K1ttyCat (k1ttycat) wrote,

Pulling my head out of the sand:

I had an experience at Arisia 2014 that some people have now heard about from other friends, but that, for my sake, and at my request, they had left my name out of the retelling. It has become quite clear to me something that I've always known, but had never had to face directly before; hiding from the truth when it comes to sexual assault helps no-one but the assaulter.

I had originally posted my experience as a f-locked LJ post, but am now ready to give a first hand account of what happened to me. TThis courage comes from reading a post made by another woman who was harassed at Arisia by the same man I was. http://twistpeach.livejournal.com/101026.html Her bravery and unwillingness to be silent gives me the confidence to post my experience openly.

Saturday night, I was having a great time with friends until I suddenly developed a headache and needed to lay down. I have narcolepsy and suffer from what are commonly known as "sleep attacks." (http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/narcolepsy/detail_narcolepsy.htm) I left my friends to find a quiet place to rest, and that's when I bumped into Dustin Hennessey and several of his friends. Dustin and I have been friends for some time. We saw each other relatively frequently, as we had both started gaming in the same circles. We NPCd together in various LARPs together, had some of the same friends, and therefore were often at the same parties, and to be frank, I trusted him.

Before going further into that night I have to mention that I had been assaulted by him previously, and chalked it up to a misunderstanding between friends, and while I had been uncomfortable with him for awhile, over the intervening months, I gradually began to trust him again. While sharing a cabin at Clockwork Skies, Dustin took an opportunity to attempt to pull me into his bunk and kiss me. I pulled away from the bed and the kiss, and explained to him that I was not interested. I even apologized to him in case my normal nature, which is often a bit flirty, led him to think I was interested in something more then just friendship. I explained to him that because we were friends I had felt comfortable joking and laughing and being a bit flirty, and that I was sorry if I gave off signals I hadn't meant to give. He seemed genuinely embarrassed, said he was sorry, and that he had misunderstood but now understood. We both agreed to not let if affect our friendship, and while I did mention it to a few close friends because I was a bit upset, I chose to let it go, and moved on.

So, here we were at Arisia 6 months later (give or take) and I've got this headache and am also getting very sleepy. I was on the verge of a sleep attack when I was in the room with Dustin, and his three friends (two girls, and the boyfriend of one of the girls). I felt safe, and allowed myself to begin drifting. The two girls left to go to the vending machine, and soon after, in my sleep I heard Dustin ask his friend to do him a favor and leave us alone. His friend refused. At that time I realized he was nibbling my leg and stroking my inner thigh and crotch. I was scared, and in a state of sleep paralysis. The 30 seconds to a minute it took me to actually pull myself out of sleep was so frightening. It felt like forever. When I did pull myself out, I jumped up and, out of fear, decided to act as if I noticed nothing. I looked at my phone and told him that I needed to get back to my other friends because they were texting me and were concerned, which was a lie, but I just wanted to get out of there. He tried to convince me to stay, but I was determined to get out. By the time I had gotten back to the room everyone else had returned to the dance. I was crying and hyperventilating, and needed more then anything to get out of the hotel. So I packed up what I could carry and left. I spent a night being torn out of sleep with anxiety and tears, and returned to the hotel the next morning only because I had plans with my friends that I refused to cancel out on. told them everything, since the only thing I'd been able to say the night before was that I was okay but didn't want to sleep at the hotel. They held me, and supported me, and have continued to support me since. They truly are amazing, strong people, and the greatest of friends.

That afternoon I got a text message on my phone from Dustin. It stated "I was informed I attempted to gnaw on your thigh and you made me coffee. If it was anything more inappropriate then that, I apologize profusely. I don't remember that part of the night at all." I replied "I remember. It was more. It upset and scared me. Cutting ties is the decision I've made". He replied once more with "I am truly and deeply sorry. I wish I had better words for it, but I'm enough of an idiot to have blacked out. I want with all my heart to make amends. If you think of a way I can, please tell me. But if you'd rather keep the ties cut permanently, I understand". I haven't replied or spoken to him since.

Since the incident at Arisia sleep has been elusive. I find myself feeling anxious when I try to sleep and have had one vivid nightmare that I remember far too well, and woken up to the sensation of having bad dreams but not remembering them, but being stuck in anxiety.

I kept my head buried, but had friends who were helping to deal with reporting things and fielding questions in order to help protect my privacy. I hate being the center of attention. I hate being asked questions, or given sympathetic looks. I also feared the victim blaming that always seems to come out. But it's clear now that this wasn't a one time event. I am not the first or only person that has been assaulted by him. And if left unchecked he could do it to someone else. If I continue to keep silent, to try to protect myself and my privacy, and something happens to another woman, I would blame myself. Now that I've come out and told my story it is unlikely that I will respond to comments or communications. I want to maintain some level of privacy. Please keep that in mind if you choose to link to my journal, or share my story.
  • Post a new comment

    Error

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

  • 50 comments
Previous
← Ctrl← Alt
Next
Ctrl →Alt →
Previous
← Ctrl← Alt
Next
Ctrl →Alt →