annanotbob2's Diaryland Diary


Yeah, me too

I'm going to write about what happened to me back then that has caused me to be triggered by all this RB stuff. I'd taken against the word triggered until I experienced it - it's not 'being reminded of something unpleasant that happened in the past'. It's being shot into a nightmare of emotional responses that seem inappropriate, out of proportion and ridiculous, but also overwhelming. Trigger is a good word as it has that sense of unexpected, sudden, catastrophic change. So this won't be nice. I'm trying to revisit it, taking my healthy adult self back, exploring it a bit, rather than just pushing it aside and cracking on.

I was eighteen, I think. Maybe nineteen. My family had moved away and left me behind to finish school and I'd stayed on afterwards in the same town, living in a rented room in a run down house. I was manager of a record shop, a job I loved, but although I thought I was a competent adult, actually I wasn't ready to live in the world alone. I was promiscuous, took loads of drugs and drank copious pints of draught Guinness every night. I never once spent an evening at home. I hung around with a crowd of mostly males, mostly ones I'd known at school. Sometimes relationships developed that meant I had a boyfriend for a few months, but sometimes I was single. Bloke was around then - he was one of my closest pals. He wasn't there on this occasion.

We'd run out of dope, all of us, by which I mean cannabis, solids. Someone had gone to buy some (to score) which would be bought in smaller bits by us all. We'd been in the pub, drinking pint after pint, till last orders were called and we all went back to CD's house as his parents were away. He was not part of my closest group but a bloke I'd known for a few years, from school, in the year above me. I was the only person not still living with their parents, also probably the only female present that night - I can't remember clearly but I often was. The person who'd been to score arrived with some very soft Moroccan and because we were drunk we decided to make sandwiches of it. I had mine sprinkled thickly on some cheesy crackers. Then we smoked several joints. Mike Oldfields Tubular Bells was playing, that godawful twangy, boing boing boing - it hit me right in my belly. I started to feel strange when I was in the kitchen talking to a few people. Not surprising because dope on top of drink was always dodgy and I'd had stupid amounts of both. I remember sliding down to the floor, leaning against the larder door. At this point I must have passed out. The next thing I remember is being carried up the stairs - I was horizontal, face up, with a person at each corner - there was a vibe of triumph about - maybe there was singing as they carried me up the stairs. I only have a fragment here, as we approached the corner half way up. Just that, nothing more.

My next memory is the morning. I woke up naked, in a double bed with CD, his parents' room. When I stood up semen trickled down my legs. I grabbed my clothes and fled, to work in the shop, where I somehow managed to get onto automatic pilot, and just do my job, chatting to customers, pushing this right back into the recesses of my mind. When I did allow myself to think of it I felt a deep, deep shame. It was clearly my own fault for letting myself get so wasted. It was literally decades before I was able to realise that whoever it was, presumably CD - and the ghastly thought that it may have been more than one didn't occur to me for many years either - had been fucking an unconscious woman - or girl - I was still a teenager - who had thought they were her friend (s).

I was more careful about how much I consumed from then on and when people laughingly said they'd got so wrecked the other night that they couldn't remember half of what had happened, I'd say that when I'd had blank periods in my memory due to being wasted, I'd fucking hated it, but I never mentioned what precisely had taken place for many, many years. It never occurred to me for a moment that a crime had been committed against me, and, this being 1973 or 74, I almost certainly would have got short shrift from the police if I'd tried to report it. 

It's unconscionable to try and put myself into the mind of a young man, who, when a female of his acquaintance passes out, takes the clothes off her, presumably floppy, body and fucks her, looking down at her blank face, still turned on enough to climax. No condom. What the fuck is the matter with people who can do that? An utter disrespect for the woman as an actual person, rather than a mere receptacle for a penis. Because I'd pushed it so far down in my memory  (is that why? I don't know),  it's taken me forever to see it from that view, which shows at once that it's a crime. No decent person would do that. 

And it's that denial of the humanity of the women involved with RB that has sent me into this agitated, frantic state. To hear their words, some spoken by actors but using the actual words, describing how this person they thought was some kind of friend refused to accept that they didn't want to have sex and being bigger and stronger, just went ahead and did it anyway. Several of them had had consensual sex with him in the past, but when they said no, their words, their feelings, their will was ignored. So hearing their words was awful, but what has been even worse (has it? not sure) has been the reaction from some quarters which is the utter dismissal of the women's testimony. Couched in many different ways, offering many different explanations, but basically not interested. He's a good bloke, end of discussion. We may have made some progress, but not enough. Not enough to feel safe, to feel that our daughters, our friends, our girls and women are safe, that this is a society that looks out for us, that has our interests, our well-being at heart. It doesn't. In some quarters, but not all, by a long way.

And on Saturday, while I was watching the documentary, Bloke was out with a bunch of old schoolfriends, the second time he's seen them recently. Some of them were probably there that night, but I can't be sure as it's all a blur. After the first time Bloke had met them I'd asked if they had partners, children, but he hadn't asked and they hadn't mentioned it. On Saturday he told me he had asked now and also had information about others from that era. CD was one of the ones he mentioned - I stopped him and asked why he thought I'd want to know about CD. He was puzzled, he didn't know why I wouldn't. Because he raped me and it massively fucked me up forever. Oh yes, I forgot. I'd told him about this years later, and it has come up now and again since - like when Facebook offered him up as someone I might know which stirred me right up and I talked to Bloke about it. And when I tried to report it, a few years ago, I talked a lot about it then. But he forgot. 

So there we are. That's been me since Saturday. I saw my therapist today - I'd emailed her my bullet pointed account that I posted here the other day and we talked it through. I don't have anyone else to talk it through with as the ones I've tried hadn't seen it, one talked of trial by media, the other could only see him as an addict in recovery, others have their own history and I won't start the conversation unless they do. But therapist said to not just push it away, but to explore it a bit, to sit with it with my newly strengthened Healthy Adult perspective and it has helped, writing it out to you, talking it through with you.

I'll probably delete this after a few days.



12:05 a.m. - 21.09.23


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