Monday, February 12, 2007

Victim Support

Emily was attacked on the tube in March last year. The assault obviously affected her but she coped reasonably well and got on with her life. She was upset when she knew the case was being closed but had soon put everything behind her.

The following February she was introduced to someone at a function by friends. By the end of the following day Emily was convinced this was the man who had attacked her. Confused and scared she did not know what to do. The following day she got up for work but spent most of the day sat on the kitchen floor crying and shaking. She was rescued by a phone call from the school's police officer who was suspicious about her absence and a comment she had made the previous day.

Emily and the police officer got the case reopened and Emily went back to work. Unfortunately, lots of people realised there was something wrong with Emily because she wasn't mixing and wasn't talking. (Two of the things she does best). Emily was restless, she couldn't concentrate and wanted to walk everywhere no matter how far because that was the only thing that made her feel better. She also felt permanently sick and was worried that she might burst into tears at any moment. The school's police officer suggested that going to talk to someone might make a difference.

With his help Emily made an appointment for Monday morning. She had her reservations due to an inbuilt squeamishness around anything vaguely classed as therapy but agreed if she didn't like it she didn't have to go again. Emily feels much better and now cannot stop laughing (hysterically).

Emily realises that what she'd needed all along was someone who she perceived to be intelligent to tell her what she was feeling was perfectly normal and would pass. She worked this out herself after feeling insulted and patronised by the person she saw. The 'session' has confirmed all her worst fears. Many counsellors are people who mean well and are trained to listen and to ask the right questions in the right order; not to think. Many also have a set idea of what a victim is and how they act. Emily was overjoyed to discover she didn't quite fit. She is the same person she has always been after all.


Red said...

Shit, I can't believe you actually got introduced to your attacker. How awful that must have been for you... I cannot even imagine. It's just too chilling a thought.

And I'm delighted that you didn't fit a "victim" profile, whatever the professionals think that might be. Good on ya!

I hope you manage to put this horrid experience behind you -- so far behind you that one day it'll be so fuzzy and distant, you'll struggle to remember the details.

Rehan Qayoom said...

What an awfully terrible experience *HUGS* I'm proud of how strong you've been in this ordeal. Glad you've put it all behind you and moved on as we all must dpo in the end.

ems said...

Thanks, Red and Rehan. It still may not turn out to be him but hey ho!

coolbuddha said...

Awful experience. Your a bright, caring, empathetic and inspiring person (that coming from a hard bitten cynic!). They are qualities which make your feelings entirely understandable. We need people like you.

ems said...

CB - you'll have me in tears again! Thank you xx

Ashley said...

The world is strange. I don't think there is a right or wrong way to react/feel. Do what you need to do, Ems. I am glad though, you found someone to talk to who made a difference.