds about wanting to see ’em).
Anyway. Sadly this sort of thing is very, very prevalent – it must be, for quite beside the number of very narrow escapes I have personally had* – or on one very notable occasion, failed to have – I know of numerous peeps besides myself who have gone through this thing and dammit, it is the 21st century in a first-world country with a functional police force so what the fuck, humanity.
*nearly two dozen, as it happens. Not counting as separate incidents that guy when I was eight-to-twelve years old, thankyousoverymuchnot. I used to think this much Horribleness just had to indicate there was something really Wrong with me, no matter how chastely I was dressed at the time, every time, and how very politely and in a very non-escalatory fashion I said, No**… until I started hearing other folks’ experiences. And are there ever so very many of them.
**(The ‘fight to the death rather than submit’ ideal sounds very plausible and ideal, until one night you are, say, suddenly trapped in the bathroom in your own home by some enormous guy who has been scaring the shit out of you all night by getting way too up-close and personal, despite being an alleged friend of your boyfriend, and who you went home early to avoid; only your flatmates, to whom you had voiced your concerns, brought him back on the grounds that he was prepared to pay the cab fare for them. (Thanks, alleged friends, ever so!)
So there you are, desperate for a pee, and in the right room for it and everything, only you can neither drop your kecks nor smack him one in the puss, because some small voice of self-preservation tells you there is no way you can drop this bastard with one punch – and if you don’t, he may well very much take that as his cue to beat the living shit out of you and then take what he wants. Without having to kill you at all. At which point, it is a bit late to reconsider one’s options, what.
And on another couple of occasions it has been really been brought home to me that just because you’re all, ‘I fight you to the death to defend this!’ doesn’t mean they actually have to kill you for it; they can just fight (or spike! or outnumber and just hold you down!) until you can’t defend yourself any more. It is… very humiliating. Which is kinda the point, I guess.)
(Bonus points, in the former situation above, if your alleged friends then give you a massive row for ‘occupying the bathroom for so long’, and extra bonus points if, when you have against all odds made your sodding escape when the guy paused to clutch at his temples in Angst at his dilemma (take what he wants by force and thus be a Monster, or continue to stand against the door threatening you until you capitulate – he non-monster! Honest! – oh the humanity), and lo! you make it across the hall into your bedroom, where Everyone Is, and you are SAFE! Hurrah! – And where they are all having a nice chat; whereupon they then pause long enough to watch you being dragged backwards out again, by the hair, while yelling for help, without doing one thing about it. And you can watch them return to their conversation as the door closes. And yes, it was eighteen years ago, and yes I am still angry.
(And yea verily, you still have not gotten to have a pee).
There is a happy ending, however; I was ‘rescued’, the second time; however, I was only rescued the second time because they were still angry that I was ‘hogging the bathroom for sex’. Although mercifully the guy stormed off home at this point. And yes, someone actually said, Well if you were Really in trouble, why did you not scream for help, we were all next door. (Well quite, and why did I not scream for help the first time? Maybe because we’d already proved that nobody paid any attention to a damn word I’d said all night on the subject, and also, I was terrified that if I forced the issue, this sodding giant would start belting me to shut me up? And hey, once he’d started… oh look, how sure am I that I can guaranteed Die Before Dishonour, as opposed to just, Be Beaten Half To Death And Dishonoured Anyway? And did I not actually shout for help when I was visibly being dragged… oh fuck it all.)
…And you know what? Maybe, just maybe, before we get to the point where I’m being beaten to a pulp, I have the chance to still weasel my way out of trouble, with my weaselling words. Which, to my utter ignominy, are what has gotten me out of this sort of trouble on every occasion where there is a getting-out-of to be got, because damn, even in the latest installment of This Is Merely A Statistical Anomaly, Pay No Attention To It, when I had learned the art of Self Defense, the attack happened so suddenly that I had the choice of a) being beaten to a pulp, b) potentially escaping (so I was told later) By Force, but since I was already pinned, this would only happen by grappling with the guy for ‘what would probably be about twenty minutes – IF SUCCESSFUL!’ (ick: I would have had to rub against him for this time – now I have no problems with that in class, but nobody in class is trying to molest me) or c) weaselling like a weasel. (We will discount, d) acquiescing. Ain’t never happened yet, despite me never raising a fist.) I weaselled. I escaped.
It was so non-bad-ass I was ashamed for months. Despite having photos of the bruises to prove that yes, it was a violent attack.
But the happy ending to the other tale above is, after everyone else in the flat had finished having a go – both at me, and in the bathroom, haha! – I was finally able to go for a pee! And I totally did not get cystitis or anything from my approximately ninety minutes of sheer terror!
Although the PTSD is a different matter.
(Yea verily, the PTSD, it exists LIKE ANYTHING; although on neither of the occasions detailed herein, did anyone actually touch me on the private parts. Go figure! The ‘being held tightly in a grasp of iron’, the ‘being not let go of’, the ‘being trapped and threatened’, the ‘being ignored in my plight by my comrades and companions’, that was all so much dust in the wind. No wait, it wasn’t. It was awful, and terrifying as hell. And these were the tales WITH A HAPPY ENDING.)
Anyway, sorry. Just gotta get that awfulness off my chest sometimes. No pun intended. And yes that was an attempt to make the sodding retelling humorous: I just can’t stop myself, I tell you! Just like he (or he! or even he! heehee!) couldn’t; only, not at all, actually. (Although, and this is awful, I do have some ‘hilarious’ retellings of other, even more horrible experiences that I managed to spin into ‘jovial’ anecdotes. People have literally been crying with laughter and also with horror and begging me to stop and gasping for breath from the hilarity of it all, at the same time! Because I was fed up of getting told I was such a fucking downer about it all (by people who kept sodding well bringing it all up). So who’s laughing now, bitches? Hint: it’s not me.)
So yeah. Damn if I don’t feel like a pariah for having been there; and therefore damn if other people therefore probably feel like that, too, so if it has happened to you: you are not a pariah, you are not any less awesome for the actions of other people! They are not your actions! – but I feel I don’t have the adequate skills to help you actually believe and feel that, so please scroll to the bottom of the page for peeps who may. And you rock, no matter what you think, and I love you.
Well, that got depressing fast, eh. Welcome to my world, especially when I have utterly let somebody down.
(Worse, it turns out I lost my hat last night. ‘Worse!?’, you say, thinking I am a total materialistic bitch. Not so! the Bossman gave me that hat, for Christmas, a genuine From Dallas cowboy hat, and that was the first time I had worn it, and it is Lost! I am the devil himself, except without the style. And accessories.)
Actually, I think I will not shoehorn the rest of the week’s events into this total bummer of an attempt at a humorous retelling of a mood-crash. Instead, I will apologise, and add links to:
Sites which may or may not help (if they don’t, it is not you, there are plenty of other sites!)
Rape crisis scotland (assuming you are Scottish) (for women)
Rape crisis england and wales (for women)
Survivors UK (for men – all UK)
RAINN USA (also links for other countries)
And also what may or may not be useful:
Dammit, I cannot believe this is the first time I have ever tried to compile a list of helpful links for this stuff! So much for the, I can deal with all this (shame) right fine and dandy on my OWN-I-O, thankyou. (NB – apparently not so much!)