“I hope I can be myself soon.”

I sat in the Great Hall of Christ Church, where countless great speeches were made by Parliament, royalty, and youthful brashness, yet I could not make my great speech.

I arrived here and I wanted to make many great speeches – to be colourful, to be loved, to inspire.

I did not expect that I would be robbed of my windpipe, which I need to make my great speech.

This was not the first time I was sexually assaulted, but it was the worst. Before it happened, I admit, after multiple instances in Trinity, I was an unbearable bitch. I lost valuable friends who thought I was too much. I didn’t realise at the time that was partly why. After I was cut off by people I held dear in Michaelmas, one by one, I became reclusive and lonely and feared for my life.b

Then I bounced back in Hilary. A homeless man tried to attack me, so I became defensive and untrustworthy, and jumped at sudden movements, but other than that, I was very sane.

But then I was beaten down again, and this time, I really – really, really – do not know when I will truly get back up again. I was diagnosed with PTSD. My friends told me I should rusticate. My tutors told me I should rusticate. My college told me I should rusticate.

Why? Because some lust-seeking postgrad wanted to satisfy his desires and leave me used and broken? He should be allowed to go on as normal and I must leave?

I fucking think not.

I refused. Despite the flashbacks, the panic attacks, the ridiculous exhaustion, I fucking refused.

Even then, I fucking refused but I was so goddamn exhausted. I had my fists but I didn’t have my windpipe. The tender muse within me could not be released because there was no windpipe to go through. He robbed me of my windpipe. I could not be colourful, be loved, or inspire. I still cannot scream in my dreams.

And so, in the Great Hall of Christ Church, I sat like a ghost surrounded by people. They ate without questioning the worth of each spoonful. They talked about sweet nothings, recounting who partied their nights away in fanciful debauchery with giggles bubbling in the air. Meanwhile, the taste of my favourite wine reminded me of the vomit I gouged out of my stomach that night.

I can’t look anyone in the eye anymore. I can’t watch Parasite. I bawled my eyes out and clenched my fists until they cramped for Amy in Sex Education. Any situation that reminds, or any character, any person, that looks like him, acts like him, or even sounds like him… I would rather gouge my eyes out than experience the feeling. I have to plot check everything. I would not wish it on my worst enemy.

And I really missed being colourful.

I felt blue, so I dyed my hair. I was less a ghost and more a curious apparition. I could learn to bring colour to other people through external means, but beyond it, I was invisible.

I hope I can be whole again. I hope I can be myself soon.

If you know me, I hope, now that you understand, you may send me a blue heart and not speak of this. Help me, instead, to bring colour back into your life.