Updated: Jun 27
Story by Ashna Rajvanshi
It never occurred to me, the intensity of what I have been through in such a young age, till the time it started coming back in flashes that would impair my sanity. The secret was so intact in me that no one could ever crack it but my insides knew that I wanted myself free from those shackles.
I was 7 when I became prey to sexual abuse by someone in my own family. The impression of first incident is so vivid that I clearly remember how immersed I was in reading my favorite English book when he came and sat behind me. Reading the poem out loud with me, he started touching me inappropriately and by the time I could process and react, my mother entered the room and he took his hands off quickly.
I could not figure what had just happened. It happens when the subjects like sex, inappropriate touch and abuse are not talked about openly. You fail to recognize and react to the wrong touch and abuse. It’s common now in schools and parents to let their children know of good and bad touch, but it wasn’t when I was a kid. It took a few more incidents for me to address my extremely uncomfortable feelings that were evoked when he touched me or even with his mere presence.
My father didn’t live with us, he had started his business in a different city the very same year. He would not be with us for most days which made me think of the pressure I’d putting on my mother if I tell her. Although I lived in a joint family, it didn’t help me with feeling secure for reasons unknown or irrelevant to this situation.
I tried coping on my own. I would hide, go to play, go to a friend’s place or even sit alone in the park when he’d come home but obviously that couldn’t be my permanent escape.
On some days he would catch me. I obviously have resisted and protected myself in my best potential but sometimes, just sometimes I would fail but he didn’t, and in just one of those times, his abuse turned extreme. He took me to one of his vacant house nearby, where he almost raped me. He grabbed me, stuffed my mouth, tried repeatedly and it would hurt like hell so I shouted and cried and kept crying and shouting until he had to let go of me.
Since it was a residential area, I was a kid and family (so to say), I got myself saved, otherwise we all know what such people do. I wouldn’t be here sitting alive and writing my story. He’d do such heinous things and reward me for the filth I was put through with gifts and ice-creams.
These events took place over the span of 3 years. I lived in a constant threat, my interest and enthusiasm in anything and everything vanished and moreover I hated gifts and ice-cream. Today, I don’t even have much good childhood memories since my mind was so full with the filthy experiences and mechanisms to deal with them.
For all those that might be thinking why did I not speak up even after such extremes, he used to blackmail me about hurting me and my mother and I knew that the threat was real because I had been hurt by him, he stubbed his cigarettes on my body every time I went against.
So as much as my young mind could figure, I believed I had to succumb.