Anonymous Story: She’s Sleeping Soundly

Anonymous Story: She’s Sleeping Soundly

My memory is vague on the entire matter, but sometimes flashes of what happened make me wake up at night and I hate it because I know she’ll be sleeping soundly, not a care in the world and I can’t even blame her really.

If I’m entirely honest, it started on a field trip. We were friends, I suppose. I’ll refer to her as “friend” for convenience sake. I only ever had one friend before that, I was a bit of a loner, but I loathed, and still loathe, being alone. So I went everywhere with this friend and then she started telling me things like: “You’d be so sexy if you were a guy” and “If you take off those glasses you’d look stunning”. She proceeded to take my glasses and then kept making flirtatious comments to me. I didn’t know what she said, but I felt uncomfortable. Later on she started touching me, but simple things like touching my hand and holding on to it, and she’d stare at me. Whenever I took my hand back, she’d look sad or upset and I’d feel bad. She’d tell me things like: “We’re friends.” and “Don’t you love me anymore?”

My therapist told me that this is probably when my mind triggered a self-defense mechanism. It’s not uncommon for people with Borderline to trigger a psychotic episode or dissociate under stress. I didn’t like what she was doing, but I didn’t want to make her feel bad. I started feeling like I was someone else, someone that didn’t mind being touched as much. I would see this person in the mirror sometimes. A prettier, stronger and more confident version of myself. She even had her own name. My mistake was sharing my vision of the woman in the mirror and her name with my “friend”.

After that field trip is when things get hazy. I think the first time must have been at a sleep over at her place. All I can remember is that our other friend was sleeping soundly and she climbed out of her bed to lay on my matress with me. I remember being scared, She slid her fingers inside me and told me “Don’t wake up our friend”. After that, I must have blacked out. I thought that maybe it was a bad dream, that it didn’t happen. So I let it go for as much as I could.

Until at one point we were sitting in the hall in between classes and we were alone. She called me a different name, the name of the me in the mirror, and slid her hand down my back underneath my clothes. I was in complete shock at that point, couldn’t move, couldn’t speak. A teacher passed by and she pulled her hand away. The teacher hadn’t seen it but asked if I was okay, and my “friend” told her I was just tired. That’s when I realised I may not have been dreaming that time.

I tried to avoid her after that, but I kept getting that “Don’t you love me anymore?” crap thrown at me and I also got told that: “I’m your only friend, if you can’t trust me, you can’t trust anyone.” but most importantly “I can just tell everyone about your secret and they’ll think you’re crazy.”

Going by the things I do remember, I know that she must have done things on at least five more occasions. I also remember a time where I was sitting on top of her and I had my hands at her throat. I don’t know what I wanted to do, just hurt her or more, I just know I didn’t do it because I was scared and she took control again. She was taller than me and heavy too, I couldn’t move her for the life of me.

After what I think must have been a year, something happened and I managed to break away from her. I always thought that it was my fault. I had let it happen and maybe I even gave my consent without me knowing. I know now, thanks to my therapist, that she must have known I couldn’t give my consent under those conditions, but I also know that she will make a strong case if she denies knowing a thing or that it even ever happened.

After that, I’ve been unable to say ‘no’ and unable to realise what love was. Anyone who asked to date me would get a ‘yes’ as a reply, even if I knew I didn’t love them, just because I didn’t want to lose my friends.

I know that when I got together with someone afterwards, they wanted to sleep with me, and I remember I just let them do all they wanted because a part of me was afraid to lose someone that actually cared about me, and I was afraid I’d disappoint them, but the most prominent thought was: “What does it matter? You’ve been through this before. This is the only thing you’re good for.”

I met my “friend” one more time after all of this. Many years after it happened. She said ‘hi’, but I didn’t talk to her. She seemed uncomfortable, lonely and sad. I was honestly terrified, but I carried on, not giving her a moment of my time. I think that’s the first time I got to tell her ‘no’ in a way.

I never told anyone but my therapist the full story.

The reason I share this now is because I want people to know that if you don’t knowingly give your consent, you haven’t given your consent. That ‘yes’, if it was there to begin with, is a ‘no’. If something similar happened to you, find help. There are people that are good and can help you, people that will listen and understand. You are worth more than you think. You are worthy to be loved.

Lastly, I just want to get it out of my system, write it off and conclude it.

I may still wake up in the middle of the night, but I now have a loving partner that I can hold and who supports me, even though I didn’t tell them the full thing or who it was. I now have a partner that respects me and my boundaries. A partner I can say without I am in love with. My “friend” may be sleeping soundly, but I’m happily awake and alive.

Author

WYR

WYR

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

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