I mentioned a few weeks ago that this time of year seems to trigger more flashbacks. I have also had some strange dreams about what happened that night. But I have found this year, the biggest effect that these flashbacks etc have had is on my concentration on tasks at work and at home.
People have been telling me things…and their words have gone in through one ear and straight out of the other without registering at all in between. I am forgetting silly little things. I am forgetting how to do things I do regularly and routinely. I am easily confused and sometimes feel lost. I am waking up frequently with the sensation of “where am I?”
The bruises still hurt. I have felt very unsettled recently, and easily panicked. Lots of things make me shaky, nervous, as if someone is going to attack me either verbally or physically. This coming week is the week. Four years ago this week it all happened. It was as if a monster – and I don’t mean either Jack or the man who attacked me – launched an intense assault at me, and decided to pick up my life and break it into pieces.
What happened to me on the Heath is not Jack’s fault. But for weeks leading up to that night, close friends kept on telling me to try to ride things out and not rock the boat. If I complained about Jack, he would win and I would lose. He had a way of making it look as if this was all my fault, or all in my head. He was so sure of himself, so frustrated with me.
But it is not normal to be called a tramp, a slut, and other names by both people you know and strangers. It is not normal to be the subject of false rumours and insults that spread like wildfire, especially because of Jack and all of his fans being obsessed with social media. My being upset about that was entirely normal and natural. Maybe it was no big deal to Jack, but I wanted it to stop. It might not sound a big deal as I am describing it…but it was the intensity – thousands of unsavoury or slanderous comments over that period wore away at my inner core and left me crumbly. I remember being told again and again – Jack is more important than you are. That was not my reason for not complaining about him. My reason was simply that I loved him and I did not want him to suffer any reproach.
But the look of hatred in his eyes whenever he saw me. It made me feel sick. I was keeping quiet for his sake. And the look of hatred in his eyes haunts me. I have said this before…it has been easier for me to overcome the trauma of what happened the night I was attacked, than the intense stress in connection with the situation with Jack. But it’s the memories of what happened that night, the anger and outrage, that make my mind jump to all the repressed emotions during those years of Jack playing games with me.
Later this week, you may notice that I am re-posting some of the posts I wrote last year, because I couldn’t face churning up my emotions again by writing fresh pieces. Anyway…I can’t wait for this week to be over really. The last few years it has always been a relief when the intensity of the memories start to fade. I am so glad that this year I am with Goldfinch during the “anniversary” of that night on the Heath. I love Goldfinch to bits…and it is amazing to me how much of a difference it makes to feel safe and secure with someone.