• Adeela Ejaz

Midnight Haunting | Interview 5

Updated: Jun 26, 2020

I’ve been wanting to share this with someone for a long time. I guess in some ways I already have but those conversations just haven’t been enough you know? I was raped. In my culture, that’s a big thing which gets hushed up. People often think that only a woman who might be less covered up gets raped because “she’s asking for it”. It’s such bullshit. Rape doesn’t discriminate. I was only a fucking kid when it happened and I was covered up in my dungarees or some shit I can’t really remember. We also tend to forget that men also get raped. Like it can happen to anyone regardless of gender, sexuality, age, race, culture, religion, you know?

Even after my incident, I’d been sexually assaulted multiple times by people in my family (they were very distant relatives) but also at work and by some random people too. It really sucks because when I told people, some didn’t believe me because how could it happen to me on so many occasions? There was one person in particular who I was speaking to and he said that surely I must have been to blame for some of those incidents. At that time I agreed because I didn’t know anything else. I blamed myself for what happened to me. I mean, why wouldn't I? Others were blaming me so it must be my fault right? It's crazy now that I think about it.

I blamed myself for what happened to me. I mean, why wouldn't I? Others were blaming me so it must be my fault right?

People ask me whether or not I ever told my parents. Yeah my mum found out but it didn't go down well. Things exploded and it almost sounded like it was my fault? I don't know man. My mum and I have had a very complicated relationship. I feel cut off from my family really and if I'm honest, I'd much rather leave and live by myself than feel trapped in a place I'm supposed to feel safe? My mum knew about the other incidents too but she was angry at me. Also there's this issue about communicating within the Asian community. I don't know if you ever felt it too but it's like you can't really talk to your parents about stuff and it doesn't help that issues like rape and mental health are so taboo. I find it ridiculous really. How can you care more about what other people think over your own kids you know? But yeah, I don't have a good relationship with my family. My mum knew about my suicide and my self harming but there wasn't support. There was a lot of anger as to why I'm doing what I'm doing and that's kinda stopped me telling them anything. A lot of things were said and now I just don't really trust them.

I feel like I'm going to get attacked for saying all this about my issues with my family. People are always saying that you know you should treat your parents with respect because they raised you. People do have toxic relationships with parents so don't tell them about how they should feel towards them.

This experience has haunted me for a lot of my life and there was a point where I disassociated with the experience. I kept questioning whether it truly happened? At one point I literally felt like I had made up the scenario in my head. It was all a bit crazy but it had happened. I know this happened because I get nightmares from that experience. I have been haunted by it. This is my "baggage".

Being raped and sexually assaulted on many occasions completely fucked me up. I made and sometimes still make reckless decisions and do things which I know are harmful. I wish there was a way I could talk about this with someone but I feel so closed off. I feel like as soon as I start this conversation up, people will walk away and I’ll lose the people i hold dearest to me. I recently started therapy because I was getting really bad and I needed the help but I don’t know if it’s working. I usually spend the hour talking about other things which have made me sad and avoid this. I feel weird you know? I think that’s just because I find it very difficult.

For many years I couldn’t even say the word. Like it would get stuck in my throat. It made me so uncomfortable. I know people think that's so stupid but everyone reacts differently to what happens. It's only recently that I have been able to say rape but still find it hard, just not as hard as I used to. I've battled with mental health for years. I been depressed, suicidal, self harmed, I still have anxiety, and I'm sure I have PTSD but just haven't been diagnosed for it. It all takes a toll on you.

I feel like I can’t have a normal relationship because of what happened. It's too much. Also not enough people understand the trauma, you know? I don't like going into too much detail about it because it makes me feel uncomfortable and I do get triggered. But also because I'm scared of how other people might respond to it, especially if you're someone I consider a friend or care about. I've lost a lot of friends because of their rape jokes and how they would mock me or laugh about it and it wasn't cool. I would love to be with someone but I'm scared. Like really scared. I don't feel connected to my family in any way so I want to have a partner who I'm super close with. I don't know. This is all one big fuck up. But yeah, this is one thing that stops me from getting too close to people, especially guys. Sometimes my friends, who I know only have good intentions might I don't know, offer to do something for me or hug me and I'll be freaking out. It's crazy man. I wanna heal and I wanna get out of this place. Yeah I've made a lot of progress but I got a long ass way to go.

Is there any advice you would give to others?

Yeah. It was never your fault! You did nothing to deserve it! Talk to someone, go to your doctor or speak to an organisation, they can help you out! Don't be ashamed! It wasn't your fault!

And for everyone out there, consent is key! If someone has not explicitly said 'yes' please stop. Don't continue. Just stop. There are so many instances where people can be saved if we actually pay attention to someone's body language. If they are fighting you or closing off or walking away, then clearly its a no. You shouldn't be getting intimate with someone without their permission anyway. It's a very simple concept but it shocks me how little people know about it. People think even if someone has said no that they still need to pursue after them?! You really don't. No means no.

No means no.

If you have been affected by events mentioned in this interview or know someone who has, you can get in touch with any of the following:

  1. Support Line

  2. NHS

  3. Rape Crisis

  4. Victim Support

  5. SafeLine

  6. Women's Aid

  7. Men's Advice Line

  8. The Survivor's Trust

  9. Planned Parenthood

  10. HelpGuide

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