Nightmare Realities

The illness crept up on me full force when I was reminded over an awful night that happened almost a year ago…wow, it’s almost a year ago now…one year…12 months…52 weeks…365 days ago.

Can I even call it an anniversary? Surely that day doesn’t deserve to have an anniversary? Nevertheless, the date is fast approaching and I can feel the pitch black darkness of that day catching up with me.

I’ve been running through mud trying to escape it and now I’m stuck. I’m stuck in the illness that’s got so much worse when the memories were triggered. When the pain came back. When the fear infested me all over again. When the nightmares became more frequent and more intense than ever before.

It’s like I can’t breathe. He’s there on top of me and I can’t move. I’m weak and I can’t get him off. My chest tightens and I can’t breathe. Can’t breathe, can’t move and it’s all because I’m weak. I was too weak to stop it then and I’m even weaker that I’m letting it affect me now.

That’s what the voice tells me. It was all my fault and I could have stopped it and if I had stopped it I wouldn’t be having the problems now. I wouldn’t be bouncing from restriction to purging like the broken boomerang I am. I let myself be in that position when I was vulnerable. I could have stopped it. I could have prevented it.

But no.

Because I was weak.

Because I am weak.

He’s there. His hands, his body, everything and I can’t get him off me. I can’t move, can’t breathe…I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe. I just want him off me. I can’t breathe. Just get off me. Please stop. I can’t breathe. I’m dreaming. I need to wake up but I can’t wake up. It’s not happening again. It’s a dream. But it’s happening and I can’t move. I can’t breathe.

Can’t move.
Can’t breathe.

Eventually I do breathe but it’s a scream that escapes my mouth.

I wake up crying and shaking. I’m covered in sweat and my heart is beating so fast I feel like it’s going to burst out my chest. The fear sets off my epilepsy and I’m sat having seizures in bed. Crying. Shaking. Sweating. Fitting.

I smashed a bowl that was by my bed one of the last times. I actually reached out from one side of the bed and smashed it on the wall in my sleep because I was that convinced the dream was real.

Each time it happens I’m feeling weaker and weaker. There’s nights I’m scared to fall asleep and I feel so weak.

I. Feel. So. Weak.

I. Feel. So. Out. Of. Control.

I should have been in control of that situation, it’s my fault I was there. I should have known better. I should have been strong enough to stop it and I wasn’t. I let myself down. I wasn’t in control and I was so damn weak.

Fucking stupid girl.

I know my ED is based on control and feeling weak…maybe there’s a bigger link between my recent relapse and that upcoming anniversary I can’t avoid.

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Infamous Same-Names

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What’s in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet definition. (William Shakespeare – Romeo and Juliet)

An association with something, anything, can lead us down very different paths depending on whether the association is positive or negative. Unfortunately I have, due to more-than-unfortunate-circumstances, developed a negative association with a name…

[Insert name here because after all this time I still try to protect others in my posts]

Whilst we can’t taint the same group of people with the same negative associations I have noticed I do just that but, arguably, the more-than-unfortunate-circumstances that led to such an association are more-than-understandable.

I went to senior school with a guy called Name Number One. He came to stay at my flat one week four years ago….I had to force him to leave. I had swimmers come home with me from training to try ensure the situation went as smoothly as it could go but it didn’t go very smoothly at all

I asked him to leave because it was the second time he had visited and ‘tried it on’. It was the second time he had made me incredibly uncomfortable in my own home. In fact, far more uncomfortable this time round because it was far more intense this second time round. Far more nerve-racking, far more scary…

It could have been scarier. It could have been worse.

But that’s not the point.

A Same-Name-As-Name-Number-One came into my life around a year ago. He kissed me whilst I had a boyfriend, a boyfriend he knew about. He knew and still went for it…I did fuck up too in that situation, I text him the next day to clarify a few things and him kissing me ultimately led to me realising how unhappy I was but that situation with my ex-boyfriend was also very unfortunate at the time and that’s not the point of this post.

Following the break up there was one person texting me. Following the break up I was stupidly convinced he was devastated that I was a mess due to his actions and, wait no, I wasn’t stupid, I was lied to. I was all over and I went to someone for support that I shouldn’t have gone to. I know that. But I also know that does not mean what happened to me that night was my fault.

I know that now.

It wasn’t my fault.

Looking back I can see the guy who kissed me whilst knowing I had a boyfriend and then hung around, trying to stay in touch, acting sympathetic, saying he simply cared about me,  trying to see me post-break-up…I can see now that I was so completely broken that I could not see his actual intentions. I can see now that I was so vulnerable and someone was actually taking advantage of that.

I can see now that I did put myself in a dangerous situation but that does not mean what happened to me that night was my fault.

It wasn’t my fault.

I keep telling myself that but I don’t know when I’m truly going to believe it. I never did anything about it. I didn’t see the point and I actually still don’t. I want to tell someone new about it but I still don’t want to do anything about it. I know I should, I know we need victims of abuse to speak up and whilst I want to, I also don’t want to take it further (in a legal sense).

I saw ‘Name Number One’ on Friday and I most definitely didn’t expect to. It was at a school-dinner-reunion-thing where people from all ages and year groups came to send off our most recent headmaster who was retiring. I froze when I saw him but not as badly as I did that time I saw him in the street and had a mini-panic attack in an alleyway as a result. I froze for a minute or two and then found a different group of people to go and talk to.

So what is in a infamous same-name?

I’ve noticed I avoid Same-Names-As-Name-Numbers-One-And-Two at all costs from a dating perspective; I can tell you all that I have genuinely swiped left on tinder on pretty much every Same-Name I come across or avoided Same-Names that I meet and God, does that sound silly to type and read out loud! However, Same-Names I come across from a more neutral, maybe work-based, perspective I don’t seem to judge in the same way.

I think I just know I’ll never be romantically involved with a Same-Name and I think that’s understandable. You don’t think all fruits are going to be sour simply because the lemon is but I don’t think I could ever trust or fall for a Same-Name and, to be honest, that’s okay.

However, hating on a certain name just gives them fame and I realised on Friday night that a lot of the fear has gone. I obviously hate what one Same-Name tried to do to me and what one Same-Name did do to me but there is far less fear and whilst I was shaken for a few minutes – I know I always will be – I realised how much stronger a woman I have become.

Still Standing. Always Smiling. And didn’t I smile all night that evening…

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#NotAllMen but #YesAllWomen

He was clearly making advances. It was clearly indicated that this was headed to the bedroom but I knew I didn’t want to do anything. He told me he didn’t have a condom and suddenly relief poured all over me. If he didn’t have a condom then I could use that as an excuse to not have sex.

How sad is it, that I felt I needed an ‘excuse’ to refuse sex? That I couldn’t simply say no and expect him to stop what he was doing? That my first option was to find an excuse rather than saying no and risk being forced.

No means no.

That didn’t stop him though.

Both the excuse and me saying no didn’t stop him a few hours later.

Apparently no didn’t mean that no that day. Not to him anyway.

The mass molestation in India with the corresponding hashtags: #NotAllMen and #YesAllWomen on Twitter got me thinking about this. I appreciate #NotAllMen are rapists. #NotAllMen take advantage of women. #NotAllMen play with women and hurt them. But #YesAllWomen have experienced this or will experience this.

I have been forced to have sex when I was in a relationship. I have been sexually harassed by a friend. I have been taken advantage of when I was vulnerable. I was spiked not too long ago. I have been sexually assaulted. And yet, I am the one who feels dirty and ashamed of this.

Why? Because we teach women to feel this way. We teach women how not to get raped rather than teaching men that pressuring advances are wrong. And we are told that we simply shouldn’t have put ourselves in such situations. That if we find ourselves in those situations then we’ve probably done something wrong somewhere along the lines.

Society has told us that it’s our fault.

Not all men do these abhorrent acts and some men are, indeed, victims. However, all women do lead lives fearing that, one day, we might get raped. One day we might get assaulted. One day we might get physically or mentally abused.

The friend who sexually harassed me couldn’t understand why I felt scared in my house with him there. He thought he was having fun. The ex-boyfriend couldn’t understand that me having sex because I gave in to him pestering me was wrong. The guy who sexually assaulted me genuinely has no idea that he did, he thinks he did nothing wrong. That I wanted it.

But I didn’t want it. I said no.

#NotAllMen don’t understand the word ‘no’. But #YesAllWomen understand and fear the consequences of saying ‘no’ to men in this 21st yet still very backwards century.

I’m still standing though. We all are.

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I Was Spiked Last Night

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Well, there’s an attention-grabbing title.

Nothing  else can sum up the thoughts spinning in my head right now about my world that was literally spinning last night.

I went to a house party with my housemate, Tom and it was perfectly normal but true to party style it got hectic. I’d had a tough day yesterday and knew I didn’t want to get too drunk in those circumstances so I was good with my alcohol. I just drank my wine and had loads of fun with Tom’s friends.

No problems there.

I went to get a soft drink when I finished my wine. I remember walking up to a table and saw a bottle of lemonade and asked this guy stood there if he could pass it to me. He made some joke about wanting something in return to which I actually clearly remember saying, ‘I’m not looking for anything, just looking for a mixer’. He laughed and took my glass and proceeded to fill it for me.

It’s a strange feeling to remember this small conversation but I cannot for the life of me remember his face. I even remember he kept hovering around and I kept catching him looking at me. The problem was, I thought nothing of it, I knew me and Tom would be leaving shortly and I just sat and drank my ‘lemonade’.

But the room started spinning and my speech became incredibly slurred. My instinct when my speech slurs is that I might be about to have an epileptic fit so my reaction was to find Tom. I stood up and fell over almost immediately and I think it was the lemonade guy who caught me. I broke free and luckily bumped into Tom who was coming into the room.

When I spoke to him this morning he told me that, I said ‘something’s wrong, take me home’ and that he has never seen anyone look the way I looked last night. I’m so glad I found him in time. The drugs were only just starting to kick in and I don’t even want to think of what would have happened had I not found Tom and passed out somewhere.

I remember little bits of the journey home. I remember Tom carrying me at stages and I remember throwing up badly at the tube station. I remember that I couldn’t stand let alone walk and I kept passing in and out of consciousness. Tom pretty much carried me to my room and got me into bed.

I’m unbelievably grateful to have him in my life ❤

The whole situation has kinda shook me a little bit. I’ve been…you know…still can’t find the strength to say the word but the thought that the night could have ended so much more worse than me vomiting at a tube station scares me.

It got me thinking bout how I victim blamed myself in that situation and even last night. That it was my fault. That I put myself in that situation. I let that guy pour me wine and I let someone give me ‘lemonade’ last night. That it was my fault, that I could have prevented it but didn’t because I’m an idiot. Because I’m a stupid girl who should have known better.

Why do we try to teach girls how to not get raped rather than teach people not to rape?

But somehow I still feel like its all my fault.

That I asked for it.

I won’t know who spiked me. I won’t know if they’ve spiked someone before or if they’ll do it again. The thought of what could have been scares me but my housemates truly looked after me today. We spoke about it a lot and that’s definitely helped me come to terms with the event. I suppose I can only try to learn from the situation which would be to always pour my own drinks. But even then, should I have even considered this person was going to slip me something?

To think someone could happily drug someone, treat them as a piece of meat and sleep with them passed out is such a horrible thought. That would have made me feel ten times worse than after that guy…

I try to pretend it didn’t happen.

The nightmares from that night only stopped about 2 months ago.

Can only try to move on from last night.

Just be grateful it wasn’t worse.

Be grateful for Tom’s quick thinking and his actions.

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