So I wanted to share a story because I think it is important to hear, and also important for me to talk about. I did not talk about it for so long because I thought people wouldn’t believe that I was really upset if I felt comfortable talking about it. That might not make sense, but hopefully it will at the end.
Last year, on Halloween, I went on a night out at university with my group of friends on my course. The night started early, about seven, so as you can imagine, by 1am I was absolutely smashed; honestly, I don’t even remember anything from about 10:30 onwards. I woke up the next day in my room relieved and very hungover. Then a boy walked out of my bathroom, one of my friends, naked. He just looked and said, “You said it was ok.” After that, the normalised version of the story was that we had sex. Everyone spoke about it,but I have no idea what actually happened.
It is so scary to think that for that time, I was completely oblivious of what was happening to my body. At first, I couldn’t admit it. I went along with everyone saying, “Yeh we had sex,” and laughing it off, but I didn’t go out anymore, I stopped going to lectures, and I eventually dropped out of university in January. I don’t blame this event entirely, but obviously it had a large impact.
It took me about five months to come to terms with what happened, and still, I am unable to reconnect to my body. I have been in a very negative place since then, but most noticeably about my body image. I have found myself constantly criticising and insulting my body. I am constantly binging and starving, and I can’t eat anything without feeling guilty.
That night, at university, he had complete control over my body. I was vulnerable to him. And I can’t even imagine it because I don’t have the memories. I stopped being in control of my body. I detached myself from my body and started to damage it because I was angry at it. I find it so hard to love my body, and myself, because it wasn’t shown love and it let me down.
It’s so hard to see this when it is happening to yourself, yet so easy when it is happening to others. It’s easy to say to others, “Stop what you are doing, you are beautiful,” but it is an endless chore to reassure myself the same concept, that I am perfect the way I am, and I should not treat myself with such disrespect.
Finding that love for yourself is so important; being able to not let someone else steal it from you is just as important. As I mentioned in the beginning – talking about the things that make you feel sad doesn’t make your feelings any less justified. I was so afraid that talking about my situation would make it seem too casual and blasé, so no one would think I actually cared, but talking about it to people is the best thing I ever did, and I hope that talking about it here will at least help one other person feel good about themselves.
***also I just wanted to put this in some kind of perspective – I am 5’9 and weigh around 10 stone, so from the outside no one would know that I have body issues, or that I have a really unhealthy relationship with food, so it can happen to everyone! No matter how tall, short, skinny, or curvy you are you have to love you for you <3***
Written by Cara Mahon