Going Into Hiding

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When the school year ends, students (mostly) celebrate. Teachers most certainly celebrate, as they should. Parents…well…

School holidays for me are really intimidating. I thought today that I’m probably not alone…given the number of teachers on Workcover for some reason, they too may dread the time when everyone is free to roam. And you could run into one at any time. If your injury is psychological due to stalking and your experience initiated by ex colleagues, bullies or attackers, the holidays can be a terrifying period of extra exposure. Triggers like landmines – you don’t know when you’re safe. In addition, when those ex colleagues were involved in your sexual assaults and a concerted effort to cover them up through collusion and lies, well, that’s a whole lot more trigger fears. This post is so badly written, sorry. I just have to get this out of my head.

On a bad day, seeing one of these people in the supermarket or even in traffic would make me freeze, then run for cover. And it would all come back. The awful feelings that I have felt because of what they have done. What they did TO ME. So it could break me a little bit more. And that would make being a parent hard at that time. And THAT would make me angry.

On another day, I imagine the rage. I don’t want to see them or have them see me and I walk by limply. Let them off the hook. I want to grab them. Scream in their faces. Yell out to the bystanders just what kind of people they really are. I hope they never use a crossing in front of my car. I’m sorry but in my head I’ve done it a thousand times. And it wouldn’t be close to making it fair.

In reality there is of course nothing I can do to make them feel the pain I feel. The rapist should have gone to jail. The Magistrate agreed. She was apparently unhappy he was avoiding time by pleading out. I was just grateful he’d crumbled in Court. I know the there are so many other women who never get to reach that point with their attacker. Weird, I feel lucky the rapist admitted he was a rapist. Not a prize, but a win of sorts.

I wouldn’t want the students on holiday to see me because I would be humiliated. I’d so want to say hello and certainly they would. And then I would just remember what I miss so desperately. Being a teacher. Another kind of trigger. Like the ghosts of Christmas past. Oh, I didn’t even see that timely reference coming. But there you go.

Now, I don’t go out much. But I try to. I time my excursions accordingly during the school term so as to avoid the school crowd. During the term, I know where the BAD teachers are. They’re relatively contained. When school is out, they are too and I’m back to head down, sunglasses on (sometimes inside). One time the principal and I locked eyes at the shopping centre. I panicked and ran but I’ve spent the last two years fantasising about screaming in their face, and sorry that I skulked away.

Well, I always try to find an upside to things. I’m digging really deep here, but this will be their final holiday before they are again questioned and made to remember me. What they did. How many times they lied. And how their luck may have just run out this time. Maybe one of them will crack under the possibility of the truth coming out. Lose some sleep. I envision it a bit like a haunting, if you will. It doesn’t make me happy, just, that I have something when I feel that I have had everything taken away.

So if you see a skittish lady in a Mac with the collar up during the Australian summer, don’t worry. And for gods sake, please don’t stare at her. She could be me.

PS To expedite the whole Workcover process, I wish they could just read this blog. Summation: Yeah, PTSD, paranoia, depression, anxiety, and swinging between feeling I need to end the pain in my core to thinking I could explode in rage and seek revenge…I’d say this is a SERIOUS INJURY. Let’s move on, shall we? (Jokes, they have until Easter 2013 to decide)

Righto, head down, dark glasses on and Merry Christmas x

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