This is my first post and I am about to write about something I have not been able to talk out loud about, so I am hoping that starting a blog will help. I started to keep a diary but the fear that someone I live with might read it stopped me from using it.
It’s been a horrible first year for me at uni. Something happened last summer, just before my last A Level exams, which I thought I was able to deal with, until my flatmates at uni turned on me at the beginning of this year, when they found out I live on a council estate and went to a state school. The stress and upset they caused triggered me to have a recurring nightmare, which started to haunt me during the day in the form of flashbacks. They were very distressing and debilitating and knew that they were based on what happened to me last summer, but I kept telling myself that it didn’t happen and it was just me going mad. However, when I was talking to my best friend from college on Facebook, I went back in our conversation and found a long conversation we had on the night that it happened, where I told her everything. It meant that my hope, that my nightmares and flashbacks were not of real events, was shattered. I could not bring myself to read it fully as I did not want to remember all the facts. I printed the conversation out and put it in my diary in the hope that I could pluck up the courage to read it at some point – but I haven’t.
So for the purposes of this post, I am going to write about the lead up and then just copy and paste our conversation. I am not writing this for an audience (unless anyone who reads it has a magical solution for me to pull myself together), I am just writing it for me – in the hope that it may clear my head and bring a bit of normality back into my life.
I was at college 16 hours each week as well as working behind the bar of a local pub over 30 hours a week. I would finish work at 2am and wake up at 5am to get my neighbour’s kids up, dressed and fed, and walked them to school and nursery. I would then get the 7:30 bus to college, get home around 5, then get to work for 6pm. The friends I had made at college lived miles away and the closest was Stockton. I never went out, partly because I didn’t have the time, but mainly because I didn’t have the money. Every penny I was making was going towards my mum’s bills and debts. I had grown up knowing she was constantly getting threats of bailiffs and court actions and I wanted to do all I could to help her.
The college only consisted of year 12s and 13s but had over 2000 students. Nonetheless, I had seen this particular guy around a lot because he was really tall and for the majority of the 2 years, he was going out with the daughter one of my Law teachers. We were in the same EPQ class in year 13 but had never spoken. He always seemed to treat his girlfriend with respect and they seemed a very cute couple (with about a 2 foot height difference). I got on really well with his girlfriend’s mum as she had been my Law teacher for the full 2 years and was my EPQ supervisor for my second year and she seemed to really like him. However, they split up a few months before the end of college.
It was Fri24th/Sat25th May 2013. A few weeks before my last A Level exams. I got a friend request from him. I accepted and we got talking and seemed to hit it off. We both did A Level Biology and he suggested we met up to revise together. As I was working so much, I hadn’t had a chance to start my revision and I thought that it might help. He lived in Darlington and asked if I could get the bus there and we could meet outside our college. I forgot that the buses ran differently on Sundays so couldn’t get the bus I usually got to college and had to get a different one which takes twice as long and doesn’t go near the college, so I had to get off in town and walk.
It was a really hot day and I was wearing a green dress with a belt and black high heels. I was still getting over a cold and still had an annoying tickly cough which I had told him about. We met in the park opposite my college and despite my high heels, he still towered above me. It was a bit awkward. I thought that we were going to stay in the park and sit on a bench or on the grass as we didn’t have any money, but he said that he knew of a park which was quieter and had picnic tables so would be easier to revise. We were walking for at least half an hour when he said that the park was further away than he thought and that there was a lake through the bushes we were near which we could use. I agreed as my legs were killing me. We climbed through the bushes but the lake was slightly flooded so we had to jump over some water onto a wooden walkway which stuck out into the late. He laid his coat down for us to sit on. We talked for quiet a while, got to know each other, made each other laugh, and talked a bit about our exams. He laid down to look at the clouds and suggested I did the same. I vaguely remember what happened next and have frequent flashbacks, but I don’t want to write about it, so I am just going to copy and paste the conversation I had that night with my best friend:
- Me: Hey :) x
- Friend: hey gal :) x
- Me: What’ve you been up to today? :) xx
- Friend: well our family just had a few friends over for sunday lunch so it was quite a relaxed day. What about you?
- Me: Sounds nice :) Well, do you know *** ********?
- Friend: yes i do, he was in my biology this year and last and i think he is *****’s boyfriend?
- Friend: you still there? x
- Me: I know he was her boyfriend for quite a while but they split up a few months ago.
He added me on Facebook on Friday as he recognised me from our EPQ class and we talked quite a lot yesterday. He said that he wanted to meet up on Monday but I suggested today as tomorrow is a bank holiday. I did really want to start my revision but I never go out so I got a bus into darlo today. As it’s Sunday, I had to get a different bus and get off in town and we met at college. Neither of us had any money but he said that he knew a nice park we could go to. It was quite a walk and so decided to stop at a quiet lake. It was a bit flooded but we managed to leap onto a little wooden walkway that stuck out into the lake. We were chatting and laughing for a while but then suddenly he started kissing me and pushed me back. I tried to push him off but I couldn’t. He lifted up my dress and took of my knickers and started to use his fingers. It was really painful and I was constantly trying to push him off but I couldn’t. He then pulled down his trousers and was trying to, well you know. I finally managed to get through to him that I didn’t want to and he sat up and kept trying to push my head down towards his legs
- Friend: you know for some reason i thought you were going to say that :( did anyone see? and did he – sorry to sound crass but actually put it in you, like do you think you might be pregnant and what happened after like did he apologise did you talk or go home?
I’m so sorry for you Katie
- Friend: also it’s really strange because *** doesn’t seem like that kind of boy, although i don’t really know him properly so..
- Me: It was a very remote place. There were a few people around every now and then but not when this happened. He didn’t because I was fighting back and because I’m a virgin, my “cherry hasn’t popped” (sorry, didn’t know how to word it lol), so it wasn’t as straightforward for him, so I won’t be pregnant. It did really hurt though and I was in tears. When I got home, I had blood in my knickers even though my period finished over a week ago. He didn’t apologise, and that’s what I thought. I always thought he was really nice although we never spoke. I don’t know if it was some sort of rebound thing with *****.
- Friend: maybe but he still shouldn’t have done it. i think you should still take a test just in case and you should tell your mum.I don’t mean to make you think about it but as you studied it , do you think what he did was rape? did you walk back to college together?
- Me: He also put his hands inside my bra and was squeezing my boobs, then started licking and biting one of them, and made it bleed. I grabbed my stuff and clothes and ran off but he caught up and insisted he walked me to the bus stop which was a very awkward 50minute walk. I won’t be pregnant as he didn’t fully penetrate me and he didn’t ejaculate. I can’t tell my mum as she would seriously hunt him down and kill him. Also, she would be soo upset that I have lied to her as I told her it was nice and we just sat and chatted, although she thought he was going to ask me out or ask to see me again and she’s disappointed that he didn’t and she keeps telling me to text him and I don’t have an excuse to say no. It wasn’t rape as you need penetration but it may have been attempted rape, but I’m not really sure what to think.
- Friend: you really need to tell your mum katie, you can’t keep it all inside. How do you feel?? Also don’t even think about texting him that would be insane!
- Me: I’m still in a bit of pain but I just feel confused. I still don’t know how I got from accepting his friend request on Facebook on Friday to this. I haven’t texted him. I’ve told my mum I have and she keeps asking if he’s replied. She will probably get annoyed in a few days that he hasn’t replied and will forget thinking he would make a nice boyfriend.
- Friend: I’m praying for you and maybe you should talk to God if you want, just let him know what’s happened even though he knows and he can keep you company and look after you. I also prayed that the pain will go away and that you won’t be scared. I really think you should tell your mum because she went through the same sort of thing so knows how you feel.
- Me: Thank you :) I have and I am going to talk to him more. I don’t want to upset her though. If I told her, it would break her heart :(
- Friend: that’s good :) and i know it will but you need to tell her she’ll be more heartbroken if she finds out years later and knew you had to struggle through it without her. I’m really sorry this happened to you Katie it breaks my heart too. Please look after yourself chick :( I’m sorry but I’ve got to go to bed know, I hope you sleep well and we’ll talk tomorrow. Love you xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Me: I don’t want him to get into trouble though as I think that he is a nice person but just did something bad. I will. You look after yourself too :) I hope you sleep well and thank you for listening to me, sorry if I’ve now depressed you. Love you too xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Friend: any time Katie, goodnight :) xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Me: Thank you, Goodnight :) xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx