I’ve years ago I was 19 struggling with mental health issues including bulimia. After a long hospital admission I was offered to live in supported accommodation, facilitated by mental health workers.
It was in this house, a house I was supposed to feel safe in, I was raped.
I was feeling sucidal the night it happened, I had been battling with suicidal ideation and self-harm thoughts from 14 years old. A friend who I shared the house with had a friend of his over that night.
I had met this man twice before and felt intimidated by him. He was 40.
He knocked on my door, at this point everything becomes fragmented. I was engaging in self harm and embarrassed to let him in, but he push opens my door. I am drinking alcohol. I nurse my cuts and we both sit in the floor drinking. I dissociate and one minute everything is pitch black and then I am back in the room. I look down and I have wet my self. Everything is black again and when I return to the room my friend is also sitting with us. I feel confused and don’t know what to do with my urinated pants. I take them off and lye on the floor submissively. I trusted them. I remember my rapist putting me in the shower, after throwing up in the toilet.
I was woken up in pain and utter terror two days later by paramedics. I was taken to the hospital. Tests were taken and I started hallucinating during the process. I saw children skipping passed in the hallway, and a clown peering into the room and then hiding again.
I had third-degree burns on my back, buttocks and foot. It was extremely sore.
Last year, I met my Now ex boyfriend. My trauma began manifesting itself through violent and uncontrollable flashbacks whilst we were making love. Pieces and memories began falling into place, I was attending group therapy for trauma during this time, so had a lot of support and skills in place to help manage difficult emotions and memories.
My memory of the actual rape would only come to me during these flashbacks, through body memory. I can’t tell you specifics in any other state.
I have survived. It was my ex who helped me relearn trust and love. I have chosen a spiritual path and practice mindful meditation regularly. Some days are good, some are shit. My worth is I continue to get through the struggle. I hope to help other survivors one day. For now, one day at a time.
Thank you for reading.
— Gabriele, age 24