Friday, 19 August 2016

My Attacker Got Away With It [Contains details of sexual assault and mental illness]

Hey, Schneckens!
It feels like a lifetime since I felt the urge to write, but the truth is, my mood has fluctuated so much over the last year that sometimes I find myself going faster than my actual mind allows me or vice versa in the sense my mind races faster than my body can allow. I can't make promises that I will be consistent on here, it'll take a while to get into the swing of things and I essentially need to get the blog active again. I guess the lemons life gave me were more complicated than I first thought.

Yesterday, as many will know, was the A Level results day and many many students went into their schools to pick up their results. There was one person who shouldn't have though: my attacker.

Two years ago, whilst I was a 17/18 year old completing my last year in Sixth Form (remember those days?!) I grew close to a guy in the year below me. I knew he was trouble, but hey, I was young, naive and desperate for some sort of attention from a guy. Skip past the harassment when he guessed my breast size and discussed them graphically in front of his friends and mine; the crude and excessive, bordering obsessive, demands for sex and nude pictures, I found myself backed into a wall by the school toilets with him forcing his body weight onto mine, breathing heavily on my neck which he continued to touch, demanding I show him a naked picture of me. I tried to fight him off, but he was too strong. When my friend returned, he acted as if nothing happened and showed his attentions briefly to her. Later when he offered us a sip of his ice tea, he gave me a look of sanctification and smugness because he had got what he wanted and he knew he could get more from me. Me. I shook, anxious and nauseous. If I didn't already feel depressed with the prospect of starting university, now knowing that I had to continue to keep him interested or be "alone" made the depression darker and my heart was now a black hole - it took in everything, but I couldn't feel or give anything back.

Fast forward back to this year, but in May. As part of my degree, I needed to complete a work placement. The whole thing was very rushed to put into action as myself and personal tutor agreed that with the third year just around the corner, in order to reduce the stress I will face next year, we need to put in practice ways we can prevent another psychotic episode that I had earlier in February this year. We talked about it and decided that if I completed the actual placement section in the summer, that is one thing we can check off now and one less thing to stress about. So when May came, I was all set to return to the school and do 100 hours with the drama and SEN department. It was an amazing experiencing for me getting to learn from the teachers who had inspired me to go into Drama and gave me a passion for the idea of teaching the subject. I worked well with the students, ensuring they produced work they were happy and proud with, as well as encouraging students to take risks and enjoy the devising process of drama. Likewise, the chance to work with the SEN department, the team who assists students who require special educational needs or support, was groundbreaking and I found myself determined to find new ways I can use drama to assist young people, whether academically or emotionally.

But of course, he was still a student due to failing year 12 the first time round and this year was his final year and chance to get his A Levels and go to university. This was part of the placement I was never going to be prepared for and many of my friends and health care team were against due to the effects seeing him might do. In February, during my psychotic episode, I believed he was the devil and was out to hurt me, so understandably a lot of people were worried about what might happen. They were right to be worried as I spent the majority of my days on edge, paranoid, anxious every time I walked down the corridors and crossed sites. When the bell went at break times, I froze in the staff room, too afraid to leave just in case. Three days into my placement and it happened - I saw him, crossing the site, with his friends. My response was drastic - run across the road, not caring if a car would race past and knock me over. I needed to escape. I didn't though, mainly because it's a tight road and cars were blocking any chance of escape as he got closer and closer like a predator in the wild. I held my breath and walked past him, none of us looking each other in the eye. The damage was small, just anxious and shaky, but the paranoia worsened and I found myself on edge even more now that it had happened. Fortunately I didn't see him again for another week but that was the moment I knew I was still very, very unwell. When I left the staff room, there he was, and he looked in each other's eyes and I completely panicked. I couldn't breathe and my body was shaking uncontrollably.  My mind was racing and his eyes wouldn't leave my thoughts. I begun experiencing psychotic symptoms again,
...he was the devil, not wait, Rasputin, he was evil I knew that, I am Jesus, I can save him - the bible, yes, the bible, grab it, grab it now, what does it say..... he knows. I know. I am evil, his evil is in me, I gave into temptation.

I saw evil in his eyes and once I calmed down, if you can even call it that, I paused the placement until he was finished with his exams knowing I just couldn't do it anymore. The break wasn't easy though, still experiencing symptoms of psychosis, I would think he was in the house, at one point, whilst cleaning, I jumped out of my skin because I thought she was him. I knew I couldn't cope anymore, but that placement had to be completed quickly.

I returned early July, still paranoid and one edge. I remember my first day back not blinking a lot, just waiting for him to appear even though he most likely wouldn't. As the day progressed, a lifeline came my way. One of the sixth form leaders, whilst in the staff room, asked if I was okay and I stared outside looking for him as she continued to ask, each time more worried. I confessed. She took me into her office and I told her everything, what he did to me, my friend, the other girls - basically everything I knew about him that people would tell me (lord, why would people keep telling me things about him?!) Everything over time had erupted and I couldn't hold it in anymore, out of desperateness I confided in the teacher in the place it happened, two years later, just so I can be free. I had to tell the school counsellor the next day and all my options were laid on the table and I was a depressed, suicidal wreck after baring everything and losing my friend in the process (we are no longer friends, or at least close friends, after my decision to mention briefly her incident, didn't mention her name or any details, just that he did things like this more than once, but it wasn't enough for my friend and she lost her trust in me, which I guess is fair. I just couldn't hold everything in anymore) Eventually I completed the placement and I left the school without saying goodbye to anyone - cold, I know, but I was so suicidal and had made an actual attempt the day before, that I didn't want it to be a legitimate goodbye to 'Zoella'.

So yesterday was results day and before I left the school, they had told me he would be banned for life from ever entering the premises again. They lied, or at least, changed their minds. He walked onto the school grounds yesterday, picked up his results, got into university, all as a free man. I wasn't there, but I played every possible scenario in my head of how the day would pan out. They didn't tell me the ban would not happen until I emailed them the day before the results, they stated that a reason would have to be given and they thought it would be best for me to just supervise him closesly (like they did at his prom after I had told them about the assault) They said it was best for me because he might get into contact over the allegations or his peers, or something like that. I stopped reading it properly when it said he would be able to collect them and he wouldn't be banned. They could've just given the reason that many people have made allegations or many are uncomfortable with him on the premises, but alas, they didn't.

He walked on and off the premises a free man, with a ticket to university and a bright future in what I can imagine is engineering, whilst I took an extra antidepressant to sedate me so I would feel completely high and numb.

My attacker, my abuser, the man I once loved and called friend got away with it. Where is the justice?

Toodles :)