It was 2011, and after a few visits to my psychiatrist, the unbelievable happened. I was taken to the treatment room, and physically examined, where he exposed my genitals, examining me around them.
All I can remember was, please don’t touch me. I didn’t try to stop him, and looking back, the guilt and disgust I felt with myself was so intense that its left me with anger issues to this day. What really eats me up is that he knew my previous history, and that I was sexually abused by my grandfather.
I lived with this, and told no one. Who would believe a patient with mental health issues over a consultant psychiatrist? I got more and more depressed, and took more and more time off work.
In 2016, I heard work colleagues talking about allegations that men had made about this psychiatrist. This prompted me to speak out. The police got involved, and I made my video statement. This was the June of 2016.
In the August, I just couldn’t live with it, I thought no one would believe me and I was dreading the pending trial, which would include other victims too. So, I tried to take my own life. Fortunately, I was found and survived. I woke up in resuscitation, attached to wires and tubes. I was then admitted to a psychiatric ward.
On discharge, I had a care package (not at all good) put in place.
It was March 2017, and the trial began, it was covered by local news teams and BBC Wales covered the story. I opted to sit in the video link room, I couldn’t face him. I was grilled by his barrister for nearly two hours, I took a few breaks during that, the emotions I felt were really intense. When that was over, I told the witness care team that I’d never do that again. Unbeknown to me, the evidence I gave was compelling.
In April, he was convicted of the sexual assault on myself. He wasn’t sentenced, he appealed months later, and due to a technicality, he got the conviction quashed.
A further trial took place in November 2017, where we, the victims didn’t get the chance to tell our truths, the judge decided to acquit him and the case was closed.
I was left empty, violated with no justice, my faith in people diminished, and I kept myself to myself. I became quite unwell with rapid mood swings, I lost my job of 25 years, lost friends and colleagues.
Shortly after, my local mental health team got involved, and I got some good support. I’ve had a few admissions to a psychiatric unit since then, and struggled to survive this ordeal, that has haunted me all those years.
I now have the right treatment, and even if I still have bad days that I take on board, I know that good days will follow. I have a co-morbid mental health diagnosis now, including PTSD. I’m starting DBT therapy soon, which will help my distress tolerance and emotions. I have and sometimes use helplines, and find that very helpful.
I’ve learned to see myself as a survivor and not a victim anymore. Karma will get this psychiatrist. I have my little dog now, Milo, and walk him daily, which helps keep me grounded.
There is help and support out there, and for all the pain, there is a light at the end of it. I’m still in recovery, but much more stable. I’ve managed to take things day by day and slowly move on. I try and keep mindful, and love my walks in nature. Self-care is so important, that can be anything that makes you happy and keeps you well. Don’t let the person who abused or assaulted you win, you are stronger than them, and you will recover. If I get a bad day, I accept that, my motto is ‘the sun will shine again, and why should that person win, and have control over you! With support, and talking, if you need to, you will progress and find yourself again.