CSA Survivor Story -21.
My Story- Not Strangers Beware of Uncles
It is so common that we hear of sexual abuse by strangers, but it is our relatives or people known to us who cause the abuse…
My memory of sexual abuse was by a 26-year-old uncle who was a part of my maternal home. It still gives me chills up my spine whenever the memory comes back to me.
My uncle started abusing me at the age of nine, by slowly petting me and getting my confidence as a child. I did get scared but he insisted that it was a fun game. This carried on every occasion, I visited my maternal home. The sexual abuse continued even after he got married. I often wondered if my friends went through the same experiences, but never did I have the courage to discuss this with anyone. It was like a secret between him and me. All those abuse incidents have left a black scar on my mind forever.
As a teenager, because of abuse by my uncle it created in me hatred for the male species. During my school days an innocent crush for a guy, by my friend was always interpreted by me in a wrong way. All relationships with the male fraternity were looked by me with the same abusive angle. In college, because of the abuse I started to get homosexual tendencies…
After my marriage, it took me a long time to realize all men are not of the same breed, and was glad to know that males could be caring and sensitive. I avoided the uncle for a good long twenty years. In between he suffered a heart attack. On hearing this, I secretly wished him dead. I felt with him dying, I would be able to erase this harsh memory forever. But the uncle survived the open-heart surgery. I called him, not because I wanted to, but out of a social obligation, to sarcastically wish him a speedy recovery. In that state, he still spoke to me in the same way, which made me angry with myself. I felt like a coward who could not stand up to him even after a long twenty years since I last met him.
I did meet my uncle at his son’s marriage. Before the invitation had turned up, I had mentally prepared myself to confront him. During the marriage, I realized it would not help anyone by digging out skeletons, I thought about my aunt, as a wife she would be devastated at hearing her husbands sexual bearings. His sons, who would never respect him like a Dad. All family relations would go haywire. I knew by venting out my feelings towards the family would not undo the scars left by the abuse, I might have been a coward, but by saying anything no one can even imagine the agony, I had gone through. I just kept my distance from him.
There are a lot of incidents of child abuse in the Family by family members. But these instances are not reported due to shame or merely overlooked by the elders as just another incident. One thing it has taught me is to be ever vigilant for my daughters against family members who act extra loving. I still have not overcome the trauma of my abuse. But sharing it with like-minded people has given vent to my scars.