Anonymous Story: Confrontations of a retired teenager -Things to read and learn from

Anonymous Story: Confrontations of a retired teenager -Things to read and learn from

A few days ago I was watching this video where Cara Delevingne spoke about depression and she read out this beautiful poem she wrote and it really resonated with me. I have been reading a lot of articles on anxiety, depression, PTSD and how less people know about it, how each of these conditions are very misunderstood at times.

I have also been reading a lot about the #metoo movement, watching interviews and reading about the women who were sexually harassed and were brave enough to come forward with their stories, because it isn’t easy.

It isn’t easy to talk about sexual assault. It isn’t easy to talk about abuse. I know that, because I have been there. And honestly, I have come across so many women in my life who have gone through this. This has been going on for decades.

Women spend their entire lives listening to cat calls, inappropriate physical contact in public, and this is the least of what they have to face at times. Sadly, you will hear women say they are “used to” this. We wish we could do something about it, we’ve tried.

So why don’t the victims speak up? This question might have bothered you. I cannot speak for anyone else here, because everyone has their own story, but I can say why I didn’t speak up right away.

When I was in a position where I was catcalled or inappropriately touched in public, I chose to ignore it. I did feel like fighting back, demanding the respect that I deserved. I chose to ignore that because I was “used to it”. Over the years, I have come to realize that I shouldn’t be used to such behavior.

However, this post isn’t about catcalling. This is about two events that have had horrible impacts on my life. These events have made me realize why we should speak up when catcalled across the street, which we could have easily ignored and forgotten, like I used to before. Behavior such as this leads the person to believe they have a power to do anything without any consequences.

I apologize for the haphazard way this has been written, because it’s a basically a stream of thoughts, and as I carry on writing and sharing those two events which have haunted me for years, I am going to relive those moments. I have been planning to write about this and tell my story for maybe over six months now, but I did not have the courage to do the same. I still don’t. But now or never.

Both these events involved people I knew, and trusted, to an extent. I have never been a person who could completely trust someone. Hence, there are very few people in my life who I can count upon, the count doesn’t go above 5.

I was in eight grade. I had been going to school in same car with a bunch of other girls from my school from sixth grade to ninth grade. So I was well acquainted with the driver of the car. We addressed him as “elder brother”. He’d joke around with us, we’d play our favorite songs on our way to school and it was all great. In eight grade, I started sitting on the front seat along with another girl, while the juniors occupied the backseats. One day on the way to school, I felt the driver running his hands over my knees while he was shifting gears. I was uncomfortable and I looked at the other girl to see if she had noticed anything, but she hadn’t. I froze. I didn’t know what to do. Fourteen year old me convinced herself that it was an accident and he didn’t mean to do it. However, this kept happening almost everyday, and everyday his hand would move further up my skirt while he was shifting gears. I tried changing seats after that, but he wouldn’t let me, and I was not comfortable enough to tell anyone why I wanted to change seats. I couldn’t tell my parents because at that point of time, I wasn’t on good terms with them as well, and I could never share anything with them. I have moved from school to school all my life due to my dad’s transferable job, and therefore, I never had a “best friend” I could confide in and I never really forged long lasting friendships with anyone. I have been suffering from anxiety disorder from quiet a long time, my first memory of an anxiety attack is probably when I was five or six. So this made things worse for me. Everyday, I tried convincing one or the girl to sit in front, but that never panned out. A week or two later, on the way to school, I was lucky enough to sit out of the driver’s reach because the other girl hadn’t come. So while he was driving, he looked at me and quietly said, “Now that my wife has a kid and it all fat, I guess it’s time to get a kid out of you”. And that was the most horrifying thing  I had ever heard anyone tell me. As I mentioned, I couldn’t confide in anyone, so I tried writing, I tried crying and screaming into my pillow at night to release the anger and pain. But nothing helped. And I fell into this extreme phase of depression, I stopped interacting with everyone, like someone had sucked the soul out of me. And to top this all, my parents constantly pressurized me to excel in academics, and even a slight drop in grades would trigger them to discuss about changing my school. It was a horrible time. Anyway, this isn’t about parental pressure. Bottom-line, I was assaulted, I couldn’t tell anyone and I was suicidal. I had to face the driver’s wide, horrific smile everyday because he was an unapologetic piece of shit.

So I got out of that school after tenth grade and moved to another place. Those memories still haunted me, but I told myself that he couldn’t reach me here, it was not going to happen again.

Cut to second year of undergrad, when I was 19. I had been dating this batch-mate for about a year then. I trusted him, I shared a few incidents of my life with him. And as time went by, I told him more of my secrets, stuff I had gone through, which included the aforementioned assault. So this guy says “I’ll make sure nothing like ever happens to you ever again”. I felt safe, I felt like I could finally confide in someone. A few weeks later, this guy started pressuring me to read up on sodomy, and when I say pressure, I mean it. I made it very clear that I was not interested. So he started pressuring me even more, to the point that I started getting scared of him. I previously mentioned that this is now or never, so I am not really going to censor anything. He shoved up metal rods up his butt and kept asking me to do the same. He was a freak. I wanted to get out of the relationship but somehow, I stayed, because I thought I could help him. Little did I know what damage it would to me. So one day in the second year of college, we were going back home for the weekend. And I never saw this coming, but throughout the journey, he tried forcing himself upon me, no matter how many times I protested, he kept forcing to the point that I was nauseous. And I was scared out of my mind and I wanted the journey to end. I go home once a month, and I definitely didn’t want my parents to see their daughter all sad and depressed, and I couldn’t share what happened with them. I return to college after that, and avoided seeing him, I didn’t know what to do. Part of me wanted to file a report against him or tell somebody what happened and seeking help, and part of me was too scared to do anything and forget about it. The person who promised to save you from sexual assault ends up forcing himself on you, and that’s not the end of it, he blamed me for his action. And to this date, I don’t understand how that is logical. He was emotionally abusive as well, and I was going crazier by the day, while having to maintain the perfect, cheerful exterior. Anyway, I felt trapped. I kept making excuses not to meet him, especially at night. I wanted to get out of the relationship and almost did, but the same thing happened. I thought I could save the guy from himself. I was too scared to share the incident with my closest friend at college as well. I cried myself to sleep from the fear and shame and anger till I was feverish and sick. And then came the second bout of extreme depression. One day, I couldn’t take it anymore and I decided I had to push this physically and emotionally abusive,horrifying,cross-dressing monster away from my life. Five minutes after I dumped him, he asked me if he could “fool around” with me just as friends. That is how unapologetic he was. And rather idiotic I’d say. But I had to spend two more years in the same campus with my assaulter. I avoided running into the freak as much as I could. However, there were times I would wake up in the morning and I would be scared to even step out of my room, because I was scared of being raped by that monster. Not only were two years of college ruined by that monster, but it left a scar on me, which isn’t gonna go away until I leave college or even after that maybe. I go to doctors, I take anti-depressants and anti-anxiety mediation to deal with all of this.

I am 22 now, and I have had some time to think about all of it and I wish I went to the authorities when it happened. I kept shut because I was scared and I did not know what the consequences would be. I was also scared of how I would be perceived among my peers.

The worst part about this whole thing is that these people weren’t strangers. And this makes it harder to trust people.

Writing about this gave me chills.

I know there are so many women out there with similar or worse experiences than mine. The aim of this article was not only to take this immense load off my chest, but to say that, it is so important to speak up, because in the long run, it is going to save you. Speak up against all those morons who think it’s okay to treat others like objects, to be unapologetic.

I eventually opened up to two of my closest friends from college about what happened and they helped me a lot. I wish I had the courage to share what happened with them earlier.

Speak up! Fight back!

I will too from now on.

P.S. : Feel free to share your story. DM me at https://www.instagram.com/shramanapatra/ and https://twitter.com/ShramanaPatra

The link to my original blogpost is : https://reverieofthetransient.wordpress.com/2018/02/13/confrontations-of-a-retired-teenager-things-to-read-and-learn-from/

Author

WYR

WYR

When You're Ready.org is a community for survivors of sexual violence to share their stories.

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