In 2017 after a night out I was raped... Depression, PTSD & anxiety nearly got the best of me.

There is always a point in our lives where we are at our lowest and when I was at mine, it felt exactly like when people say the expression ‘my whole word got tipped upside down’ 

Depression, PTSD & anxiety nearly got the best of me. 

It is very tricky for me but after nearly 3.5 years I am finally free of my job in the Army and how it’s been holding me back in speaking out and voicing how I truly felt during this period in my life.

Harriet shares her struggles with depression, anxiety & PTSD

In 2017 after a night out I was raped. Since then I have been questioned and made to feel like a liar based on the fact it was ‘my words against theirs’. 

Although it took me a very long time to realise, it doesn’t matter what people think...except that I know what is true. I reported the incident although I wasn’t going to at first, it was actually the police and friends who said something to me which stuck ‘if you don’t, it might happen again’. I really wasn’t willing to let another person go through anything like that. So I told them everything and I went through the processes. It was one of the hardest things I have ever dealt with mentally. Dealings with the police, court and more lasted over a year. By the
end I was mentally drained.

Unfortunately at the start I was told by my unit that I was serving with at the time in the British Army that I had to leave where I was, otherwise I’d face seeing this boy every single day for the rest of my time at that barracks. It broke me and I gave up my life there. My close friends who I lived with, Zoe and Lucy saved me over those first few days. They helped me through all the horrendous hospital appointments and interviews and I will be forever grateful. I felt abandoned by the Army and had nobody check on me from my previous unit where the incident happened.

I was moved to a barracks not far from my eldest sister to help aid the struggles I was going through, but it got to the point I was so numb most the day I pretended like nothing had happened. I shoved it to the back of my mind whenever I could and luckily had a friend on the same barracks who I could be with during the day. This was by chance that Chloe was based there and I am so glad she was. I struggled for months, cried so often in a day I couldn’t count, didn’t like strangers coming close to me, had anger issues and had severe anxiety all day every day.

In the end I gave up and confided in a councillor for 6 weeks, as this was what I was entitled to whilst being in the Army. Not long after I was told I was suffering with depression, PTSD, anxiety and grief. I suppose I wasn’t shocked considering,
but I had never looked at myself in that way before. I was offered anti-depressants, but I refused as I really wanted to see myself out of this hell on my own. 

Not even my family know this, but there was a day where I really was unsure I wanted to carry on with life and had an awful thought to myself when driving my car one day about crashing. I’ll never forget it and when realising what I then would be putting the people I love through, I just couldn’t and if anything it motivated me to get better. 

If you’re going through any struggles please talk to someone because I’m telling you now, it helps. Massively. No matter how dark the days may seem there is always light at the end of tunnel and time is key. Time really does heal all. If I could have known back then what the future had in store for me, there would have been no chance of me giving that up. So just know that better things are coming. Life is short and realising it was only me who has the power to change it, changed everything for me.

Harriet tells her mental health story about when she was raped in 2017

I have learnt that other people’s opinions mean nothing and to do what you also think is best for you. 

Although on many occasions throughout I was let down by the organisation I worked for, I will forever be grateful to those I had around me. My family and friends at the time, but also my boyfriend who I met later down the line have all taught me that life is also very beautiful. 

Don’t let the negativity and bad times in life beat you down.

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