Monday, 27 July 2015

The aftermath of hate crime

Last week, after nearly a year of a trouble free life, I was the victim of a hate motivated assault. I am unable to go into the specific details of the event for legal reasons but I can talk about generalities and the effects it has had on me.

I suppose my first thoughts are on the usage of the word victim. It is not a word I like to use to describe myself because it has so many negative connotations. Perhaps there are some who play the victim card and this is very far from the way I tend to operate. However, there are no doubts about it, I was the victim of a crime and I need to consider this in how I deal with things. 

Last weeks attack was different from others in the past. This time there was a physical element to it all and although I did not get injured, the potential for serious harm was very much there. This could have had a severe impact on the care I provide for Mandy as well as the pain and suffering I could have endured as a result. 

Again, a difference with this event was that I knew my attacker. Previously the abuse I had endured were often drink or drug fuelled and there was an element of pity for my attacker. Even though their stupor was self inflicted, I can understand that the intoxication was speaking for them. Both times, remorse was shown by my attackers and I have even encountered one of them since with respect shown to me. This time, my attacker was not under the influence of any substance and the controlled hatred was frightening. It was also pre-meditated and designed to hurt me emotionally as much as possible.

The attack also came from nowhere, when I was least expecting it and this leads to an element of shock. Emotional shock can be just as devastating as physical shock although the effects often occur some time after the event. This can lead to the situation where you think you have calmed down and got over the problem, only to find several days later that you are in a worse place than ever. This is where I think I got to yesterday. Since the attack, I had been incredibly busy with working at the Laurels on Thursday, driving to Brighton on Friday and Brighton Trans Pride on Saturday. On getting back from Brighton yesterday morning, I found myself in a darker place and having to deal with the trauma of the event. 

I have been dipping into all my self help skills to deal with this. My CBT I have been having to deal with a past issue was useful. I find myself looking at what could have happened and then making myself change this thinking. It is a problem that I tend to catastrophise, always thinking the worse of any situation, and this event has made me test what I have been learning to do. My identity as a woman was ridiculed as part of the attack and I find myself questioning who I am. I know I portray a woman physically and emotionally but this confidence has been knocked. I have become much more in tune with my feelings since my surgery and a side effect of that is that I am not so rugged as I used to be. It is not a negative thing in any way but it means I am much more susceptible to knocks and bumps like this. 

I know I have my friends and at least three people I could call right now should I need them. I also have Mandy, and she is doing her best when I need her. My main problem now is that the issue is unresolved in a legal sense. I am impressed with the police and feel they are doing far more than they normally would to try to bring justice in this case. Interestingly, the previous two problems I have had left me not wanting anyone brought to justice because I could forgive those people and the situations they were in. This time, I relish the idea of someone paying for what they done to me and this is because of them deliberately wanting to hurt me. I am doubtful this will happen but perhaps next time they might consider the implications of fucking around with me; I do tend to involve the law!

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