CSA Survivor Story – 22.

I must have been 7 when it all started.. We lived in a big apartment complex in Hyderabad.Dad worked at the factory while mom took care of the shop on the ground floor.

He was my dad’s age.. had a wife and a kid ;  his wife was expecting their second child.

At home, talking abt sex was taboo..  private parts were shameful and parents too busy. There were financial problems so each night I could hear my parents being angry at each other.

It started off with “Uncle” coming to our home often, sometimes for lunches, sometimes for drinks. He got very close to my parents. We trusted him. He was always smiling, happy and not a day went by when his name was not mentioned at home.

Then the “shake-my-hand” , “come- give- me- a- hug”, “lets go on a bike ride” started .. right in front of my parents. Slowly, he started visiting when my parents were at shop .. on the pretext of drinking water, returning a file, “Just checking how you are doing”. I started feeling very uncomfortable with his each visit. The hugs turned into hands under my skirt , around my chest. Kisses on my cheek increased.  I felt embarrassed, shameful. He wouldn’t do much.. would never raise his voice. would always talk really sweet. When i would murmur  that this is not righti don’t want to do it, i‘ll tell me dad, he would very sweetly say – but what am I doing?  Ur dad likes me so much..Aren’t u my sweetest child?  I felt very confused.The touching, the pinching, the kissing continued until I could handle it no more.. he would tell me that this is how u make babies.. u’ll grow up to be a good mom.. and rub himself against my back.. I remember being very scared that I would get pregnant [ because he kissed me on my lips ] I would silently pray each night to god.. Pls pls don’t let me have a baby..

I tried to avoid him as much as I could.. then he would pick up my 2 year old sister and offer her rides all the while looking at me.. challenging me to give in, shut up or else.. I can do the same to ur sister..

I then started being really depressed, I went from being a top scorer to the bottom of the class. I became obsessed with my barbie.. clothing her, unclothing her.  When my parents forced me to go visit his wife who had just delivered, I screamed. But I don’t think they got it. and I was scared to tell them because they had already stopped listening..I almost accepted that abuse was part of my life..

Then by divine grace my dad decided to move to our home town. My mom quit her work and the environment was much more relaxed … I slowly healed. Then I was traveling with my mom in the train , sleeping on the SL berth alone.. and someone tried to cover my mouth and feel me up.. I was too stunned to react.. my demons had returned. I imagined that B*D within every stranger who tried to touch me – in a crowded bus, walking on the road. I became stiff and severely claustrophobic. Even to this day I can’t get myself to travel in crowded buses, or crowded places. I feel like I’m holding a virtual safety pin in my hand at all times.. ready to poke anyone who would try to touch me. Its quite an effort to stay sane.

I shared all these issues with my BF . He is very very supportive and has been a big part of my healing process. While most of you would enjoy a surprise hug from your hubby, I stifle and bristle.. my senses all alert. No sudden hugs, no cornering me in the dark.

Here are somethings I wish my mother had done…

  1. Discourage physical displays of affection with others. I wish my mom had objected when Uncle had tried to hug or shake my hands forcibly.
  2. Talk about safe touch and unsafe touch, The birds and the bees often and in an environment open to discussion
  3. Listen to the unspoken words. Notice behavior changes. Ask  constant questions. Keep asking, the dam will break one day
  4. Give the child the benefit of doubt. Confront the abuser. Better being safe than sorry.

Now that my daughter is here, I treat every guy around her with suspicion. I am slowly allowing her to go to her friends houses, play in the park.. But I’m always around with my eyes like a hawk on her.  I know I can’t be around her all the time.. I tried to tell her about good touch,  bad touch but its a slow process. I really like calling it the safe touch and unsafe touch instead [ Thank you CSAAM]. When I read about so many survivor stories.. I realize that I’m not alone and its not my fault.. and that in itself is healing.