give your soul a voice

Just A Girl: Jane Doe

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Just A Girl on healing

Pretty much every single person I know, uses or is familiar with, social media and the user-names that people often create for themselves in order to disguise their true identity or intentions.

“Sexxy babe 69” on a dating site for example probably isn’t going to be easily confused with one of the Waltons, whilst “Shyjustlookingforfriendship” probably is one of the Waltons. It’s an assumption. People will read between the lines and try to match the user name to the personality type, probably without even realising what they are doing.

For a long, long time, I was Jane Doe. And I wasn’t deliberately trying to be mysterious and unidentifiable. I chose the name because it suited my mental state perfectly at that time. Anonymous, dead female…..because that’s exactly how I felt.

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This isn’t something that I like to blog about or draw attention to. Ever really. It’s the one skeleton in my closet that doesn’t come out very often. It prefers to stay tucked away out of sight and in the dark. I prefer it to stay tucked away out of sight and in the dark. It was a long time ago now. And time has been a healer.

But it hasn’t always been this way. What happened soon after I drank that drink destroyed me. It took me years to feel anything except an incredible fear of pretty much everything and everyone and an absolute loathing of myself.

It was a night out with friends. I didn’t go out very often. I’d had a couple of drinks but only two – three at the most. I was working the next day and wanted a clear head.

I got talking to a guy. I’d never seen him before….like I said, I didn’t go out very often. Anyway, he seemed nice. He made me laugh. I didn’t think twice when he bought me a drink. Why would I? He was good looking, smartly dressed. Funny. He didn’t look like the type of guy who would spike me…ironically now, as a direct result of what happened afterwards, pretty much all men do.

And that sounds terrible. And I wish that I didn’t have to think like that. But I do. Even now, all of these years later. And I can only apologise for mentally tarring every guy with the same brush. It’s just something that I really can’t change about the way that my head works these days.

It happened in my home. We’d shared a taxi… he said that he wanted to make sure that I was ok, as already I was starting to feel a bit strange. I remember asking the driver to stop at a garage so that I could buy a sandwich, thinking that it might help if I ate something. I never did get to eat it. My last concious memory was of me putting the sandwich down on a chair in my living room.

Which is where I woke up. Half-naked and on the floor. He was long gone. Obviously.

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The flashbacks started not long after. There was a monster in my bedroom most nights meaning that sleep became impossible. In therapy, years later, I asked why the monster was on my bed. The assault wasn’t in my room – I was on the living room floor…it didn’t make sense. Until the therapist explained that, because my subconscious mind was attempting to find a way to process and convey what had happened to me in a way that I could understand and begin to deal with, my bedroom suddenly becoming a terrifying place to be made absolute, perfect sense…..because generally I would associate my bedroom and therefore my bed with sex….not my living room floor. Which is why the monster was there every night. Which then did make absolute, perfect sense. I understood.

A huge part of the aftermath meant that I couldn’t get clean. Ever. No matter how hot the water, how hard I scrubbed. I felt dirty and contaminated constantly. And then, a few years later I caught chicken-pox….and suddenly overnight I looked as ugly on the outside as I felt on the in. I had managed to dodge most childhood illnesses and so, when I caught this it was pretty horrendous. There wasn’t an inch of me that didn’t have a scab on it. They were everywhere. And I remember looking at my reflection, at the face that I couldn’t even put make up on, and feeling relieved at just how hideous I looked. Because finally, it was as though all of that dirt and shame that had been locked away inside of me had made it to the surface…..for everyone to see. And finally, after all of that time, I felt cleansed.

And that was my turning point.

My scabs took weeks to heal. I still carry the scars. On my face, my shoulders, my breasts, my legs…..but they don’t bother me now. Not like they used to.

Today I look at my scars and they remind me just how powerful the subconcious mind is when it comes to knowing what’s best for you….especially in times of crisis. I honestly believe that my body knew that this was the only way I could heal. And it was. It really truly was.

Because having all of this shit visible on the outside meant that I was no longer fixated on what was going on inside me. And I started to get better.

I had counselling for over a year. And it put me through the wringer. But it helped. Absolutely it helped. And now I hardly ever think about it.

So I suppose that I’m writing this blog as closure.

Because it’s a new year. Full of possibilities. And I want to be looking forward, not forever living in the past.

So I’m taking that skeleton out of my closet, and I’m putting him in a box. Which means that I don’t have to think about him any more.


Because ‘Jane Doe’ is long gone. Today I’m just a girl. And despite this horrific event along with several others along the way which have massively rocked my world, I’m very much alive….

Just A Girl is our mental health columnist. Find her on Twitter

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Ivory MagazineJust A Girl: Jane Doe

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