CSA Survivor Story – 44.
I am a survivor of CSA. I have been abused multiple times mostly during my pre teen and early teen years. One of the abusers was my uncle (my mother’s brother). There were others like the guy who goes door to door delivering gas cylinders who lured me into an alley on a quiet sunday afternoon and showed me his “thing”, the teenage guy who followed me all the way from the bus stop to my house asking “can you give me one?” in broad day light on a street filled with people and the several other guys who touched me inappropriately in crowded buses and crowded places. What I struggle with the most is the abuse that I had to endure from my own uncle, the person that my parents trusted so much that they used to invite him to babysit me frequently since I was born.Makes me wonder if I have been abused as a baby although thankfully I have no such memories.
He was 27 years old and I was about twelve when the abuse started as far as I can remember. I still recall the first time I have been touched inappropriately. I was at my grand mother’s house for summer holidays. He used to live there at that time. I was playing carroms with a bunch of kids on the floor. He was sitting on the bed reading a book. My back was turned towards him. Suddenly, he leaned forward and put his arms around my neck while giving me tips about shooting carroms. Slowly he moved his arms lower towards my chest. I felt uncomfortable and tried to wiggle away. He tightened his grip around me. I sat there feeling helpless. I didn’t want anyone to notice us. After a few minutes, I somehow managed to get up and swap places with another kid. I never told anyone about this incident.
He continued to touch me inappropriately at every chance that he got. He would peek in to the bathroom when I was in there (the bathroom door had a tiny hole). My grand mother was always around but I am not sure if she never saw his behavior or if she saw it but chose to ignore it. I begged my mother several times to not send me to my grand mother’s place. She never listened. She kept sending me back there for every holidays. I remember feeling helpless and terrified. After a few trips I finally gathered the courage and told my mother about the abuse. She chose to ignore it completely. Not just that, one day she even invited him over to our house to baby sit me while she went to work. I begged her not to do that but she didn’t listen.
I was trapped with him in my own house for a day. He started molesting me right away. He even asked me to come in to the bed room and lie down next to him. I didn’t know what was on his mind at that time but I knew that some thing was really wrong. I gathered up the courage and asked him to leave. I told him that I was going to run into the backyard, make a lot of noise and expose his perversion to the neighbors. I also told him that if he ever touches me again I will tell my parents. I was shaking as I said these things but I managed to say them. He left and never touched me inappropriately again. I found out many years later that my younger sister and a younger cousin have also been abused by him.
I managed to bury this incident in my memory for many years until I decided to become a mother and had a lot of trouble getting pregnant.After several rounds of advanced fertility treatments when I finally got pregnant for the first time and lost that pregnancy I was devastated.I started having flashbacks of that day that I was forced to spend alone with him.It was utterly devastating to think that the people who forced me into that situation that day were the people who were supposed to protect me from all harm.
I have a beautiful little girl in my life now.I vowed to never break her trust in me.Apart from teaching her about good touch vs bad touch, private parts and stranger is danger, I really listen when she tells me some thing.Not just that I encourage her to talk.For example, if she says that she does not like some one, I don’t criticize her for that.I ask her why she doesn’t like them.At three years her answer usually is “I don’t know” although she some times manages to say things like “because they were not sharing” or “because they talk loudly”.When she says “I don’t know”, I ask her if it was because that person was loud or angry or too touchy feely, etc.I also try to mention the good things that person has done if any.Most importantly, I listen to her and I don’t force her to “like” some one that she says she does not like.I try to foster a healthy relationship built on trust and mutual respect.I always try to listen to her patiently even when she is just babbling on about silly things.That way, hopefully she will feel like she is being heard and God forbid if she faces an unpleasant situation she will talk to me about it.
I also struggle with the constant monitoring and helicopter parenting like the other CSA survivors.I don’t want to rob my child of her innocence and make her too scared of the world but at the same time I don’t want to take any chances either.I try to keep an eye on her without her knowledge.Group gatherings, specially the ones that involve over night stays are extremely stressful to me because I am hyper vigilant during those times.I try my best to not dump by adult burdens on her because it is my job to worry and it is her job to have fun.
I also suffer from self esteem issues like the other CSA survivors.But lately I am getting better at managing them as well.Until recently I used to be very hard on myself for every little mistake that I made but lately I am getting into the habit of talking myself out of such situations.The fact that my daughter is thriving under my care in and of itself has done wonders to my self confidence.When people tell me how smart and kind my child is I make sure to give myself a pat on my back.I also have a wonderful husband who simply adores me despite my insecurities.There are still times when a simple argument with my husband would send me into depression for days together and make me feel like he does not love me but with a lot of self talk such incidents are not happening as frequently these days.I have not completely healed and I don’t know if I ever will but I am certainly getting better with every passing day.Most importantly I know that what happened was not my fault, it was my parents’ fault, my grand mother’s fault and my pervert uncle’s fault.