I have seen a counsellor at CASA (Centre Against Sexual Assault) three times now. The bloody excellent news? She gets it. She gets where I’m coming from. I didn’t like telling the whole story again because it reminds me of so many things that hurt me. I’m not talking about the sexual content. I’m talking about the series of negligent actions taken after the fact by the people who witnessed these things and that I approached for help. I have said before, probably many times, that the response you get when you ask for help about such a personal, shame-filled experience can determine the course of your recovery. There’s research to back that up which I will link to this at another stage.
The psychological torture of grooming, denial, pack mentality and moral corruption is why I’m here now. It’s why I don’t walk with my head held high anymore. It’s why I avoid crowds and I’ve been so secluded for this time. Why I still have such feelings of angry injustice and yet I’m so reluctant to walk away because that is what the bastards want. I’m stuck in a vortex of battling emotions. I hate them. I hate that I’ve lost my teaching career. I hate that people in charge of small children are still so protected from accountability in dangerous wrong-doing, which I made clear involved criminal behavior including stalking and then sexual assault, quite early on. I hate that my ‘mentor’ teacher was a party to the assaults and joked about it as they happened. I hate that when I said something to her, she began a campaign of such slut shaming blame, whilst simultaneously denying that anything happened, and warning me that my speaking up would land her in ‘deep shit’.
When I accidentally find my self thinking about these people, sometimes I hope they get hurt. I imagine they get punched. Their house gets robbed and they’re scared. I imagine that they walk in front of my car and I put the foot down. That in a staff meeting during the holidays, their workplace is blown to smithereens. At first these images really disturbed me. Who thinks like that? I’m a pacifist. Confrontation and violence frighten me. I certainly have no plans to become a murderer. After a while, I realised that these thoughts were fleeting, five seconds of time, and a direct response to that feeling inside of desperately needing to be heard. Mini revenge fantasies, perhaps. A mental release valve. I’m the one still under the legal and insurance microscope, constantly being observed and assessed. When I was the victim. And it makes me feel wildly mad.
That was the first question I asked the counsellor at CASA. “Am I normal-ish? Other people have come here and said that they sometimes imagine The Punisher getting revenge on their abusers/perpetrators?”. Her answer? “Yes, you’re normal. It happens. But together we can work on strategies to help you manage those thoughts that trouble you”.
That is a win. That is why it is so important to confide in the right people. That is what employer insurance companies and Workcover don’t get. Sending you all over town to a list of strangers who want to medicate you. When what you’re really searching for is someone to say ‘You’re okay’.