TW: Assault, sexual assault, panic attacks, anxiety
I’m to go back to Gheringhap next month I will see my family see my fur babies and see some of my friends, but probably most importantly I will be going to Court.
Just over a year ago I was assaulted by a guy on my way to work.
I had a guy place his hands down my top and bra then fondle my boob. I didn’t go straight to the police, I didn’t go to his employer. I caught the train the next day to work, an earlier train to avoid seeing him; that didn’t work so well as he was on that train. I had a panic attack, I could not breath, I called my aunt in a panic and knew I had to go to work, I couldn’t catch a bus home and wait for the next train as the next bus was due in an hour and went in to the city and not in to the suburbs where I lived, I couldn’t walk home as that took nearly an hour and I needed to get to work.
I went in to a different carriage than I normally do, I found a seat near people but where I was alone as advised by my aunt. I didn’t want to sit next to someone.
He came along on his rounds with a ticket inspector. He poked me with his walky talky to say ‘Hi’ I was on the phone to my aunt making up a conversation about did she want me to get her some Nespresso today whilst I was in the city, she was on the other end telling me to breath he will be gone soon, and that I am surrounded by people he can’t do anything to you.
I hyperventilate most of the trip to the city, I tried to to cry but had tears streaming down my face. No other passenger paid attention to me and I was kind of glad for that.
Later that day my cousin rang and told me he was taking me to see the police, or else he would smash the guys head in. I know my cousin that was not an idle threat either.
The third day before work, before getting the train, my cousin picked me up from home and we went to the police station to make a report.
My cousin looks like the sort of bloke you make a report against, not the one who sits with you in a room for support.
He listened as I told the officer what had happened, and watched as I cried, I tried not to look at him as I could see he was getting angry and I think regretting the choice and just wanted to bash the guys head in.
It was the fifth day that I was finally sat down for a full interview with a detective. I had to go through all the details, I drew diagrams of places and listed who I had first told.
I didn’t tell him that that day was meant to be a really happy and amazing day I was being featured on a page I love and follow, I had been looking forward to that day for a fortnight, and the guy had ruined that day for me.
I can’t look at that feature anymore without thinking what happened the day it was released.
For the next month I carried on going to work, attempting to avoid the guy, my friends letting me know what shifts he was on.
However I had changed, I was no longer myself, I was a huggy type of person before – now I couldn’t stand to be touched. I was more quiet and more introverted than before. I still made conversations and talked but it felt like a struggle.
I wasn’t coping though I held it together and I went to counseling after my Team Leader got me someone to talk to as it was effecting my work.
I worked on a call center my job was answering the phone and questions and customer support.
It had happened on my way to work.
The next thing I knew I was having panic attacks not just coming to work but at work, going on to the phones, taking calls.
I panicked and I stressed I couldn’t hold it together.
My family and my team leader tried to help, I was given time off work, I was now at the stage I would go to work in the morning over an hours trip away and be at work for just on two hours and be sent home.
I tried to last until each break, have the break and get back on the phones.
My hours got lowered and I was still struggling.
I still could not hug, I was still introverted more than normal. I was a different person, I was quite and I was not me.
It was now December and I was due to have annual leave soon, Drake would be coming to see me, I had been counting down for months!
I was scared I wouldn’t be able to hug or hold him. I was scared I couldn’t be intimate with him.
I was sleeping with my teddy bear besides me each night, I was waking up during the night spewing my guts up, going back to bed and getting up in the morning struggling to go to work, struggling to hold it together and take calls.
The Monday my team leader gave me the if you hand in your resignation you will get an extra weeks pay.
The Wednesday I had my resignation letter typed up, I was going to leave next month in January, a week back from annual leave and then go.
My team leader said why not leave today, that way you don’t have to stress whilst your on holidays or over Christmas, when I handed her my resignation letter on the Friday.
I called my Aunt and I called Drake.
I said I was quitting that day.
I quit due to health reasons.
It was the first job I had quit where I wasn’t going because the contract I was on had been lost.
I felt lost and afraid, I packed my desk up during the day and got through the day. My team got me a bunch of flowers. No hugs goodbye were given.
I was unemployed now, the only income I had was what was in my meager savings account and was actually meant to help me move and to last when I lived with Drake and was job hunting in a new country.
Drake I am had a great holiday and he stayed an extra week. I knew this kept him from his family and I felt bad about that but at the same time I enjoyed having him with me.
I moved in February to Drake’s country.
I went job hunting, I got an interview for a retail assistant and for working in a call center.
I went for the retail job as I wanted to try something different and the manager had also offered me a job, I just had to be interviewed by head office, and also I was scared of call centers. After the assault and the following panic attacks I was scared.
The interview for the call center job came, I was in the little interview room, I seen the handset/phone it was the same model I had worked with at my last job.
My chest tightened, I struggled to breath, I tried not to panic, I swallowed back the urge to spew.
I got through the interview – somehow.
I got home and had a list of the pros and cons for both jobs.
The call center job paid better, I had worked in call centers for nearly 10 years, I knew what I was doing.
I would be on a lower pay rate at the retail job, but there would be no panic attacks, no looking at the phone and no urges to spew everywhere.
I somehow managed to pass both interviews and get offered both jobs.
Health wise and panic attacks I took the lower paying job. I make $8 less an hour that’s minimum $280 a week I am missing out on.
That’s saving for a house, that is saving for a holiday, that is being able to afford new clothes and shoes. It’s being able to get health insurance, new glasses and going to the dentist.
That guy took my profession away from me.
I may not be able to give a victim statement next month, so this is basically it.
He took away my confidence, my trust, my ability to hug and to be comforted, my profession and livelihood.
He took away my ability to get a train without having a fear of being attacked, that finds me not able to relax properly on a train, to feel trapped.
Alyce 22nd October 2014 2:19pm