It’s My Party, I’ll Cry If I Want To


SKU ebook Category

175 in stock


By Stephanie Aylmer

ISBN: 978-1-84991-842-8
Published: 2013
Pages: 128
Key Themes: Mental Health, Autobiography, Recovery, Psychosis, Trauma, Post Traumatic Psychosis


My autobiography, ‘It’s my party, I’ll cry if I want to’, is a personal account of trauma, mental illness, treatment and recovery. The story starts with me, aged 13, when I was brutally raped at an adventure weekend. It follows with my experience of emergency medical and police intervention, which failed to reach a conviction, solely because I became too unwell to give evidence and attend a trial. This lack of resolution and injustice left me with a severe case of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which quickly developed into Psychotic illness. I describe how the trauma I suffered turned my world into turmoil and how I was affected, and in particular, my mental health. A number of evocative scenes describe in detail my battle with self-harm and also delves into my mind during severe psychotic episodes, including one which lead to me being detained in Police custody for my own safety. The story follows me through school, through my GCSE’s and A levels, through my undergraduate degree at university, through four psychiatric inpatient admissions and through my continued treatment within the community. My battle against mental illness is explored and my experiences as a mental health service user, many of which failed me, are highlighted. Intertwined with my own story are my interpretations of the stories of other ‘mad campers’ who I met along my journey with mental illness. Between the horrors of my experiences are flashes of humour, happiness and hope. The story ends with me, aged 21, at the celebration of my birthday: an occasion I, and others, thought we’d never see.

About the Author

Born in Devon in 1987, Stephanie grew up in a small rural town with her two sisters. She attended her local Primary and Secondary schools and in 2005 embarked on a degree in Psychology at The University of Plymouth. On completion of her degree she followed a passion for English and Writing by enrolling on a Creative Writing Masters Programme at the same University, graduating with Merit. The influences behind her writing stem from personal experience, in particular the repercussions of childhood trauma and mental illness. She hopes to inspire and give hope to sufferers and survivors by telling her own story of triumph. She continues to live and write in Devon, having recently married her childhood sweetheart.

Book Extract

It was meant to be somewhere safe. It was meant to be somewhere we could have fun. Parents should have felt reassured that their children would be looked after and that they were going to have a good time. And not really think about them too much until they had to pick them up on Sunday morning. But that weekend, I wasn’t safe. The action planned weekend of fun turned into my worst nightmare. I should have been just another 13 year-old girl enjoying my weekend at an outdoor adventure park, but instead, I was brutally raped. At the time, I thought I was going to be killed. Sometimes even now I wish I had been.

I never really believed in God. But that night I could sense that he wasn’t there. I like to think that there are angels watching us, walking next to us on life’s path. But if there had been footsteps next to mine before that night, now they were gone. I was alone.

I wish I could say that I couldn’t really remember what happened that night, but I can remember every second. A quick dash from my tent to the toilet block in the middle of the night turned out to be the biggest mistake of my life. I can still feel the grip of them on my arm, twisting it as I struggled to get out of their grasp. Someone else had hold of my trousers and together, they were pulling me back towards the steps by the building.

They pushed me to the floor and pinned me so I couldn’t move. Their cold, forceful hands explored my body. Their fingers were inside me. I tried to keep hold of my clothes but they ripped them off, leaving me as naked as the floor beneath me. I tried to scream but nothing would come out. One placed his hand over my mouth, in case I tried to make a noise again. I tried to kick but missed, one of them then repeatedly kneed me in the side. I begged them to stop but they just seemed to find this a turn on. I started to cry. I didn’t want to look but I was scared to close my eyes. I started to shiver, I’m not sure whether it was because of the cold or because of the fear, but I quivered from head to toe.

As two watched, the other two were still pinning me against the floor. They were all laughing. They were close to my face. I tried to keep my lips pursed tightly together but they managed to insert their tongues into my mouth, one at a time. And then, something much worse, something much more disgusting. I can still taste the saltiness in my mouth. It repulses me. One of the lads got on top of me. The others had disappeared after having their fun, when they were satisfied.

I was lost under a tower of muscle and strength. He grabbed my hand and forced it under the elastic of his boxer shorts.

‘Touch it,’ he ordered. I didn’t respond.

‘Touch it, bitch,’ he repeated. I did.

He then began to rub his disgusting body against me. He forced his lips against mine and then started to kiss and bite my neck. His hands were still all over me. He fondled my breasts with the force you would imagine using to knead dough. I tried to push him away, but he was bigger, stronger. I could feel him inside me. With every thrust, the pain escalated. My naked back was scraping against the rough floor and loose gravel was digging into and grazing the delicate skin. I felt clammy. I felt wet. I was bleeding.


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