This is one of those stories that you will probably read and it won’t truly hit you. I saw articles like these all the time, but I never truly thought it could happen to me. But it did.
It was Easter Sunday, I had arrived back in my home-town the day before from university, and I was ready to go out and celebrate with my friends, who I hadn’t seen in ages. The night started as normal; I got ready and we went to a friend’s for pre-drinks as usual and I had my normal amount to drink. At 10.30 we got a taxi to the club as it was pouring down with rain.
And that’s the last thing I can remember.
Normally I can remember nights out but a later blow to the head caused me to have concussion DURING the following hours.
The rest I discovered from other people. I arrived at the club, drunk, and when some other friends saw me they realised I wasn’t my usual kind of drunk. Whether I was spiked or given a drug no one knows but I definitely was not alright. So two friends decided to put me in a taxi and after asking many taxi drivers, one finally reluctantly took me.
No one knows what happened between then to me arriving outside my house at midnight; soaking wet, hysterical, battered and bruised, tights ripped, grass and mud stains all over me and not knowing who or where I was. My parents called the police, amongst many things I kept mentioning someone outside, someone slapping me. But this got lost as I mentioned irrelevant images to do with people in my life, as if I was in a dream. We then went to A+E where we waited hours to be seen. At 5am sitting in the waiting room I finally started to regain consciousness and this is the point I can fully remember from. I just wanted to go home, so I discharged myself and went to bed.
It wasn’t until the next morning when I woke up it all hit me and I started to cry. Why was I attacked? Why was I alone? Why me? I felt like I just wanted to curl into a ball in my bed and never leave. I was so ashamed, I blamed myself for putting myself in that situation, and just felt so stupid. Did I deserve it? Did I provoke someone?
The police came round again the next day and took down all I had discovered from my friends. On the Tuesday I got my finger x-rayed. It was broken. I Had a CT scan on my head as I had two lumps and wanted to check that the blows that caused the concussion hadn’t caused more. And the hospital recorded the injuries: a big bruise/graze on my right cheek, a bruise on my left, a bruise above my left eye, a bruise on my chin, a swollen bottom lip, bruises shaped like finger marks on my arms, bruises on my shoulder, elbows, hands, knees, and hip.
For a while, this defeated me. I didn’t want to go out, I didn’t want people to see me. But something began to click in me. After much love and support from people around me, I began to realise I needed to carry on. I was one of the lucky ones. I wasn’t raped or stabbed or even killed. I was alive.
Yet I am still battling it emotionally. People think I am fine on the outside as all the bruises have gone, and I smile and talk pretty normally. However, I know I still have a way to go until the emotional scars heal. Only the other day when I came back to University, I thought I would be fine, but being in an environment where I was previously so happy and carefree crushed me. It felt like I went back to square one and I couldn’t understand why. But I am getting help and hopefully soon I won’t have any moments of doubt again. I am learning to accept that healing takes time.
The police have recently closed the case as they can’t find the taxi driver. So I guess I will never know who precisely attacked me that night. A part of me is annoyed about that. But perhaps it is good as it means I will not be haunted so much by the images of it all.
I just hope everyone can take a few things from this; don’t let yourself get into that state. Don’t let yourself get so out of control that you have to go home. And definitely don’t let any of your friends go home on their own, or do so yourself. It isn’t worth it. Yes, you may have to cut your fun a little early but I know my friends are regretting leaving me alone as much as I regret putting them in that position.
At the end of the day, your friends’ and your own safety and well-being are worth far more than that extra drink so you have the confidence to kiss that guy, or those extra hours out in the club.
In the long run everyone’s lives and well-being are so much more important, and I know I will never make the same mistake again. So all I can ask you is just to not let this happen to you. I know you think it won’t, but believe me, if it can happen to me it can happen to you. And if any of your friends are in a state, see them safely home.bookmark me