The intention of this blog post is purely for myself. To release the issues I have held so closely and struggled with (mainly internally) for the past 17 years. My life as a sexual assault survivor.
I am going to speak about each of the times that I was sexually assaulted in detail. So then there is no more confusion in my mind and I am able to set myself free. This is exceptionally hard and confronting for me to write. And I am not expecting any comments on it. However I am strongly against any negative comments affecting my healing process. I have dealt with enough of that as you will see reading through the events and responses from people in my life at the time.
To be able to heal from this I will be going into detail about each experience. And this may be confronting for whoever chooses to read this blog. I presume that the readers will predominantly be those who have some kind of connection with the content. My experiences are those alone, and many people have had it much worse than me. And some may have had a much lighter experience than the ones I am going to list here. Those are your experiences and yours alone. There is no intention in this for anyone to measure their experiences against mine.
The first time.
The first time I was raped I was 15 years old. It was with someone I knew and trusted, my boyfriend. It was very shortly after we had become sexually active after being together for over a year. We were laying in bed one night and he asked me if we could have anal sex. I immediately said no, to which he responded why? I said that I didn’t want to. Unfortunately he held me and did it anyway.
I can’t explain to you what goes through a person’s mind when something like this happens. Especially as a child at 15 years of age. I think I personally was just shocked that someone I knew and cared about so deeply would do that. He had been such a kind person and always respected all of my decisions. I don’t know how long I was silent before screaming out in pain, which is when he finally stopped.
He immediately apologised and I yelled at him saying “I said no.” And his response was “yeah, but I just didn’t know.” He went to hug me and I pushed him away and said I didn’t want him to touch me. I was on the side of the bed that was next to the wall and felt completely trapped. I couldn’t get out without jumping over him and I was exceptionally scared. It was quite late at night and I had nowhere to go. So I think I lay awake staring at a bear skin he had hanging from his wall that appeared to be swaying.
The next morning I packed my bags and left telling him that it was over. I remember the act quite vividly, but the months following were a bit of a blur. I remember telling my older sister, who I believe told my mum and in turn my dad. It broke my heart speaking with my dad who I was living with at the time. He came coming into my room one day and asked if I wanted to talk about anything. I said I presumed he knew and he responded that my mum had told him. I just started crying and he asked how I was feeling. My response was that I didn’t want to wake up in the morning. I still have the scars on my legs, arms, and hands that remind me of this point in my life.
From there I turned into a completely different person. I started getting in a lot of fights at school because I had so much anger in me. Then I started hanging out with a guy who was on drugs and I knew he was bad news. I remember my ex-boyfriend approaching me telling me to stop what I was doing and get back with him. He was virtually begging me because he felt so bad about what had happened. I didn’t care what he had to say. I had found my escape in very unhealthy ways with the new guy I had in my life.
Not long after that I was asked to leave my high school because I had been getting into too many fights. I actively sought them out as I was full of rage and had to direct it somewhere. The school were unable to make excuses for me anymore even though they were aware of my situation.
I moved to a new school where I really struggled to make friends. I didn’t want to talk to anyone. And I didn’t want to get to know anyone because I had been hurt a lot. Not just by the ex but also by my friends at the time. I isolated myself as much as possible. Leaving school on every break to go and eat by myself so I didn’t need to be around anyone.
I had told my three best friends what had happened and they were quite supportive. But as soon as I left, two of those friends started hanging out with my ex quite frequently. That was like a knife through the heart. It tore me apart knowing that my best friends could stay friends with someone like him after they knew what he had done to me. Eventually I spoke to them about it and we were able to resolve things. They are still some of my closest friends today.
The second time.
The second time I was sexually assaulted I was 17. I had been able to make friends with two girls in the year level above me that went to the same high school that I moved to after my first. We did a lot of partying which I really enjoyed. It was my escape and I was able to remember what it was like to have fun again, with the help of party drugs.
Their birthdays were quite close together so they had a combined 18th birthday party. We went out clubbing in the city with a small group of 6 of us. We had a hotel room booked in the city and we were all really excited for a good night. I went out with one of their friends to get some drinks so we could pre-party a little before going out so it wasn’t so expensive. I had a fake ID which looked nothing like me. But being tall and quite well developed most people didn’t even check my ID.
We went to a bunch of places and the last place I remember was a place called Euro Trash. There was a person there that bought a drink for my friend and I. After a little while I went to the bathroom with my friend and said I didn’t feel great and she said neither did she. The next thing I know I was passed out on a table and was being kicked out of the club. The guy who I had gone shopping with drinks for earlier had said that he would take me back to the hotel. Then he would meet them back there so they could enjoy their night. Which is exactly what he did. I remember stumbling down the street holding onto his arm to keep me upright and getting into the hotel room, into my bed fully clothed and him leaving.
The next thing I remember is waking up to his head between my legs and him vigorously shoving his fingers inside me. I was completely frozen, I didn’t know what to do. I wasn’t able to move my arms or legs or speak at all in any way. After what felt like an eternity I got my voice back and said “Stop, what the fuck are you doing?” His response, “you asked me to.” I most certainly did not ask him to. I was completely passed out when he came back. Presumably I woke up when he started violently pushing his fingers into me.
I told him to get out and he went to another room. A few minutes later he came back to my room and asked if I minded if he slept in the same bed. I said, “considering what has just happened, yes. I do mind a lot”. Again I was scared. I was alone in a hotel room with this man who was convinced he had done nothing wrong. After he went back to his room I went out into the hallway and just started crying. Praying that my friends would come back soon and I would be safe. I was drunk and in the middle of the city. I had nowhere to go and no one to help me.
After about half an hour I went back to my bed and my friends came back. One of them were a couple and took one room. And the other two had started hooking up and asked me to leave the bed I was in. They asked me to get into the bed with the man who had just assaulted me. I absolutely refused and told my friend that I had to talk to her. She was uninterested in speaking to me because she was too preoccupied with the man she was with. So that night I spent in the same bed as these two people having sex. But it was still better than the alternative.
The next day we all got the train back to our hometown of Sunbury together. They were all asking me what was wrong but I had no interest in speaking to any of them. Especially when this man was sitting with us and they completely disregarded the fact that I was crying and something was clearly wrong the night before. We finally reached the station where my most recent ex-boyfriend (the one after the one that had raped me) was waiting at the station for me. I ran to him and burst into tears. The girl who I had slept in the same bed as came up and tried to hug me and asked me what was wrong. I told her to fuck off and left.
I had my friends that I had stayed with that night calling me. But I ignored their calls for a while before I finally answered a call from the one who had stayed in the other room. I explained to her what had happened and she didn’t believe me. She then proceeded to demand money from me for the hotel. When she came to collect it I handed it to her and didn’t respond when she attempted to talk to me.
The people that I was with that night testified against me in court. Saying that I was lying and that this had never happened. Even though they did confirm that this man had taken me back to the hotel room and went back to the club, then disappeared shortly after. This was a complete slap to the face knowing that no one believed me. I had never wanted to make a statement in the first place.
All I wanted was to just forget about it and move on but my sister and mum had insisted. I told my sister the day I came back home and she came to get me from my dad’s house. She found me in my room listening to The Used and just crying. She got me in the car and then told my dad what had happened. Then she took me to the hospital to start the process of making the statement. They took swabs and kept my underwear I had been wearing that night and again I had just been crying the whole time.
I didn’t think I had slept that night. But it became apparent that I did a few days later after I had made a police statement that I had realised was incorrect. I guess my dream had started how the assault had started. But had progressed much further than that with him raping me. This is the statement I gave and then corrected a few days later. Naturally, this led to the police not entirely sure whether to believe me or not. I explained the situation and what had actually happened and why I had thought that it was something else. But I guess to everyone else that had ruined my credibility.
When the results came back days later the results were that there was no semen inside me. Which by this point I already knew as I had realised the error that I had made. But that didn’t make what happened to me any less traumatic.
From there I started sleeping with the biggest wrench I could find next to my bed. It stayed with me for another 9 years after this incident. I struggled to get up to go to school and one of my teachers eventually approached me. She had known that I was also being bullied at school the previous year by older students. They weren’t happy that I was taking two classes that were a year above my level and she had helped me through that. I explained to her what had happened and she helped me adjust my timetable so I only had to come to school 3 days a week. I’d been missing a lot of school and was falling behind, which was going to be detrimental as I was in year 12.
This was manageable for a short time, but I was so severely depressed and struggled to get out of bed. I had started getting more heavily into drugs as my escape from reality, because I didn’t want to be in this world anymore. Having had two sexual assaults within two years was something that really messes with your head and perception of reality, especially as a child. Not to mention coming to the realisation that you can trust no one. Not boyfriends, friends or friends of friends.
It wasn’t long after the second assault that I returned to my first boyfriend. He had contacted me one day about something that he was struggling with. We spoke about what he had done to me, and he explained it to me as “monkey see, monkey do.” He had also been assaulted and I think for him what he had done to me was his way of regaining some kind of power in his life. I guess I understood this and proceeded to stay with him for another two years.
We were both heavily into drugs at that point and he was cheating on me constantly, but I didn’t care. I didn’t want to have sex and the drugs I was taking made me completely void of any and all emotion. When I wasn’t on them I was just full of rage. I was not a good person and I made some pretty big mistakes in my life at this point.
I turned into an absolute mess. Partying and taking all the drugs under the sun. I was a drug addict and addicted to the feeling of not feeling. I turned into a complete shell of the person I was and then used alcohol to bring back some wild personality that a lot of people seemed to strangely enjoy. But again, I was making terrible decisions when drunk and would often find people to sleep with just to prove to myself that I could do it.
I was unable to have sex sober for 3 years after the second incident. And for me, that was a very big deal. It was with a person that I was crazy about and treated me better than anyone else had before. It was strange having someone treat me well. I was used to abusive relationships as I felt that is what I deserved. The only thing I could fault about this man was that he was a heavy drinker, which has always been my main poison. I stayed with him for two years before coming to the realisation that I didn’t love him. Which was sad as I had been very much in love with him before.
After him, I had one boyfriend that I was with for a short 10 months who used me for money. I realised this after having been with him for only 10 months and he had borrowed a massive $13,000 from me. I tried to break it off with him numerous times. This man was a complete narcissist and was always able to convince me that I was overacting and that he loved me. As all I wanted was to know that I was loved, I stayed for much longer than I should. However finally managed to escape.
My life has been full of feelings of inadequacy and feeling unsafe. But in recent years I was able to turn that around and come to the understanding that not everyone is a horrible person. I am just prone to picking the wrong man or the wrong crowd to surround myself with.
The third time.
The third time was very recently, in November of 2019. I was volunteering at an eco-lodge in Sri Lanka and got along great with all the people that were working there. One of the lovely owners that knew I had a lot of issues with my back arranged for an ayurvedic doctor to come and see me. He asked me to send through the xrays, ct scans, MRI’s, and any other tests I had so that the doctor could assess me.
When the doctor arrived, two of the ladies that were working there who hardly spoke English took him to my room with me as he was going to give me a massage. I was a little confused by this but thought that he likely needs to feel the issues which was understandable. They told me to strip down to my underwear and made the comment “It’s fine, we trust him.” This was all with him in the room and he spoke not one word of English so they were translating what they could for him.
I got down to my underwear and laid on the bed and he lifted the back of my bra insinuating I had to take it off. Again this was understandable as it covers part of my back. He then did the same for my underwear and held up the oil. I was a little hesitant but did it anyway. He proceeded to massage me as I have had done many times before to help my back issues.
He started to go into the crease of my butt crack as he was going down the length of my body. I just brushed it off as an accident the first few times. Gradually he started getting deeper and I was quite confused. A million things were rushing through my mind. Was this supposed to happen? Is this how the massage is meant to be? I’m not a doctor, what would I know? Perhaps there are pain receptors or pressure points there? There had been an osteo who had done acupuncture on my butt and slightly on the inside of the cheek. So I guess this may be normal?
By the time he was so deep that he was touching my asshole and inside of my labia. I knew that it wasn’t right. But yet again, I was frozen. I was in a very vulnerable position. In a room with a man who would be easily able to overpower me. I just lay there thinking it will be over soon, it will be over soon. I am so incredibly angry at myself for not being able to speak up and tell him to stop touching me. But I presume that many sexual assault victims will know that you are not in a logical frame of mind when you are in the midst of the situation.
This was a man who was in a position of power who took advantage of a situation and exploited another human. One of the volunteers came down a little while later and I was just sitting outside trying to digest what had happened. When she asked if I was ok I broke into tears and explained what had happened. She told the owner, however I was unable to speak with him and told him that I would the next day. Again I cried a lot again that day and the following day and decided that I would be leaving there.
I told the owner the following day about everything. How it happened and my reaction to it. He was very nice about it, but I guess having not gone through anything like that himself he asked questions that I found confronting. Like “Do you think that your past might be making you overthink it?” and I said the only role my past plays in it is how angry I am at not having the strength to speak up.
He said that the doctor didn’t act like he had done anything wrong when he asked for payment, which I agreed with. I said that he was the same when he gave the massage. Which is again why I was so confused as he was doing it as if that is what he did every day. Perhaps it is, perhaps he exploits women like that every day. But I wasn’t meant to have a massage, I was meant to have a doctor’s consultation. Not once did he ask to see my test results. And I think that is when the penny dropped for the owner of the eco lodge. He knew this was true and said that he should not have physically touched me. He was also quite surprised to hear that I had even received a massage.
This incident was nowhere near as bad as my previous experiences and I was able to bounce back from it quite quickly. But it doesn’t mean that there aren’t going to be resulting issues that come along with it. Often many years later as I have found out.
I have many triggers that will send me into a downward spiral. I’ve struggled for what seems like my whole life with any kind of affection or attachment because I just believe these people are messing with me. Until the past 6 months, I have not been able to handle people touching me at all. Even in a friendly way. I do not respond well to people hitting on me or verbally sexually harassing me.
There was a moment just a month ago in Delhi where a man forced his way into my hotel room. He thought that I was a prostitute and was asking how much it was. Again, this sent me over the edge and I cried for hours. It brought back so many issues I have struggled to face for such a long time. I’m very lucky that I had a friend staying in the room with me or it could have potentially been a lot worse.
I have delayed PTSD, which prevents me from sleeping frequently. I think that something bad is going to happen every time I go to sleep. Noises will keep me up and send my mind spiralling thinking someone is in my room. This is 10 years on from the last time that I was violently assaulted. This has been an issue I have been facing for the last 5 years I guess. And something that I managed for a long time with alcohol abuse, just to be able to sleep.
Moving to India has helped a lot, but I still do face these issues. I often don’t feel safe, I struggle to trust people I am close with. However will very easily trust random people on the street on surface levels. I think that it has been so deeply engrained in me that you can’t trust those closest to you.
I want to change and I want to recover from this. And perhaps one day I will. One day I might find someone who I can trust and want to spend my time with. But it is going to be a long journey and one that I need to heal from myself, rather than trying to force love and affection when it doesn’t come naturally to me. I also really hope that I am never put in another situation like this again. But if I am, hopefully I have the strength to fight back.
I really am hoping by releasing this to the world, it will be taking a great weight off my shoulders. And hopefully I will be able to free myself from another demon that has had such a strong hold on me for the last 12 years of my life and played an important role in so many decisions I have made.
Well, I guess that’s all of it.