CSA Survivor Story – 30.
Effervescent by personality isn’t always a virtue. Unfortunately it comes to me naturally. Even as a 10 year old, I was always cheerful and far form being shy. My parents didn’t bother too much with me, for they knew I’d handle myself. But this blind belief that all will turn well with their daughter was perhaps the biggest mistake they committed as parents.
A couple of years back I was relaxing in a bath tub, with a book. As I turned the pages of the novel an old sepia toned photograph fell through it. I picked the wet picture and froze. It was a picture of me as a baby with my maternal uncle and my brother on either side of me. That photograph brought back such horrifying memories of my not so long gone past, that I was fiercely howling . I flushed that picture away. It was one of my mum’s favourite photographs of her youngest brother.
Both my brother and uncle routinely and repeatedly abused me, sexually. I was so young that I mistook my uncle’s advances for love. Funny I should think so- because at that age love should mean something entirely different. My brother and I shared the same room. It was easy for him. And my uncle visited us fairly often from our home town. I looked forward to his visit. My parents were too busy with their lives. No one noticed what was happening. No one to warn me, reprimand me, or for that matter keep that sick man off me. Only my brother realised and thought he had the license to do whatever he wanted with me. He was my mum’s blue eyed boy. Not just mum’s but everyone’s. He had the reputation of not being capable of even hurting a fly. He was the gentle one. The nicer one among the two of us. He scored great at school, brought home the trophies, was popular and adored by teachers and friends alike.
I didn’t stand a chance of being heard. I was so scared of what was happening to me repeatedly every night that I wanted out. I wanted to go to a boarding. I fought with my parents to no avail. I used to confide in my uncle- who fully well understood what was happening and took full advantage of my situation. I was too darned confused. I felt trapped. Was very scared to tell my parents. I started faltering in studies. Became a rebel. Came home late. Hung out with the wrong type. For I thought that was what I indeed was. A bad kind who had shamed her family.
All the while I kept thinking I was shaming my family. And strangely enough I kept experiencing similar stuff- on my way to college, a guy on his scooter stopped in front of me and pulled down his pants and sped away. Two men on a motor bike sped towards me and hit me on my chest then turned back and hit my butt. I was convinced there was something terribly wrong with me. The more such things happened, the more aggressive I became. The more I hated everything around me.
It was much much later that I realized what really happened to me was not my fault. Not many will believe me, for they’d think how can someone not know that you are being abused. I didn’t. I never thought what was happening with me was wrong. Years later, after I left home for further studies, we went to watch Monsoon Wedding with my friends. I ran out of the theater in disgust. It came back to haunt me. I had blocked that memory out. So much so that i was pally- talking to both in a perfectly normal tone. As if nothing had happened.
I live in fear, guilt and anger. I cry on days I’m alone. And I know I’ll never tell mum or dad about it. My brother has a family and my parents don’t need to know at this age. It’ll ruin everything. Its better I die with this secret inside of me, that destroy so many lives.
Somewhere I know they are guilty too. But that doesn’t help me. I try to make peace with myself. Some days I forgive and forget. My brother and I don’t see eye to eye…. rather he doesn’t..or he can’t. I met my uncle after a decade, last year. He has a family and a little girl. I hardly interacted with him. I kept looking at his child with a strange kind of detachment and anger.
You can only imagine how protective I am of my kid. So much so that I don’t want to have another one. What if its a boy and history repeats?
I’m sharing this story for two sets of people- parents and the abused. For parents I have only one thing to say- don’t trust ANYONE, when it comes to your child. Doesn’t mean you become suspicious of everyone and get paranoid. But just be very very alert. Not all kids know that something wrong is happening to them, or what they do I always right.
To the abused- there are a million people like us. Reach out and if you have the courage, unlike me, speak out.