Anonymous Story: Me Too

Anonymous Story: Me Too

For the 6 months leading upto my 30th birthday I reflected back on what I felt I had achieved; very little
I felt due to bouts of anxiety and low self-esteem through my adult life. So when I got in touch with an old school/college
friend it was with the aim to be a little braver, to take a leap of faith and feel a bit free.

The reason I decided to contact him was I wanted advice on wild swimming, swimming had become a passion
of mine but swimming lengths at my local gym was feeling mundane and I loved the idea of free water swimming in a lake or the sea. In our later school and into our college years I remembered how my friends his dad owned a cottage on the coast and he would spend bank holidays and summers surfing and swimming with friends and getting told off by his dad for having parties.
I wondered if he still swam and if he could give me any guidance on it. We chatted about old times
over messenger and he told me he still went back there but didn’t swim as much. When he offered for me to go with him
the following weekend. I threw caution to the window and thought why not.

We met for dinner and he was definitely different to how I remembered, more mature as you would expect, with a child of his own and an interesting-seeming career. I didn’t see much of a glimmer of the old him but he seemed a
decent enough person.

On the drive there I tried to my ease my nerves (I’m really not the adventurous or spontaneous type)
by getting to know him more, finding out his views on things. I quickly learnt theyvery much differed to my
own but not to worry I thought as I like to think I’m laid back enough to accept how people can come to different
conclusions to my own But then it crossed over to taking about feminists whom he talk about with
almost venon all while having bursts of road rage. It didn’t feel like it was going well but I persevered
and was still felt excited to see the sea and the cottage.

The cottage while dated was homely and comforting and the surrounding views were breathtaking.
Breathing in the sea air I was glad I had decided to step outside of my comfort zone. Over the course of the weekend
while not enjoying his manner or lack of converastion, he simply didn’t seem a happy person, I made the most
of swimming in the sea, the beach and the countryside. I remember feeling beyond proud that I had overcome a slight fear of swimming in deep water and against a current which for some reason now never fails to make me tear up as I think of it, now tainted with the thought that I didn’t know what was to come.

The 2nd night he suggested we drink, this was something he has mentioned when I agree to go away
with him and while I drink I was unsure about being around someone I hadn’t seen for such a long time while both I or they were drunk. But peer pressure and the taste of my favourite drink got the better of me – although I have stopped blaming myself. While we played cards I got steadily drunk with subtle encouragement from him topping up my drink.

Once I realised I had gone past my own comfortable limit I decided to go and stand outside in the garden in the dark.
I sought out phone signal at the farthest part of the garden, where I text a close friend telling him
I was drunk. I guess looking back I wanted to feel safe, he was my safe person, and knew things weren’t going the way I felt in control of or comfortable with. Within minutes my old school friend (I use that term loosely now) was outside calling me back for another drink he had poured as he set up an outside woodburning chimney. I quickly told my friend about this by text and that I had to go. He advised me to refuse the drink and to go to bed, we have since spoke and he told me he sensed it wasn’t right
and wish he could have done more…. I told him I don’t think anything would have changed it. In my drunken
state I felt one more drink would be fine and then back inside to bed. I rejoined him with a fire going, me drinking my overly strong drink and him a bottle of beer and seeming alot less drunk than I was, I decided to lay down due to the plastic
chair I was sitting on being unstable and making me feel like it would tip me over. I lay down on the ground looking up at the trees and forgot about my drink. I felt drunk and dizzy but calm. That was
until he joined me within what felt like seconds, laying next to me instantly leaning over and kissing me. Reactions made me shut my eyes hard while pulling away from him tell him no. I instantly felt my head spinning as I was beyond shocked
as he had shown no interest in me and I didn’t see it coming. He awfully tried again, pushing his weight onto
me which felt like he was crushing my chest and airway – it felt awful. I moved my head to the side and what felt like
a pitiful attempt I told him to stop. With his face so close to mine and out of focus I looked up at the trees and
and wished for my dizziness to stop so that I could somehow stand up. Within seconds he was over me breathing heavy and pressing one of his hands into my stomach with his entire weight on it to steady himself as he used the other to push apart my thighs and pull down my underwear. I froze feeling the pressure and pain from his hand on my belly and his fingers digging into my legs…. instantly I realised it was more than a drunken attempt at kissing me and wanting
to scream and cry out “no” over and over in my loudest voice I did nothing. I remember looking up at the moving tree branches
and wished I wasn’t me. I wished for the dizziness to stop and I wished I wasn’t so drunk. My thoughts became
on loop, I couldn’t stop them or think of anything else. As a numb kind of pain seared through me
that started to distract from my thoughts of being dizzy I started to feel scared that I was outside in the dark
and at the moment I felt like I was nothing. It still remains the worst feeling I’ve ever had in my life. Thankfully
I snapped back into my loop of regretful drunk thoughts and I lost track of time, feeling sick, dizzy and almost outside of myself. I then snapped when his face was back over me blocking my view of the trees that felt scary but somehow were my focus. He was stood over me tellign me I couldn’t sleep outside because it got too cold. I think he must have repeated it a few times
as he was asking me if I was listening it and his voice was loud, I could smell the ash from the fire on him and the beer on
his breath and I felt like I needed to be very sick.

Once in the semi-safety of my bedroom I put a chair under the door handle and sitting by the toilet I was sick for
what felt like hours until I felt hollow and my own physical tiredness had overpowered my anxiety
that had kicked in.

As soon as I felt it was acceptable to and when I heard him moving about I got the courage to ask if he could drive me home because I wasn’t feeling well. He agreed saying that I had drank a lot the previous night and offered me orange juice. I just wanted to so badly be in my own bed and to see my dog. On the drive back he tried to talk to me
more than he’d done the entire two days, making small talk that was forced and awkard. Due to my anxiety my main focus
was to not be sick on myself and I remember asking him to put the radio on. Even the radio made me feel sick but
I couldn’t deal with having to speak. The entire near 2 hour journey felt painstakingly slow and in a strange way my own need to supress the physical symptoms of my anxiety stopped me from completely breaking down.

It’s now nearly two months on and I’ve just started therapy. My therapist suspects PTSD or acute stress disorder and while I
want to deny/resist a diagnosis I know my life really has been turned upside down since that night. Thankfully I’m self employed but with a mind full of anxious and triggering thoughts I haven’t been able to think about work, which alone has caused a huge sense of worry as I never in my life felt I needed savings for a ‘rainy day’ albiet a f*cking storm. As an anxious person before, anxiety is now very much in my life again, along with self-harm when my thoughts get really bad.

I still cannot shake the feeling of feeling worthless and like I’ve somehow gone from what I thought was a kind person
to someone I and others don’t want to be around. This is something I hope to work on with my therapist as being kind and feeling kind to others brought me a lot of happiest and joy.

While I realise I have a long way to go, better days keep appearing due to the help and support of my boyfriend (I met him surprisingly quite soon after it happened) and I try my best to cherish them moments/days and remind myself they are signs that I will regain the person I use to be.

I will NOT be a victim.



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