- DISCLAIMER -
I'm sharing these stories because they involve a public person who's not convicted (yet) for assaulting and raping me, and is still out there, and is able to potentially hurt other people. I'm pleading fair comment on a public person in this article, so I'm able to share these stories and possible files, videos and/or other evidence to support my story and through it warn others. A Fair comment is a legal term for common law defense in defamation. It gives a person the possibility to criticize and comment on matters of public interest without being liable for defamation provided that the comment is an honest expression of opinion (about facts or events). It is referred to as honest comment in some countries, and it's used to give people the possibility to legally share information about a public person. The idea behind a fair comment is that it's not slander when you're telling the truth about a public person, and thus, can warn others about them.
[Scheduled on July 19]
"We'll start with Ritalin then," my psychiatrist says. "To help stop the weight gaining. It might help you focus more also."
That's the second medication I'll get for the side-effects of the medication I received to replace my Xanax, I realise. Weight gaining and short-term memory loss have been a hoot. I wouldn't be bothered about the weight-gaining, if it was not for the scars I've been getting due to it. Because of my autoimmune disease, I scar in a different way than most healthy people. My scars are painful, heal less fast, and cause a lot of irritation. So they're a problem. The medication that's supposed to help my mind, harms my body, and leaves marks. Literally.
First we're fighting depression, and then we're fighting all the side-effects caused by the pills that fight depression. For some people, those side-effects influences their depression also. A friend of mine gained 20 kilos in a short time due to the medication she was on, and fell back into depression.
I'm hooked on so many prescribed pills now, I can't even imagine functioning without them. A year ago, I didn't need to use anything to get up in the morning, or go to sleep in the evening. It only took meeting him. Now, I own a pharmacy, so I can hide from my own mind, and the horrible messages I've been getting.
My case-worker and psychiatrist talk a little, and then we pick up the conversation we dropped temporarily to discuss the side-effects of my medication.
"I need to be back this Wednesday to go over it again, and sign everything," I say.
"The first appointment was four hours. It was horrible. You have a camera on you, a microphone is recording everything, and they ask random questions you don't expect coming. Sometimes it feels like an attack. I get why they do it though," I continue. "They just want to find out the truth. A lawyer will be even more cruel."
"Did you feel like you had to defend yourself?" my psychiatrist asks.
"Yes and no. For example, they asked why I didn't run away when Exurb1a said his friends were waiting behind a building to kill me. This was when I flew back to Sofia and tried pressing charges against him for the first time. I told him I was going to the police. Exurb1a then wanted to take me for dinner to talk and apologise, and I agreed because I was stupid. We were in this remote area walking towards this Indian restaurant, and he made that joke. That his friend Fox and some others were waiting behind a building to finish me off. I didn't know what to think. He made a lot of dark jokes since we broke up," I say.
I think about December, when Exurb1a came over to visit me in the hospital. I had been working on a video around the time, obsessively. When the topic came up when he saw my computer in my room (I was allowed to bring it inside), Exurb1a asked if the video was going to be my suicide note while laughing. He also suggested I should get back together with my ex-husband for some strange reason. His behaviour was quite strange.
When I told Exurb1a when he came over in December that I couldn't be his friend anymore if I couldn't trust him, his reply was a question: "Did you know I once set fire to a woman's computer?"
All his dark jokes since the night he abused me, weren't funny to me at all. They felt like carefully crafted, subtle threats, disguised as jokes. Threats nobody else could pick up on, but me. And when I pointed them out to him, he straight-up denied he said 'that'. He claimed I was crazy. That he didn't say that at all, after which he'd spin what he said slightly, to fuck with my mind. While he did this, I remember he was looking at me with pure fascination, when I got confused due to his reply. He made a strange diagonal shake with his head every time I didn't believe him, and he tried to convince me again: that I was hearing things that weren't said. He actually tried to drive me crazy. He tried to convince me I was insane, on purpose. I started to doubt myself so much, I almost started to believe him. It took friends listening in on conversations, to confirm and point out to me what he was doing. How he was manipulating me.
"So the police officer kept asking why I didn't just leave when he made the joke about his friends killing me," I continue. "She asked as if it was the most logical thing to do, and I felt like I had to defend myself. Looking back it seems logical, running away, but at that moment, I had no idea what to do or think. I knew running away would be useless because he's faster and stronger than me. And, he told me he wanted to apologise, so I didn't leave and assumed Exurb1a was just an idiot when it came to judging the situation. Looking back, I'm baffled by how he communicated with me. Maybe don't threaten the woman you raped, yeah? It's not funny, but he gets away with it because he's a comedian."
"How did you feel after the interrogation?" my psychiatrist asks.
"Exhausted," I answer. "I've told what happened many times, but due to how they asked questions, I had to look at everything again in a different way. They asked what exactly I was wearing under my dress for example, when he came over and took me out of the hospital. I never thought about the colour of my dress that day before, or what I was wearing underneath, but suddenly I remembered I was wearing my blue dress when he came over to pick me up from the hospital, and underneath it, a panty hose," I describe.
"I know for sure because he commented that my stomach was less bloated than last time he saw me, in November, and I remember looking at the blue fabric on my stomach thinking: yeah, that happens when you have a miscarriage, you asshole."
"You've relived it all, it might bother you a lot upcoming weeks," she replies.
"It already has," I say. "I had a very fucked up dream last night about my pet-chicken from when I was 9. I dreamt he raped her," I answer. "I have shitty dreams like that constantly."
"That's horrible," she says.
"The nightmares just don't go away," I say. "Why is it so hard for my brain to let go? I'm taking everything I'm prescribed and try to find distractions, but I get random memory flashes throughout the day when something or someone remembers me of what happened. Do you think the not letting go part is the autism part in me that causes it, or can it be related to the acute stress disorder?" I ask.
"I think it's partially due to your autism, but it also seems related to post-traumatic stress disorder. Your acute stress disorder could have developed into PTSD," my psychiatrist says.
"Great," I say. "What can we do about it? That therapy you mentioned?"
"EMDR," she says. "I'll talk to your psychologist about it. It could work."
"I'll try anything," I say. "Anything. I just want to be able to live again and care for my son and be happy. Be the mother I used to be."
I try to look hopeful, to not scare my social worker and psychiatrist. Really, I want to scream. Therapy, mood stabilisers, anti-anxiety medication, anti-depressants. What are they turning me into? If I need all this to be able to get through the day, what's left of me?
It feels like I'm still being punished, for meeting the wrong stranger.
For speaking out, and telling the truth.
For not being tougher, wiser and stronger.
For being blind; not able to see.
But most of all?
I feel punished.
I feel punished, for being me.
Timeline of Events Inside the System
Inside the System is a blog series about mental health, being hospitalised, fellow patients, and the things I've experienced last few months. I started to write because I had no idea how to deal with what was happening, and because I wanted something I could read back, that would remind me where I never want to be again in my life, emotionally.
The Inside The System series is part of Project Blue is a Wave.