I was just reading a blog of a lady’s story, when I came across a poem. I hadn’t thought about the incident in Morocco for a good twenty minutes, until then. Until I read the word:
It haunts. It scars. It scares.
I remember the day I found out that’s what happened.
Surely when it happened, you might say?
Well, no. What happened happened – I was attacked and sexually assaulted…raped…in Morocco. But, when it happened, whilst it was happening, I was left paralysed with shock and fear, performing the acts the guy wanted to have beneath that Moroccan sunshine like it was just another regular day in my life. Toes deep in sand. Heart deep in fear. Not once did I think, “I’m being raped”. Sure, I feared for my life when he picked up a brick and gestured towards my head, cracking it on the wall beside my cheek. Sure, almost two years on, I am now feeling riddled with PTSD from it. But at the time I had a numbness – an emotional cut-off or understanding for what the hell just happened. I think I still have that a little bit. Like it doesn’t quite feel real yet. (It’s amazing how trauma works.)
I sobbed and cried like I would cry when mum was switching into her bouts of psychosis, or like the child I was at three, watching mum slip into a coma, leaving me to save her life from that point on. Those are the only other times I have ever felt that fear. That isolation. That pain. That total utter confusion. Those times have happened A LOT, but in the details sense: the shit that actually went down, Morocco was one of a kind. I think. I hope.
It was the first time I have ever felt that dirty.
I sobbed and sobbed. And then I showered and showered.
I can’t really remember what happened then. Except I remember longing to phone my friend back home, but wondering whether it was worth it – maybe I was just being silly.
Now, to think that’s what I thought, my heart hurts. I sob for my wounded child. My wounded adult. Living a life so full of trauma and crisis, something like this just felt so normal. There was an inch of ‘hang on, I think this was a bit bad…kind of’. But that ponder. That wonder, only lasted briefly and then I set about leading the rest of my travels.
The reason I began to write this post, was to tell the story of when I first discovered that I was actually raped. But instead, for the first time, I have actually written about what happened in Morocco.
That is massive. That is huge.
I have only found a few shortened sentences until now. After just last week, suddenly realising I had never, in all my trauma ridden PTSD style days, have I ever scribbled it out.
So thank you dear reader for being the first to read, what I hope will be the beginning of many scribbles and words on this. (And the rest). It feels like the healing process has now actually begun. At 1.30am snoozy eyed in bed, I feel like I have done what I have needed to do in months, but just been too scared to start. To remember.
But here I feel held.
And I can’t tell you how good that feels. If relief were a bird it would fly the lightest of flights amongst a million others, right now.
I’ll keep the story of how I found out that what actually happened was what it was, for another day as I need to get some shut-eye. But for now, I want to leave you with a tonne of gratitude.
So thank you. Thank you for reading and offering this space.