I suffered with depression in 2001 at the age of 22. My colleagues and friends at the time knew that. What many people didn’t know are the reasons why I was diagnosed and treated for mild depression.
Mild. Mild. I was SUICIDAL. I just didn’t dare tell anyone.
In 1999 upon leaving university, I secured a graduate job with a well known big consulting firm. I was raped by a Senior Manager at this firm between the end of August 2000 and sometime in March 2001. My diary stops in February 2001 and my memory was shattered by the March. It’s been a long slow slog of a climb back through my career and relationships since they were destroyed back then.
In 2013, this man contacted me again via LinkedIn and it caused me to experience symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). That same year, I wrote down what happened. I’d kept my diaries and hundreds of files and all sorts of evidence and I trudged back through them all.
At the time in 2013, I was going through a separation from my husband and many of the emotional patterns were being revisited – confusion, guilt, blame, dehumanisation, belittling. Revisiting at the age of 35 the story of my rape at age 22 greatly compounded the emotional issues I was suffering in my marriage, although the abuse within my marriage was far more hidden and at the time to me only presented as a nagging pain in my gut, being mainly confined to emotional abuse.
Sadly, even now, those issues of emotional abuse from my marriage are still present and unresolved and I will be discussing the issues surrounding those stories on my blog. With the separation, however (and many terrible episodes involving the police, social services, various authorities) has come a distance, an objectivity, and an opportunity for me to understand what I couldn’t understand back then.
Four rounds of domestic violence counselling have really helped me to see the situation and to feel and give a name to my own feelings.
These issues are still ongoing despite very little contact between myself and my ex-husband. As an example of his abuse, he has repeatedly contacted Social Services accusing me of physically abusing our children. I experience his lies as being shocking, horrific and traumatic. Having my name dragged through the mud publicly is bad enough, but this also directly affects our children. Imagine one of your childhood memories is being questioned by someone you don’t know in the Headmaster’s office about who’s telling the truth, Mummy or Daddy. As he ups the stakes so high, I have no choice but to defend myself against his outrageous claims. I feel like a casualty of a war that someone else insists on waging. It’s beyond draining and the dismissal and failure of those in authority has been staggering.
To compound matters further, my ex-husband works as a teacher at the school where our children attend, which makes objectivity on the part of the school almost impossible to achieve. For a long time I felt as though my communication with them was unwanted and rejected out of hand. It’s all a matter of education. Perhaps they just haven’t listened to my words enough times and framed them in the right way in their heads. Perhaps they want a nice life and they don’t want me coming along with my stories that don’t fit their world view. I’m not sure, but I am sure that it’s one step to be listened to, and it’s another altogether for someone to provide advice and action that has some chance of making a positive shift forward.
The situation with him being on site at school with the ability to orchestrate a whole raft of lies in our community, marginalising and belittling me and having access to teaching staff whenever he likes just puts him once again in a position of power. Even the school run has at times felt a very scary place for me.
He can no longer attack me as his wife, so he attacks my motherhood instead, and in turn, psychologically damages our children. The term for this is parent alienation. I currently have absolutely no resolution on this issue whatsoever. The abuse will only stop when he realises his own part and starts to rectify the situation from his end. Over this I have no control.
I’ll keep you updated on the ongoing story via this blog.