I’m done being silent. @aerochord
I've been meaning to do this for 6 years and with each year that passes, I regret not speaking up about it properly. I mentioned this back in 2014, just after the incident on my personal Facebook; but I didn't have the platform I have today. So, this is it. I want to tell you because even if it just helps one person it would be worthwhile.
*TRIGGER WARNING: sexual assault discussed below*
This was before MYLK was established. I was doing music as a hobby,
with a few music connections, just trying to connect and make it into the music industry.
I connected with Aero Chord and we became really good friends. We played games like Portal 2 or LoL and Skyped a lot, we even sent birthday gifts/cards to each other (these were not romantic btw). One time he said something a bit flirty and I stopped him to tell him I see him like a brother. He seemed to have understood and never flirted again. Like many people before, I had experienced scenarios like this. So, it didn't really bother me nor change anything about our friendship. I didn't really think anything of it tbh.
We eventually discussed to meet. Our birthdays were close
(if I remember correctly, his was the 9th and mine is the 7th November). Naturally, we decided to meet (November 2014) so he could visit the UK for roughly a week, meet my other friends and celebrate our birthdays. I lived alone in my studio apartment then, I’m happy for friends to stay with me and save money where possible. I had one double bed, but have always shared with friends – it doesn’t matter what gender you are. I mean, it’s just for sleeping.
Anyway, fast forward, I think he decided to stay for 10 days or something.
He said he wanted to see the UK, so I planned a few things like a trip to London
for day, a movie night, meeting up with other music friends etc.
He arrived in the evening. There wasn't much planned the first day so we decided to have a drink (we had 1 or 2 cocktails each) at a bar in Manchester to celebrate his arrival. We took a taxi home and it was time for bed. As mentioned before, I lived in a studio apartment: it’s literally one room. I also don't really care about getting changed or undressed in front of friends (regardless of gender). So, I quickly got changed into my pyjamas whilst he was in the room.
As I was crawling into my side of the bed, he went in for a kiss, and I said “no”. I said I don't see him like that, and I apologized. At this point I thought that maybe getting into my pyjamas in front of him had given him the wrong impression. But, I told him “no” so you'd think that would be the end of it right? Wrong. He tried to kiss me about 4 times until I broke down in tears.
(Just as an FYI: I was a broken person trying to recover from my past around this time. I had gone through rape, and other sexual assaults as well as bullying and domestic violence. He was aware of my past before we met IRL)
With that said, I broke down. I cried. He said he was sorry but followed it with excuses of not having any sexual action for a long time. He then proceeded to BEG me for sex, "do it for a friend", a favour because he hadn't had sex in a long time. At this point I was just disgusted. I said NO, turned the lights off and I tried to go to sleep – pretend I didn't hear any of that. Not even 24 hours had past and I was already uncomfortable.
That night, I couldn't sleep properly., I remember feeling half asleep at times, but I woke up a few times because I felt him touching me. He would place his hand on my crotch or my breasts every now and again and I remember having to push his hand off. The shock didn't really hit me until the next day.
The next day, I didn't say much at all. I was really quiet and just tried really hard to go about the day without having to say much. I was lost and didn't know what to do. I made us some breakfast: I was still in the middle of making some toast for him when he demanded where his coffee was, and I remember feeling like "I don't know this guy at all". I remember taking him to eat pancakes (he said he never had them before — we went to a nearby restaurant to go eat some American style pancakes) All I remember from that was he was super rude to the waitress as well as constantly talking about hot Instagram girls, his growing fame and money. I was starting to learn his true character.
As we were walking back, he asked why I had been so quiet today. Obviously in my head I was like "for real?" then he paused and said, "oh is it because of what I did to you last night?". I mean I knew I couldn't hide nor ignore it forever, so I said we needed to sit down and talk about it. He lay there on my couch, I started with “what you did was wrong and disgusting” he said he was sorry but always followed up with an excuse of not having sex in a long time. He then started to cry but I wasn't buying any of it. He then just sat there trying to justify his actions but failed to and somehow came up with “well girls usually say no but they actually mean yes” at that point, I’m creeped out because it obviously sounds like he’s done something before. Eventually we agreed that I’ll try keep my cool, I told him I won’t forgive him just yet, maybe one day I will. (Looking back at that now, I totally lied because I don’t and never will forgive him).
But I knew I had to tell someone.
Over the next few days I managed to tell a few close friends. One told me to kick him out. At that point I just couldn't do it. I couldn't bear to kick someone who flew across the country to see me and the country I lived in and had nowhere to go. I didn't even know how much money he had on him. I just didn't have it in my heart to kick someone onto the streets. I was too soft.
In hindsight, I don't know why I tried to act normal like nothing happened, I guess my brain was just trying really hard to suppress everything. This whole thing was meant to be wholesome and something I was really looking forward to and he ruined it all on the first night.
On days where there was no plan, I refused to go anywhere with him. I left the door unlocked and said that he can go out if he wants to and do what he wants. I assume he went to go walk somewhere; I have no idea. I would just stay at home on my PC while he was out: This was also the best time for me to talk about my feelings and stuff related to the incident to my friends/relatives.
We still went to London and it was a nightmare. I took him to the London Dungeon and he would cling on to me if there's anything that made him jump and I would literally push him off with my arm and be like DON'T TOUCH ME. I also took him to Madam Tussauds Wax Museum and The London Eye at the end of the day. He was just a child the entire day, moaning about how thirsty he was or how long we had left to walk or something.
We also went to watch Interstellar, he tried to hold my hand during emotional scenes, and I would also be like DON'T TOUCH ME. I honestly don’t really know how I kept this up, I guess I felt trapped and that I had put myself into this situation.
We didn’t meet with my close friends because some knew about the incident at this point and it just wouldn’t be fun. But, we did meet one friend, and whilst Aerochord wasn’t around, I tried pulling him aside to tell him what happened. Understandably, he didn’t really know what to do or what to say. We just pretended like everything was fine. He later called me to apologize for not doing anything.
After a week or so, I can’t fully remember how many days he had left in the UK; but it was around 2-3 days. I couldn’t handle it any more. I couldn’t stand him being around me and I got the courage to kick him out of my apartment. However, me being me, I still couldn’t just leave him on the streets with nothing or no plan.
One evening he went out, I looked up for a hostel online in Central Manchester that he could go to – the cheapest thing I could find. I booked a taxi and paid for the hostel. I just wanted him gone. While he was out, I spoke to my sister and 2 close friends who agreed to run a secret Skype call in the background just in case any violence occurred as I tried to kick him out whilst confronting him about it. Unfortunately, this Skype call could have been the only solid evidence I had but I didn’t record it. The only thing on my mind was my safety. I wasn’t thinking about evidence or any of that in that moment.
He comes back, I confronted him, and he was obviously upset. I told him he shouldn’t have done what he did, and he said he was sorry and that it was wrong. The 3 people on my secret Skype call heard everything. He threw abuse at me as he was leaving. That’s not the end of it because the damage was done.
I was really broken. A few days later, I managed to get the courage to contact the police about it. Some people didn’t give me support when I needed it most, even condemned me for reporting it.
I broke down even more. I felt so alone.
Five months later, I still couldn’t see anything straight. I was empty. I attempted suicide and was taken to hospital. They forced me on medication and told me I should get therapy. It has been 6 years and I am still scared to go off the medication. Ever since I have been on it, I have been feeling much happier.
The police can’t do anything because he is no longer in the UK; but they did tell me that he is WANTED.
A few months ago, I got a call from the police, they asked if I wanted to close this case because “it’s old”. I felt insulted. I said HELL NO. Leave that case open.
Basically the police are at a dead end and the least I can do is speak up about it and possibly save someone else from going through something similar.
I know back in 2014 I posted about it publicly; but I didn’t really have the I have today. I think it made rounds on Reddit ages ago but people brushed it off as a “troll” and mentioned a picture that he posted on his personal Facebook while he was staying at mine stating that I looked fine and okay.
Not every smile is a real smile.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.