Facing Fear – Revisiting the airport where I was sexually assaulted by security. (Stansted Airport)

So I am going to be going back to Stansted Airport where I was sexually assaulted by the security/TSA during a pat down. I’ve had so many times where I have bursted into tears since this has happened because of what I experienced. When I reported to the airport they didn’t really care. And when I lost my very sentimental hat because I was going through shock they didn’t even offer to replace it.

But I am facing my fear of going back there as I can’t let one bad person ruin my life. Since speaking up there have been a good amount of people that have said similar has happened to them. And not just at airports but by security at concerts as well.

I have been sexually assaulted as a kid and even raped. The amount of trauma this airport visit has caused me has been extremely intense. Not only did I cry after security throughout the airport and the entire flight. It ruined my vacation wwhich was meant to be a happy time. It caused me problems at my job. It caused me problems in my marriage. And it still causes me a great amount of PTSD!

I truly believe the airport security needs to find better ways to handle these situations. I find it unacceptable for staff to be unprofessional during these searches and abuse their power. The problem is the airport will always deny that their employees have done anything wrong to keep them from getting sued.

Less than 24 hours until I have to face my fear. I will update when I feel safe enough to do so.

Okay so we missed our alarm clock this morning

The race to the airport was on and trying to escape Notting Hill Carnival!

We arrived at the airport and luckily enough a nice man signed off on my boarding pass as I am not EU and need a stupid check.

Our fast pass wait time was less than 5 minutes. Then the scary moment happened the beeper went off. I didn’t even wear a belt! I question the lady and she said it beeps to do a random checks not because of metal or anything that set it off.

I got scared as I went to the other line as last time I was sexually assaulted. But they did a scan and didn’t touch me. Because what I learned from last time is when I was quiet they didn’t care. So you better believe this time I would be screaming if it happened again.

But apparently my mini bottle of body spray needed to be scanned. There was more staff at the airport and they seemed friendlier.

This experience was a lot better than last year. I am so glad I was not assaulted this time.

……

Upon my return to UK my entry was fast. American electronic passports can now be scanned at the gate. It felt nice not having to show my Visa and get my fingerprints done. Maybe we can think Sparkle Markle for this for hor marriage to royalty! Just kidding!

Achieving your goal vs what you become from achieving your goals!

Zig Ziglar -What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.

I really like this quote!

Say your goal is to plan a trip to London and you have never left American before. Never even left your own state. I am personally from Ohio and a lot of people from Cleveland have never left the state!

So what you would have to do is get your passport.
Then you would have to buy a flight and accommodation.
And you would have to pick what you would want to do while you are there.
Plus you need to plan to budget the money. Food and train tickets.

If you didn’t ever make the trip to London you wouldn’t have learned all of these skills. And by doing this you will be more likely to plan trips to other destinations. You will become more inspired and self confident in yourself!

So it i will be great that you went to London which was your goal but it is even better that you have experienced the entire process as that has now become a huge part of you!

So by traveling to London you are labeled and international traveler. Sure that sounds cool and everything. But look at the bigger picture. You have learned financial planning skills. You have done research on traveling and about the Country and culture itself. It is about everything that goes into creating this experience because it is building who you are as a person. Your friends and family will be amazed by this and ask you a lot of questions based on your experience too. You will be adding value to your life and to the people around you as well.

So I hope you can see the difference!

Click below to listen to the podcast!

Podcast!

Stansted Airport Review – Avoid. Do not use this airport!

I finally have the strength to share my experience. I wrote it when it happened end of last year but was not brave enough to share it. But here it is.

I had the absolute worse experience of my life today. I have a serious medical condition called inflammatory bowel disease. I did not get much sleep as had an early flight. One of the unfortunate symptoms of my disease is explosive diarrhea which I experienced in the toilet before security. When I went through security the gems on my jeans set off the detector. The person checking me was pressing her hand into my side very hard where my colon has inflammation to which I tried numerous times to explain to her not to touch so hard in places where my disease affects my body but I was so scares and feared for my life I couldn’t get the words out. She ignored me and talked over me. It was extremely painful due to her being ignorant, unprofessional and extremely rough. She then touched all over my breasts when it was my jeans that set off the alarm. When I tried to ask her why she touched my boobs when my jeans set off the machine she said she had the job for 14 years and knew what she was doing. She was hurting me physically during the pat-down, verbally by talking over me and not trying to explain what was going on, and has emotionally hurt me very bad. I cried or the next 2 hours because I was so embarrassed and uncomfortable with this process because of my medical condition. I wasn’t offered anyone else when the lady could tell I felt extremely uncomfortable. I feel she hurt me on purpose as she knows she can get away with it as she is a person in power in this situation. She has caused me severe pain and suffering. I pray this will never happen to anyone again with inflammatory bowel disease or they can have an accident. She is lucky I had just gone to the toilet or I would have been soaked in diarrhea because she was very rough. If she has 14 years experience she should be calm and explain things better. I never want to fly from this airport ever again. My holiday that was supposed to be fun has now been ruined and I keep getting pain on my side from where she was trying to push me to the side. I have worn these jeans countless times at numerous airports with no problems at all. I believe the staff member who performed the search is highly insensitive, incompetent and needs a serious review of her actions. I understand that certain security measures are in place which I always do what I can to accommodate however the woman who performed the search on me totally abused her position of power in this situation which resulted in me being hurt physically, emotionally and ruined what was to be a happy holiday. I was so upset that I even forgot my hat which has great sentimental value to me in the terminal because I was in some much shock and emotional distress which I left on a seat before I went to my gate. There is no type of compensation or resolution that can healed the damage that has been caused by this one member of staff of yours. And I will try not to book any of my travel arrangements through this airport ever again.

The airport basically said they person did their job correctly (even though they caused me lots of pain and squeezed me extremely hard.) And they said I complied with her but if I didn’t I wasn’t going to get to fly and go on my trip so I was forced to (I was screaming inside for help as I felt so unsafe and uncomfortable and taken advantage of). I just thought they would have been more empathetic towards me and they weren’t. Even other staff members said it was the worst airport ever.

I just hope nobody has an experience like this. I still suffer from flashbacks.

On the other note since this I have flown quite a bit through other airports and when patted down it was light pats. No squeezing of the breasts or buts and no moving them in circles. So I clearly don’t think my experience at Stansted followed the guidelines. The also didn’t even help me out with my hat either. Every chance they had they made my situation worse.