For the past few years I’ve been struggling really horribly with anxiety and depression. Around a year ago, large crowds and being by myself suddenly became a trigger. For ages I believed that my anxiety towards crowds was completely unnecessary and had no basis; that was until a few nights ago when I had a vivid flashback of what happened when I went to a toga party at the start of last year (I must have suppressed the memory).
I went into the mosh pit with the only other of my friends who was willing – a boy who I’d met a few times, he was more so friends with the others. He tries to kiss me (when I had a boyfriend) and I clearly refused his advances. He got mad and left me alone in the front of a 6,000+ people mosh pit, at first I was scared but I decided to embrace it. Because of the style of my toga, I was wearing nothing but undies underneath. Boys kept trying to undo it, but I kept doing it back up quickly, until one boy completely ripped it off me. I was so embarrassed, I was standing naked in a huge crowd (everyone’s nightmare, right?) and I was being groped and laughed at by a whole group of boys. No one would help me and I was terrified.
After about 30 seconds, a security guard saw me and pulled me out of the mosh in my undies with no bra on in front of at least 6,000 people. Eventually the security guard found my toga and a few nice girls I met at the side of the stage helped me put it back on. I didn’t even know that this was affecting me to the extent that it does – I haven’t been able to be in public spaces by myself for a year now (and for part of that time I couldn’t be in public places at all). I’ve had to have time off work and it’s affected all of my relationships because even I didn’t know what was wrong.
Now that I’ve remembered the event, I’ve started to deal with it. The one thing that I regret is not reporting these boys to the police. When it happened I blamed myself for having a toga that was apparently easy to take off, but it was not my fault. Without reporting it, nothing can be done. I urge each and every one of you to report anything like this that happens to you because in reality, the authorities probably have a mother, sister, or daughter. They won’t laugh at you, they will want to sort the perpetrators out because they don’t want it to happen to anyone else. Just remember that if this happens to you, this is not your fault, you are not alone, and you should report it. Remember to confront the memory, and not just shy away from it. That’s the only way you’ll recover.