Just a drunken man going too far?

I’ve been toying with writing this blog post for the last year or so. I’ve always put it off, because I know how hard it’s going to be. And I’m a little scared about the memories it’s going to bring up.

I don’t really know how to start. So I guess I’ll just get straight to the point.

I was sexually attacked. By a close, trusted friend.

I had known him for almost two years when it happened. We worked together. We’d been drinking buddies – always the last two standing at the end of the night. We chatted every day – I supported him through his marriage break-up – he supported me through my never-ending search for ‘Mr Right’. And, I guess there was some chemistry there.

We got a bit too close on occasion. And it got picked up on at work – where we were asked if we were having an affair. We weren’t. But knowing that people had seen the closeness between us, we kept our distance a bit more.

I started seeing someone. He finally left his wife. We didn’t need each other as much as we had and we drifted apart.

Last year I was going through a tough patch of depression. I wasn’t off work but I was finding work difficult – I had a new role and a lot more pressure. I didn’t get on well with my manager and found it increasingly tough to work under her without speaking my mind.

To try and ‘cheer me up’ the directors invited me to a charity event that work was sponsoring – he was invited too. We ended up pairing up because most other people were in couples already.

We had a lovely evening. Just having a laugh, taking cigarette breaks together, having a bit of a dance… and we had a long chat about everything that had happened before. It was nice to clear the air, really talk again.

A couple of weeks later, we were both attending another work event – an awards ceremony this time. The company won a lot of awards – many for projects we’d both worked on – so the wine was flowing and everyone was in good spirits. At one point in the evening we were out having a cigarette and he came on to me. I said that I wasn’t interested. I was about to move in with my boyfriend and wasn’t interested in him like that anymore.

The company had put on a minibus to get us back home after the ceremony. Most people were pretty hammered by the time they got on the bus, and a lot of the group fell asleep when we got on.

I was drunk, but not overly so – I had had clients to entertain at the ceremony so hadn’t been able to go mad.

After a while, he came and sat next to me – despite there being enough spaces for each of us to have two seats. I thought he must just want to chat for a while.

He was leathered. Really drunk. I felt a bit uncomfortable and suggested he sit somewhere else. He didn’t want to.

At first, he just laid his head on my shoulder and I tried to shove him off. A couple of people on the bus had noticed and I rolled my eyes at them – I thought he was just going to pass out on me. A colleague tried to get him to move, but he wasn’t having any of it.

Then he kissed my neck. I asked him to stop. He wouldn’t. He carried on kissing me. And started touching my legs. I had a dress on with no tights. He put his hand under the skirt of the dress. I tried to move his hands. But I couldn’t. He kept on going. Telling me he wanted to take me home – wanted me to ‘party’ with him. All the time, touching me, and kissing me despite me asking him to stop.

It was so strange. I was on a bus full of people I knew pretty well – yet I couldn’t shout. I didn’t want to ‘make a fuss’. I ended up still and silent. Wishing away the time so I could get back to my flat and be on my own. If anyone looked at me, I smiled. Smiled! That seems so utterly ridiculous now. I wanted to scream and shout and let everyone know what was happening. But self-consciousness and shame and guilt and who knows what else stopped me. I just let him do it. What does that make me?

Eventually, I got home. I got in and I cried. I cried a lot.

The next day, my parents and boyfriend all came over to help me move some stuff from my old house to the new one. I didn’t say a word. I told them all about the awards ceremony. But I couldn’t bring myself to tell anyone what had happened.

What happened at work after that still amazes me. Suffice to say, I was screwed over and the phrase ‘are you sure it wasn’t just a drunken man going too far” was used repeatedly. But that will need to be my next blog. I’m tired now.

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  1. **Massive hug** Well done for finding the courage. I soooo need to start blogging!! x

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