I wonder how different my life would have been if you were not in my life. I am very curious to see the unbroken version of me. My world would have been completely different if you were not there. I really can’t say how much I hate you and it is possible that nobody will ever understand how I have been living all these years in fear and pain.
But I am proud of myself that even after all that I have gone through, I am still going strong.
My life is good, but I am still confused why you did what you did to me. I struggle every day, and it’s very difficult for me to face people and be confident. It’s very hard, but I know I can do it. I can live on because I know what you did to me doesn’t have to define me. I am me, and you can’t break me.
I won’t let anything break my spirit, but understand that the way you abused me, I was so terrified. I cried and blamed myself for all of your mistakes. It was because I was a child in my preteens. A child who was alone and you taught me to make me want to receive what I thought was love and affection. But I was wrong; you loved my body only, and you only wanted to use it to pleasure yourself, but you didn’t even think that I was a child. But I think I knew that you were doing something wrong to me, and I still allowed it to happen over and over because I wanted love from my brother whom I trusted and thought will always love me. I could never imagine in my childhood that you were abusing my feminine body all along.
I have a question for my mom.
Mom, where were you? You didn’t take care of me. You always had an excuse to avoid looking after me, that you were always sick and in pain but it’s not enough to explain why you were so careless about me. You didn’t teach me to differentiate between ‘good touch’ and ‘bad touch’. Why did you and dad brutally beat me up all the time? Why didn’t you ever tell me about sex? I guess, it was an awkward subject for you and was something you thought only adults should talk about. But now I wish you had told me all about it because I didn’t know it was sex and why my so-called brother did it with me and I let it happen. I knew it was wrong, but I never imagined that it would complicate my life to this extent.
When I grew up, I always thought of not wanting to ever have lived this life of being sexually abused in my childhood; it made me feel like I was a slut. What did I do wrong, amma? I am always tired, and I can’t sleep. I have nightmares; I get flashbacks, and I really don’t deserve all of this. Why do you still allow him to visit us? I am sure you know something was not right between him and me. But still, you have been silent. I feel so numb that I am basically shutting down.
Another thing I regret is my sex life. I feel like I don’t know myself. Sex was forced on to me from the age of five.
Why did you do that to me when I was a child? A child of my age was supposed to play with other kids, not with my body and yours. Why did you do it? What kind of pleasure did you get from mentally killing a child?
I didn’t completely realise what you were doing to me until I was an adult. You ruined my life for your pleasure, and I don’t think you repent any part of it. I remember trying to block my painful memories, but I would end up using anti-depressants while I was in my teens. I didn’t know how to deal with this. You betrayed my trust. I did everything that you said I should do with you because I didn’t know it was sex. I really loved you even though you were my cousin because I didn’t have any siblings and my parents never really had any time for me. I didn’t want to disappoint you, and you saw through me, you saw me when everyone else ignored me. But I never knew you were using me for your pleasure, and I was just a toy you would force yourself upon.
You ruined my life completely. I still have those memories of you forcing me into doing things. When I refused, you would talk to me kindly, with a lot of patience and love, which made me trust you, something I should never have done. But I did because I never had a brother. It was very nasty and disgusting. I was very confused about myself, I would tell myself, “It’s my brother, he won’t hurt me.” False hope, it was.
As I grew up, I was scared of everyone. I hated myself, locked myself in my room. I never wanted to face anyone. My mom thought it was because I have bad attitude problem. But she never knew I was crying and I was suicidal. I had a lot of emotions that had to be faced. I hate my mom for not understanding my pain and my dad for even hurting me more apart from all this pain that I had to handle all by myself.
I still experience the pain but to make me happy, God has supported me for the last four years. I certainly do feel calmer after letting the all the burden go, through these words of mine.
A hopeful survivor.
If you are a survivor, parent or guardian who wants to seek help for child sexual abuse, or know someone who might, you can dial 1098 for CHILDLINE (a 24-hour national helpline) or email them at email@example.com. You can also call NGO Arpan on their helpline 091-98190-86444, for counselling support.