“This blog post contains content that some people might find disturbing”
Just Imagine ….
Imagine for a moment that you are female, twenty nine years of age; happy go lucky and just love to live your life to the full. You work hard at your job, and it’s five o’clock on a Friday evening.You’ve just finished a gruelling 40-hour week, and you’re planning on a night out with some old friends who you have not seen for a while. You get to the car park, dump your work bag in the boot along with your work jacket, get in your car and off you go home; the same routine as every other normal Friday evening.
Once you are at home you open your door, pick up the mail, check the answer machine and, as you lock your door, you feed the cat, put the kettle on and sit down to read your mail.
You have received mostly bills, which you put to one side, but by now the cat is meowing at the door to go out, and you notice she must have cut herself because of the blood spots on the white kitchen floor tiles. Thinking no more you check the cat’s paws, let her outside and wipe up the blood. Coffee digested you stretch out your aching body and decide to have a long hot bath and pamper yourself before getting ready for the evening out. You are excited to be seeing your old friends and have lots to catch up on.
Deciding that the new black jeans should be okay with a cream ruffle blouse, you lay them out on the bed and start to run your bath. The scent of a coconut bath bomb fills the air, and you gently sing along to yourself gathering your underwear from the radiator, left there to dry earlier that morning. After having washed your hair you put it up in a towel and get undressed to ease yourself into the luscious bath, just as you’ve done many times before.
Laying back in the bath you close your eyes, starting to relax into a beautiful daydream state, when all of a sudden you are brought back to earth by the sound of a gentle click from the back bedroom.
Eyes wide open now you quickly sit up and turn around to see if you can see around the door; you wait a while and for some unknown ridiculous reason you call out to see if anyone answers. No answer, so you think about continuing to relax but you are now too unsettled, so you decide to get washed and get out of the bath.
Body dried off now, in your bathrobe, you go to check the back bedroom, and as you do so, suddenly a hand grabs your wrist and spins you around ramming you up against the wall. It’s your sister’s husband; he’s drunk and angry and he tells you he is going to get what he wants whether you like it or not. He tells you that you are no better than him and looking down your nose at him ends right now.
You have been terrified of this violent aggressive man since you were six years old, and right now you are absolutely petrified. It feels like all of this is happening in slow motion; he has already split your lip, and you can taste the blood as well as the smell of his rancid body odour, thick with smoke and beer.
He grabs your hair and throws you onto the bed raping you violently, slapping, punching and biting at your skin intermittently.
Right now adrenaline has been released from your adrenal glands (situated above your kidneys).
Red blood cells flood to carry oxygen – blood is diverted to wherever it is needed. Your breathing has become rapid to provide you with more energy. Your lungs have dilated to give you more oxygen.
Your sweating has increased, and you want to vomit, but you can’t. You need the toilet badly, which is your body’s way of making your body lighter for purposes of flight. Your muscles have tightened and you are like a coiled spring. Your blood pressure is up, and apart from the blood seeping from the split in your lip, your mouth is very dry.
All of this is happening to you in a split second, even though it feels and seems much longer. The silence in your head is deafening as you endure this torture by a man who has known you since you had your first bicycle. By now you are in so much pain. Your eyes feel like they are bleeding. You are dizzy where he’s punched you in the side of your head.
You play dead now, because from some primal instinctive response, you know that this is your only real defence, and as your lifeless body drops to the floor from the bed he has thrown you onto, you can hear him shouting at you to wake up, your face taking the pain as he continues to slap you across the face again and again.
You are now on the ceiling looking down, watching him revile you in many ways, but you can also hear voices outside calling your name fading in and out, through the letterbox maybe, or up to the window. You are still playing dead, but panic sets in again, allowing all the changes that are already occurring within your body to start to increase all over again as you think he is surely going to kill you.
Then, still too terrified to open your eyes, you hear footsteps running down the stairs, the back door slamming shut, voices shouting echo throughout your house from outside and again you just want to go to sleep.
‘It’s okay. It’s only me, Sheila from next door but one, lovey. Keep your eyes open, lovey. Ambulance is on its way.’
You talk, but you don’t know what you are saying. It’s as if someone else is speaking for you.
Two paramedics rush into the room and call you by your name…
Sue J. Daniels
MBACP (Snr Accred).
EMDR Practitioner EMDR Europe (Accred).
Professional Counsellor & Trauma Specialist
An excerpt from:
Working with the Trauma of Rape and Sexual Violence
A Guide for Professionals
ISBN – 978-1785921117
The following trauma resources supporting this article are available on Amazon and at all major high street and online book stores…