Alright lads it’s me again.
I’m sat here and it’s my 21st birthday, wahoo! Genuinely quite shocked I’ve been breathing this long. I’ve faced a lot of ups and downs in my life and well I’m here to tell you about a real big down. It’s the first time I’ve ever addressed this publicly in detail so if you’re interested in why I’m so passionate about fighting stigmas, here we go.
I was raped. I think this is the first time I’ve used this phrase. At least in memory it is. The PTSD tends to blank stuff out. I just remember sitting in the police interview room and them trying to get that R word out of me. I couldn’t say it for a good 6 months after. It’s the one thing you think “oh that’ll never happen to me” well it god damn did. That police interview room was bloody awful too. It had shite charity shop paintings on the wall, fake plants and an ugly sofa in an attempt to make it seem “homely” and “comfortable”. It made it the complete opposite. Plus it was freezing cold. Not ideal.
So yeah. I’d gone clubbing with my best pal. Little 18-year-old Dizz. Met a cool group of people, gals and guys, and like you do, the drinks started gradually flowing. Night goes on, finishes and one of the guys says they’re gonna have this after party, but that he lives by me and can drop us home. So we’re like sick yeah let’s go. This was a total lie – they lived half an hour/45 minutes away. I was pretty drunk, not paralytic but enough to remember only doing one balloon and then off I went to bed. I was shown to my room but I went to sleep alone. Love a good night’s sleep, me, so I didn’t think much of it. Then at some point in the night, he comes in. I don’t know him. Asks to share the bed. I remember telling him no but he kept pestering and pestering but I was exhausted so eventually I gave in and said something along the lines of “fine you can lie across the bed on top of the covers”. That was the last time I experienced some sort of normality. After that, it was gone.
I must have fallen back asleep. In fact I did, because I was slowly awoken by a hand on my breasts and a hand in my pants. It’s such a blur, it was almost like time had stopped. I was defenceless, I was in shock, not once part of my body could fight back. It got worse. I just remember lying there and I was frozen and I could just smell him on me and in me. He was off his face on drugs. He had been kicked out of the club the night before for knocking someone’s tooth out. I remember him getting up and going into the room my friend was in, where he passed out. At some point he managed to go downstairs and sleep on the sofa and that’s when I managed to grab my pal and take her outside and try to explain what happened. That R word. I just couldn’t say it. My body was in shock and I didn’t realise it.
I had to then wait hours for a lift home. I had to work out how to break this to my family. My boyfriend at the time. My friends. My life had fallen apart, and for what, one junkie’s sick satisfaction? I never thought I’d get an answer but a tweet then appeared in which I was compared to a game of rugby; a bet was on and there was a reward for the “player” who got a “try” first. My body and my sanity gone for a sick game. I was so ill after. My body was in shock for days, weeks even. The first few days my boyfriend Tom never left my side. I am forever grateful to him. He looked after me when I had a fever and we just watched the WWE Network for god knows how long. What an angel. I had to go for an examination and interview and to be honest, that was just as bad as the rape. More strangers touching my body. Making me relive it all. I sat in the shower for so long after crying. I just couldn’t wash him off of me. I still get these moments whilst washing. PTSD is a weird thing to have to live with.
My life was just then a weird series of depression naps, doctor’s appointments and police interviews but during that time somehow I discovered independent wrestling. I was already a fan, Tom had gotten me into it. I fell in love with Paige and Daniel Bryan. I would spend all my time (since I was too ill to work) watching countless shows and matches and I fell in love. This is why I’m so passionate about protecting the industry and the vulnerable people in it: it saved my life.
It took over a year for my case to go to court. I was one of the lucky ones who didn’t get their case dropped by CPS. However, the police never swabbed him for DNA and never did a drugs test. There were no actual witnesses to the crime. Still to this day, if you ask me what the biggest thing I’ve done in my life is, I’ll tell you; I stood up in court, in front of him, in front of a judge, in front of a jury of people, in front of my family, in front of his family, and I fought for myself, for justice, for what was right. I left a sobbing mess, but to my mum, my nan, Georgia – my sister from another dimension and Tom – my ex who wasn’t supposed to give a statement but did: I am forever in debt you to. I can never repay you for your support. You are all a true testament to this planet. To every doctor, counsellor and friend that’s had my back; thank you from the bottom of my heart. To him; I hope it was worth it. All the pain you caused to me, my family, my friends, your girlfriend (?!?!). I hope you find peace. I’m not even angry anymore. You put me through hell but those flames in hell lit a fire inside me. I’m not your victim, I’m a survivor. A warrior.
I first realised I had the power to change things when I was on the sesh, actually. A friend from school pulled me aside on the dance floor and she thanked me for being open about it. She admitted to me she had been assaulted in her past. This has happened more times now than I care to talk about in the past 2 and a half years, the most recent being 3 days ago. I will be the voice for the voiceless. I will protect the things I love. I will help others. I will leave this world having made some sort of positive impact. Only a third of all sex crimes ever come to light; please never stay in the dark. The bulb may be dim for a while, but you deserve to shine brightly.
So that’s that. I think I got most of it off my chest. I think if I can at least reach one person by writing this, it’ll be worth it. Like I said, it’s my mother fucking birthday – I’m going for a nap, then going to get drunk and watch some choreographed violence.
A wise man once said “Life is a roller coaster, you just gotta ride it”.
(Oh my god do you reckon Ronan Keating is wise? I wonder how many GCSEs he has. Do you reckon he passed Science? Let me know.)
Love, Em/Dizz x