I haven’t posted in a little bit as the week before last an incident happened that caused me to go down hill. A man from another ward that I’d known previously from a past admission to PICU last year started kissing me on the face and trying to kiss my lips then, kissed and touched my boobs in a deserted stairwell. I felt completely shocked and surprised and apart from pulling my head backwards to avoid being kissed on the lips I was frozen.

It didn’t sink in straight away what had happened but I later felt violated, confused, dirty, disgusting and frankly weird! He had asked me to go back to his ‘penthouse flat’ before and to give him my number but I had laughed both off. I told my dad who said to tell the staff so I let a nurse know. She asked if I wanted to inform the police and I initially said no as I was scared but then she asked me what I would have thought if it was my sister who this had happened to and then I felt anger. Anger and fury that someone would take advantage of me like that. I have never really been intimate with someone either before and I think that affected my psychologically. The police came within a few hours, took a statement from me and took away my jumper as evidence. They said it was a serious sexual assault.

Over the next few hours and days things seemed to hit me like a tonne of bricks. My mood seemed steady although in hindsight I think I dipped a little and, the man behind me returned a bit at first, just a presence behind me and then more strongly ending in him blowing and breathing on my neck and down my back. This was very distressing. I etched the words no into my chest with a razor and had thoughts of cutting off my boobs. I hope this is a normal way of thinking! I had thoughts to end my life and ended up on eyesight and two-to-one outside but still managed to abscond and end up trying to find Scammonden bridge. I’d researched this bridge and it has a high death toll and I know this sounds odd now but at the time I just wanted to say hello to it.

I regretted more and more telling the police as I just wanted to forget the whole thing but even though I rung the police to say I didn’t want to continue the complaint they still haven’t allowed me to get my parents to collect my jumper and move on. They also said that the man lacks capacity and it cannot be taken further. This left me with really conflicting feelings as on the one hand I was glad that it wasn’t being pursued but on the other hand that then made me really angry that he was getting away with it even though I wanted it to stop. What the mind does to you with thoughts is torturous!

What I have learnt from the wise old owl that is my father is that the law is there to protect people that lack capacity from being punished for crimes they wouldn’t otherwise commit and I myself fall into this category. I also know that “being angry with someone is like sentencing someone to prison but doing the time yourself”. I love this saying, it’s so true and one that I think everyone can learn from (especially me!!). Mentally I am doing a lot better now and am less afraid to go off the ward by myself even though I still haven’t been down ‘that’ staircase yet.

What this has taught me is that I lack strength and resilience. I can get better but anything traumatic that happens knocks me right back. This has happened a few times but I shall leave those for another day. We can always learn from Disney so in the words of Elsa I think I need to ‘Let It Go’. And hopefully soon my knitwear collection will be returned to full force. Fingers crossed..

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