My tainted childhood

Updated: Sep 24, 2020

Story By: Himangi Varshney

I am a 19 year old who has lived in Aligarh for almost her entire life. Although I have always been a happy person but there are a few memories that sometimes rise from a deep pit inside my heart and sadden me.

I was 6 years old when it happened for the first time, when I used to live in a joint family with a total of 8 cousins.

One day when I was playing with my younger brother, I heard a knock on the door. I opened it, there was my elder cousin who might have been 16-17 year old at that time. When I asked him if he wanted something, he placed his hand on my lower body part and told me that he knew everything about what was going on inside the room.

I froze there and after a moment of absorbing everything I pushed him away and closed the door. I didn't know what to do after this. I explained this to myself by assuming that he might be disturbed because of our grandfather’s death.

I knew I was going to face him again, so I started maintaining a safe distance from him. Yet, it happened again. One day while playing with my cousins, he made me sit on his lap, and when I did he touched me everywhere again and again in spite of me refusing it. I jumped and got down. I was 6 and we all were like siblings but I was old enough to understand that what he was doing was wrong.

He found different ways to touch me inappropriately for 9 years of my life. He would enter the room on the pretext of playing with my brother and put his hand beneath the quilt while I was asleep. I would wake up with a shock each time and he would still continue to do it every night.

I am thankful that we shifted to a different house when I was 15 years old and now I don’t meet him as often. Sometimes when we do meet I feel scared of him for he has more physical power than earlier and he can do anything to me now.

Maybe one day I will be able to share it with someone close but writing it all down, after so many tries, has finally given me some peace.

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