I tried sharing my story before, but haven’t tried it for some time. I think it’s time to try it now again. I’ll start therapy again in a few months, hopefully this time will be different, hopefully this time they’ll help. I’ve been hurting for a long time, and each time I seek help I’m demotivated because of the responses I get. But first, let me start to share my story..
I was a very quiet and shy girl. Being picked on a lot for being autistic and timid. I’m a great listener and can talk hours about subjects I like, but most of the time I’m quietly sitting and listening and observing. Especially in high school which was very hard for me. They said things to me, laughed at me, made me fall during gym class. I tried to ignore them and focus on school. I did have good grades, but not many friends. When I was 14 that changed, I made a new friend, a girl from another class. She wasn’t like me at all, not quiet and shy. But we did have things in common, like movies, games, anime. We became friends and over the next two years even best friends. We did everything together, homework, watching movies, having sleepovers, even shopping. It gave me some comfort in school, even though she was in another class. But two years later, she transferred to my class and we became closer.
We made some other friends who were in the same class. All of us were being picked on by others, we all had that in common. But I was the only quiet one never to fight back. I didn’t like confrontation at all, still don’t. It’s easier to just ignore them or run away. Except I didn’t really ignore them, I always listened to what they were saying. Even when they said I didn’t belong there in school and didn’t even deserve to live, I listened. But that is not what this story is really about. It’s about my ‘best friend’, how she changed. She became more bossy than ever. Controlling over me. And that took a very sudden turn. It was january 2010, I had just turned 16 two months ago. I was on a sleepover with her. Her mom wasn’t home. She was very absent-minded. She did hardly talk, was very irritated. Could these have been signs? Should I have known? It was getting late and we would watch a movie in bed. She turned of the lights in the living room while I changed into my pyjama’s. I went to the living room after I finished changing, she was still there. She told me to go to the bedroom and followed me. I walked into her room, and I heard the door close, as if in slowmotion, behind me. I still do to this very day. And the lights went out.
I was confused for a bit. Then I got pushed forward, onto the bed. I didn’t get the change to say anything, or do anything. She sat on top of me. I tried to push her off, but she weighed more than me and I couldn’t. She put her hands around my throat and squeezed. Her grip was so tight. My head felt heavy and my arms too.
My mind slowly slipped away, and just before I passed out, I felt her hands release me. I don’t know how long I was out. When I woke up, I saw flashes of light. The tv was on.
She was sitting on the edge of the bed watching. I tried to move but couldn’t. I realized my hands were tied above my head to the bed. I slowly remembered what happened. I didn’t want her to do any of the things she did but every time I would try to move she would hit or pinch me hard. She told me I deserved it. I just laid there crying. I couldn’t do anything. She hit me everywhere, even though I didn’t move anymore. It went on for hours. I know because when she started she turned on a movie, and replayed the whole movie three times. And then suddenly, she stopped. She had have enough of her ‘fun’ and untied my hands. And she went to sleep.
I was paralyzed by fear and confusion. After a while I could move again. I ran to the bathroom and locked myself in. It was snowing outside, and the bathroom was freezing as well. I collapsed on the floor crying, and remained there until the sun came up. Then I would sneak into the bedroom again and grab my phone and clothes. I texted my mom if she could pick me up and she did. When I left the bathroom again, my friend walked out of the bedroom. We both said nothing and the doorbell rang. It was my mom. I went home and said nothing. I wore a scarf to hide the bruises in my neck. I had scratch marks abd bruises all over. Even some bite marks. Everything hurt, my entire body.
I was too afraid to say anything and I didn’t. Within a week I tried my first suicidal attempt. I failed all my classes and had to retake the year. I was no longer in her class. It wasn’t until two and a half years later that I told the story. After countless failed suicide attempts, years of cutting myself, an eating disorder and depression, my therapist told me I had all the signs of sexual abuse. And then I bursted into tears. I couldn’t hold it in any longer and told the story. The therapist said nothing, until I told everything. Then she startes to speak… “Well, that wasn’t too bad now was it?” she said I had been lucky. Lucky that it was a girl. And I could rest assured, for she said there was no such thing as girl on girl rape. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. She said that because I experienced it as traumatic, she could try trauma therapy. I was devastated and quit therapy after some more sessions. I had no faith in this therspist. But my story was out in my file, and my family heard it for the first time too. My mom was supportive but didn’t know how to help, neither did my father, he found it hard to talk about it. My little sister later on was actually raped once and told me that what happened to me was nothing. I closed up after this and refused to talk anymore about it. My past was sealed away and everyone thought I was over it. But in my mind I wondered about everything. Was I really lucky? Was it really what I deserved? Did I really not fit in anywhere?
It has been 9 years now since the incident. I’m studying at a university now. I’m not suicidal anymore, I want to live. I’m horrible at making friends and maintaining friendships. Even more horrible at relationships. I lack trust in everyone. Even though I want to, I can’t really seem to trust people. This results in people leaving me all the time. I haven’t talked at all about my past, I just avoid the subject. But my past always followed me around. In my mind I’m still thinking about it, about everything that happened and why. Even though I’m careful with anyone, I got assaulted a few years ago in a public place.
About a year ago I asked to go back in therapy to treat my trauma’s and the PTSD I had because of it. I was on the waiting list for a year, and I could start therapy within two months now and have been assigned a new therapist. But now I have doubts whether to talk about this trauma again. I have always gotten the same response in the past. That this wasn’t really much of a traumatic experience in their eyes and not rape of some sort.
But whatever it was, it broke me all those years ago. My trust is broken, I’m incapable of starting any kind of relationship with people for the past 9 years. I’ve tried but make more enemies than friends. I’m suspicious about everyone always expecting them to have some secret agenda. But I really want to get past this, to be able to deal with it. I’ve never heard an explanation, never heard why it happened and I never will. But my problem for now is do I trust this new therapist enough to share the story with? I’ve been told she is a really experienced one, but I still have doubts.
— Nathalie, age 25