When I shared with my family that I want to marry my friend, who is from another religion, all hell broke loose… though my siblings, their spouses, and my mum liked him, my father just rejected the idea of me (his favourite child) marrying someone out of our community. During our talks about the pros and cons of this marriage, I ‘reminded’ my dad about the abuse that I had gone through at the hands of my cousin, for which my dad had not done anything. I told him how traumatic it is for me to have a normal ‘marital’ relationship with any man except this friend of mine… I, somehow, am not yet able to forget the words my dad uttered, ‘You cannot ruin your whole life because of one ‘accident’.
Yes! An accident is what it was for him. Well… I went ahead and got married to my friend and we are leading a so-called happy life! Happy, because we are committed, in love, and support each other… but ‘so-called’ because, since the first month of marriage, my husband has gone through a lot of verbal, emotional, and physical abuse due to the trauma that I carry. During our courtship, he had seen a glimpse of it, but after marriage, it became worse, till the time I realised that I need to take professional help.
My treatment helped improve the situation to a great extent… and then came a big shocker to my husband when I told him a secret I was scared to share with anyone… I was 10 when a tuition teacher put his hand in my panty and tickled and asked me if I liked it… and I said, ‘yes’. That ‘yes’ became the biggest shame of my life… being abused by him for over six months, I kept blaming myself. Finally, one day, I could gather courage, as my parents were planning to send my sisters to the same tuition, and shared what happened. His wife had come home apologising, saying, ‘I am aware of his habit and that’s why I keep my daughter away. I’m sorry for what happened.’
I wasn’t sure what this sorry was about? For knowing his habit and allowing him to do it to me, or for it to come out in front of others.
It’s strange how our memories remain in the dark… and come out just when they should not!
That one YES became the biggest sin of my life… I blamed myself for every wrong thing in my life… I deserved it all. But what about my husband, what is his mistake, is it that he loves me or is it that he is an educated, properly raised Christian, who respects women, loves his wife unconditionally and is ready to support her no matter what!!!
I have an anger that comes out when I miss my medication…
I want to knock at the door of my cousin and ask his wife if she knows about his deeds…
I want to knock at the door of my tutor and ask his wife if she allows her grandchildren to play with him…
I want to ask my father, whose life is ruined because of that ‘accident’? Mine or of the man, who married me!
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 protected] You can also call NGO Arpan on their helpline 091-98190-86444, for counselling support.