So April/May 2016, thanks to a newspaper article I get back in touch with an old friend. He asks me if I’m happy in the relationship I am currently in with my partner, I admit to him I’m not and I want out. Two months after this my partner goes on holiday to Florida with some friends, when he’s there he sleeps with other women and continues things once he’s back from his holiday. I find out, break up with him and move out. We had a dog and a cat together so we agree to take it in turns looking after them and have a plan in place as to who looks after them when. Things remain amicable but at the same time he starts bombarding me with a good few messages a day, then messages become phone calls, phone calls become visits to my new house. I tell him to stop and he does, for a short while. During our relationship, it was normal for him to lash out and lose his temper and project that anger to me, he also got jealous of me even having male friends.
With all this going on I go out with friends one night and attempt to flirt with this guy on twitter I talk to every now and again, who quite frankly I find cute as anything. We actually swap numbers and talk pretty much every day. We started out flirty then we both cooled as upon reflection neither of us are ready for anything, we actually built up quite a good friendship (I think anyway) quite quickly. Then because life got in the way we stopped talking and that was that. I did get a little down about it and my ex-partner picked up on it, and tried to find out information about who this guy was etc, at first it came over as concern as I was a little hurt by it all, then after a while I asked him to stop as it wasn’t fair on my friend.
A month or so later I am at his on pet swap day he has a housing problem (he still lives in the flat we shared) and is blaming me queue argument, I get a work phone call (I have two phones) so leave the room to take the call. When I return I see my ex-partner reading my messages on my phone, I can see that they’re the messages to the new friend. I say nothing as tensions are already high but take my phone and leave quickly.
Half an hour later I get a message from my friend saying that my ex-partner has messaged him with a message of ‘thanks for fucking everything up’, I obviously panic as I have no idea what’s going on, but I assure my friend it’s nothing for him to worry about, normal behaviour from him when it comes to anger etc. My friend assures me that he’s not going to do anything as he doesn’t want to cause problems for me and he worries as to what my ex-partner will do to me. I tell him I’m fine (thinking I am) and that it’s nothing to worry about. I think nothing more of it just thinking its my ex-partner losing his temper like he used to with me. It’s clear he read the messages between my friend and myself and is now trying to be an alpha male type figure towards my friend. I am however touched and humbled by the way it was handled by my friend and simply amazed by even though his privacy was invaded that all he cared about at that time was me.
Later that night my ex-partner visits my house as I left something of the dogs with me and he needed it. I’ve only just got in from a work meeting so still dressed in my usual office uniform of dress and tights. I go to my bedroom to get it and my partner follows me into the room. As I reach over the bed he goes in for a kiss, I tell him no, and he refuses to stop. His hand goes up my dress and he gropes me pushing my knickers aside. His fingers enter me. I tell him to stop and try to push his hand away. The next thing I remember is me being on my bed with him on top of me. I shout at him to stop but he doesn’t. I do the only thing I can do, and just try to use my body to get him to stop. He doesn’t. Once he’s done he gets up, says no one will ever treat you like I do, not even ‘x’ (the new friend) and leaves like nothing’s ever happened.
I am in a daze, and in my head, all I can think about is my friend saying he’s worried as to what my ex-partner is going to do to me. I feel guilty and dirty, I’m also so ashamed and guilty for lying to my friend (well it feels like I lied to him) when I told him I was safe. I start to cry and all I want to do is to have a shower, I bin my dress and get into the shower. No amount of scrubbing will get me clean and I scrub till my skin is red raw. I look in the mirror and want to smash it as I see a failure looking back at me.
I turn to the old friend and tell him what’s happened a few days later. I ask for his opinion on if I should tell my new friend, he thinks if I see any form of future with him then I should but I need to pick my time. Even though my friend and I haven’t been talking I know I should tell him, but know its too late to tell him straight away as the worst is done.
I talk to my ex-partner a week or so later about if he did go through my phone and read my messages and in turn message my friends on social media. He denies it, but then asks if i have heard from x recently. Instantly the shame anfd guilt feeling comes back, I vomit. He knows I know but won’t admit it.
The phone calls, and messages continue and get more graphic in their nature. About three weeks after the attack I contemplate suicide. I get as far as writing the note, I write one to x telling him the full story. I feel I owe him that. Somehow I don’t follow through with the plan, I feel as though I need to get my control back.
I call the police and report the matter, they ask me as to the lead up to the rape (this is why I talk about my friend as the police say its a big factor), and who was messaged and why. I have to name my frend.
Even though we havent spoken in a longish while I tell him at first that hes been named in a report for harrassment. He’s not pleased but he’s happy to help me, I was so scared to tell him as I was expecting him to tell me to say not his problem to be dragged into. But thankfully he didn’t/
Then comes the day I have to give my statement to the police, it’s there they tell me it would be charged as rape, and my friend would have to be a witness to help describe my ex-partners behaviour and timeline of that day. I again have to warn my friend that the police will be needing him, and I need his help, I feel the shame and guilt rising again, but my friend has this ability to calm me down and it works this time too. He reminds me its not my fault, and my ex was the one who created the situation.
Days later, a phone call from the police, they’re dropping the case as the court would rip me and my story to pieces to make out it was consensual sex as he was an ex-partner and that we lived together for many years with no issues, also my friend could be brought into the argument as a rival to my ex-partner and it was simply jealousy. I let my friend know straight away so he doesn’t have the stress over his head. I feel so guilty and ashamed, and so angry, his reply was cold, I instantly felt like I should never have told him a thing and like I let him down. I contemplated suicide again, I felt so alone, and I feel as though no one believed me or my story. The next day I calculate how many pills I would need to end it all. That day was only yesterday. I haven’t slept since it happened, every time i lay on my bed I can feel his weight ontop of me and the panic kicks in again.
I feel as though I am to blame, I feel as though if I never got drunk and messaged my friend in an attempt to flirt with him this would have never happened. I feel like my body is simply a commodity. I feel like my word is a lie. I am questioning what happened in my own mind, and I can’t decide if its real or not. I feel like I am simply a body to be used for a mans pleasure. As though I can not make friends with men for fear of what it may mean. I know its rape, thankfully. But It’s not been seen as rape by those who help I need it from the most. I feel ashamed he’s allowed to get away with it scott free.
Sorry this is so long but I need to clear my head. I honestly want the pain and confusion and the hurt to stop