PTSDiaries: On running into my rapist at work

My followers may have noticed that I didn’t post on my usual day. Sorry if that ruined your week, haha! It was a hard week, and I’m sorry that my wonderful followers had to suffer for it. If you’re new, welcome, let’s be friends!

My week was off to a bad start when I ran into my rapist for the first time in three years.

It was at work, when I was out with a client. We went to Tim Horton’s (which is a Canadian coffee shop chain, for all my international friends) for some Kelsey-brand cheering up and there he was. At first, I didn’t recognise him. I just saw a group of unwashed nerds playing card games and idly wondered if they were playing Magic: The Gathering. Then, I got a better look at him. There he was. Just sitting there.

Luckily, he didn’t see me. This is good. The last time I saw him in the flesh he smiled, waved and tried to talk to me. I gave him the middle finger. That’s not the kind of behaviour you can get away with at work.

I managed to be okay during the visit, but when I got back to the parking lot at work I heaved. On a scale of mild hunger to food poisoning, my nausea after seeing him was somewhere around the time I ate undercooked eggs in home economics class.

I went home and tried to laugh it off while letting myself feel, but that is so. damn. hard. I repressed most of what I was feeling and it came out in the form of anxiety attacks in the days following. I was also more depressed and apathetic than usual.

Of course seeing him bothered me. But the why is more complicated than simple “I see a rapist asshole.”

I cope with what happened to me by telling myself that R, due to his drug habits and messed up family, is worse off than me. I imagine and hope that no matter how much I’m suffering, he’s probably coked out of his gourd. But I saw him, and his skin looks normal, he’s a normal weight, nothing like the drug addict I imagined. I guess I should be happy for him. I’m not. My partner told me that he’s at Tim Horton’s playing card games on a Saturday night, so his life can’t be that great, but it’s not what I wanted. I tell myself that nobody wins in these situations, but right now there’s a clear loser.

I was also irrationally angry at the police officers that were there. I wanted to scream at them that a rapist was sitting two feet from them. I wanted to tell them to arrest him. But that’s stupid. They can’t do anything.

My parents wouldn’t let me press charges. By the time I came forward they felt that I didn’t have enough evidence to convict him.

My sole comfort was that his haircut still looks like a mangy raccoon got caught in a weedwhacker. The boy’s a mess.

*

I need a strategy to deal with seeing him again. My therapist and I discussed it and thought that if he talks to me at work I should politely but firmly tell him to leave me alone if he talks to me, and ignore him otherwise. She and I agreed that, if not at work, I should feel no shame about cursing at him and causing a scene if he refuses to leave me alone.

I agree with these strategies, but I still don’t know if I’d be able to restrain myself from punching first and swearing later. Especially if cops are around. I’d rather not write my next entry from prison.

-Kelsey M.

2 thoughts on “PTSDiaries: On running into my rapist at work

  1. It doesn’t matter what he looks like. You’ll always be better off. Because he is and always will be an asshole. And you are a terrific young woman, working on a caring career and a creative career. You’ve got ambitions and imagination and the most wonderful mind. You’ll always be better.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That has to be the single hardest, most terrifying thing ever. I would go full-scale meltdown if I saw my ex again, as I have done a couple of times in the past. Go you for being as calm as you were and well done for not pouring scalding coffee over his sorry head! On a more serious note, a strategy is good, but if he keeps up the pestering, report him to the police for stalking. That’ll stop him. If it doesn’t, the police certainly will. x

    Like

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