I know already that this is going to be a hard post to write. And not because it’s deep, or emotional. But because I need to talk about something to do with my trauma, and as most of you (although there’s been a lot of new readers recently! – Welcome to I’m NOT Disordered!!) know; ‘due to legal reasons,’ I can’t give much information about the sexual abuse and rape that I was subjected to.
I could understand not being allowed to tell you the person’s name, but it’s that I can’t even tell you the basics. For example, what profession this person is in, or where the abuse happened. Apparently, just by saying those two basic details, and if you knew me during the years the abuse happened (2006-2007) then you could put it all together; and make a reasonable assumption of the identity of the person. Apparently, that wouldn’t be fair on him because he was never proven guilty.
But something happened recently that has just been concluded today, and I want to talk to you all about it because it’s something that other survivors of abuse may experience/feel:
‘How come he’s winning at life?!!”
Someone told me that this person has been promoted in the profession that
allowed him gave him the opportunity to gave him
the power; to abuse me! He is now in a position where he has more power and
control, and therefore, a much higher chance of doing what he has done to me,
to someone else (assuming he hasn’t already – but everyone is confident that he
When I first found out it was like… I don’t want to say it was like I’d been hit by a car because that’s a bit dramatic, but do you get what I mean when I say that? It was like a massive gust of wind hit me straight in the face and for a moment, I was all choked up and couldn’t breathe. I guess people would call it shock but for some reason, I feel like that doesn’t do justice to my reaction – and the feelings that I experienced at that moment.
Once I’d found words, and my brain had managed to assemble them into a sentence, and my mouth allowed itself to open whilst still terrified of what might come out… I said; “for fuck’s sake!” Those who were with me at the time encouraged not to let it affect our plans for that night and told me that I deserved to be happy after all those horrendous years.
I knew they were right, for the time being…
The following day, I didn’t want to get out of bed.
I decided to allow myself the day to be sad about the news and to experience that very first instinctive reaction that had to be suppressed the previous day. If there’s one thing I’ve learnt over the past ten years, it’s to allow myself to feel my emotions without them being overwhelming and detrimental to my health. So, I slept for most of the day and let myself feel sorry… for myself.
One of those many emotions I experienced, was anger; ‘how could they put him in that position after abusing the one he had less power in?!!!’ ‘He’s going to be doing it again to others because of this promotion!’ ‘I tried to get him the punishment he deserved but now he’s living his life to the full!’ ‘Does anyone believe me?’
After minutes of asking that last question, and without actually voicing it, I got my answer. You see, I’d tried to do something about the promotion and the lady who was by go-between with Social Services told me that since there was no new evidence, there could be no investigation; and they couldn’t demote him because he could sue for slander as he was never found guilty. However, they did ‘voice their frustration’ with the case in that everyone believed but they couldn’t do anything about it. For me, at that moment, it was all I needed to hear to feel the anger ebb away from my body.
I think, though, the bit that had clung on; the bit that I finally dealt with two days ago was: ‘how come he’s got it so easy and ‘normal’ when my life was a wreck for the best part of the last ten years?!’
In the past, I’d meet professionals (nurses, Doctors, Psychologists etc) and they’d be a few years older than me and I would look at them and think ‘what a waste of a life; the way I’ve been living.’ And I’d think ‘look at everything they’ve been doing since school and all I have to show are scars on my arms and a medical folder that was about 10 inches!’ I would even feel ashamed that they were looking after me. Through recovery, though, I’ve learnt to acknowledge the achievements in my own life and to stop comparing it to others’. Everyone is different (or at least, they should be!) and one career path might suit that of another person. Someone might hate school and go straight into work after their exams. Others may study really hard and get into University and be there for four years! I think learning this has been especially hard for me because I had an offer from Newcastle University to study Law there after my A- Levels… And then all of a sudden, I was overdosing after a day of exams… and that changed everything.
So, it’s hard to get used to the notion of your future turning to a completely different direction whilst others continue their journey (mostly) according to plan. As though nothing has happened. Initially when I wrote this I was thinking about my friends from the same A Level classes as me and who were planning to go to University just like me; but when I think on it… Maybe I’m talking about the person who abused me too. I mean, he just keeps his job?! Continues life with his wife and children?! And earned a promotion??!!
I feel like I could say that I’ve overcome the news and my resulting/subsequent emotions. It took a few different things:
1. Talking to my Mum and fiancé; having them share my emotions (obviously not to the degree I experienced them!)
2. Doing all my feel-good activities – read my MoJo post to find out what this involves
3. Gave myself time to think about it properly and acknowledge that I needed to do so