Story by Vishnuunni Krishnan
When I was 6, I developed a very unusual habit for my age. I started masturbating but I was unaware of what I was doing. I was naive so I made the mistake of doing it in the shared bedroom of our family house. My aunt caught me that day and told my mother that I'd grow up to be a rapist.
I come from a religious family, so after that day I was sort of blacklisted. My mother however made me correct my mistakes. However, the real nightmares began when I was in 7th grade and I moved in to share a sleeping space with my cousin.
One night, he asked me he hug him while we were asleep. I was not one for hugs so I said no and turned my face away. He then pulled out his phone to show me a clip of a girl and a guy having oral sex and he insisted that I do it for him. I was shocked and confused. I wasn't aware of homosexuality then. Without giving it much thought, I just resisted and forced myself to sleep.
The next day, he showed me another sex tape and that piqued my curiosity about porn but he was my only access to it (being the only one with a phone). I was too naive and innocent to identify that he was sexually harassing me. He just lured me into the world of porn and started to make advances towards me.
He knew my curiosity got the best of me so he offered to let me use his phone under the condition that I fulfill his sexual desires.
One night, it happened. It was one of the coldest nights of the year. The memories still haunt me to this day. I was sleeping when he removed the blanket from my body. I didn’t understand if he was messing around but after a light scuffle with the blanket, he tried to penetrate me. That’s when I jolted back awake.
I had to fight him as he tried to rape me. My struggle paid off, but he snatched my blanket and let me shiver all night.
The trauma contributed to the chilling night and I thought I wouldn’t survive. I don’t know how but I mustered all the strength I had to pull through that night. That incident affected me but I couldn’t tell anybody. I wondered why someone I called family would try to do something that awful to me. My silence about it became a burden. I was afraid no one wouldn't believe me because I already had a bad reputation.
Finally, the final straw was broken. My cousin (who almost raped me that night) ambushed my mother while she was bathing. She caught him and staged an intervention for him.
That was when everything came to light, both the porn incident and the harassment.
Somehow the tables were turned and my aunt blamed me for ‘ruining’ her son and being a bad influence. They even implied that my mother brought it upon herself because of poor upbringing and unfortunately for us they sold that lie to my father who didn’t take our side.
It has been hard ever since to trust people, because I was abused by someone I called family. It was even harder to accept the fact that my family abandoned me when I needed them the most. My story eventually turned out to be like that of many victims, I pleaded for innocence in a situation where I was a victim and after that, everyone forgot about it, except me.