As New Year’s Eve approaches, which is the 2nd anniversary of my BFD (for the newer readers, my BFD = the night of my sexual assault; i.e. my Big F‘ing Deal), my spare time is becoming increasingly dangerous to my mental health. My mind keeps wandering back to that night, and I’m much more anxious than normal. I’ve already had one breakdown this week at the thought of talking about what happened to a relative stranger, and the PTSD-flashbacks of laying in bed, paralyzed from both alcohol and terror, are coming back at night as I lay in bed.
Even the worst flashback, which I thought was gone, made an appearance last night. On that night as I lay in bed passed out, he came in my room and climbed on top of me, and I could feel his hardened penis against my thigh as I said no. Feeling him against my thigh right before I passed out, knowing through the haze what he wanted but feeling helpless to do anything to stop it besides a whispered no… this is the worst. For months afterwards I could still feel him against my thigh, and the fear… I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.
This week has been terrible.
However, on top of the flashbacks and the constant thinking about my BFD, I’m also dealing with another unexpected side effect of that night… approaching this Saturday, I am absolutely terrified of being around alcohol or people drinking. Which tends to happen a lot on New Year’s Eve.
2: dipsophobia: an extreme unwarranted fear and/or physical aversion to drinking.
This dipsophobia isn’t limited to New Years… I’ve felt this way for months. Being around drunk people, even if they are my closest friends, will sometimes fill me with fear. Seeing a friend drink a single beer is enough to make me feel anxious. When I make myself examine why this is, I realize it’s not that I am afraid of them, but I am afraid that they are not in control – of themselves or of the world around them. And in the deepest part of my mind is the thought that if my loved ones are not in control of themselves, then how can they possibly protect me if something terrible happens?
Spelling out how this trauma has warped the way I think about daily, ordinary events is painful. Even more painful is the realization that, two years later, I am still wracked by fear.
Of course, I will not be drinking this New Year’s. But then again, that will not affect what will happen.
I will feel panic. I will feel fear. I will seek comfort in the arms of loved ones.
I hate that this one night still controls so much of my life.
I can control one thing though – I can continue to fight. I will face my fears. I will grieve. And I will continue to get stronger.