Updated: Jun 27
Story by Ashna Rajvanshi
It had taken a great toll on me, being abused from someone in your own family in your home. Think of a seven years old girl, finding places to hide or rather just disappear to avoid the abuser in her own family and she had to do it for 3 long years and even after putting all the possible efforts, she couldn’t save herself.
My whole identity was exhausted. Self-confidence, self-esteem, self-image, sense of security, academics, extra-curricular, everything had been ruined by the time this torment came to an end.
After 3 years, scarring me physically and mentally, the nightmare came to an end. He stopped showing up at our house and as much as I loved it, I had questions in my mind. Has anybody got to know about it? Do I need to talk about it now? Am I safe now?
But the relief was so huge that these questions did not bother me much and I shifted my focus to everything I had left behind and never asked any questions about him to anyone.
2 years later, one day when I came back from school, I found him sitting in my living room, everything blacked out and I couldn’t breathe. I went inside my room and planned on sitting there until he leaves, he did not.
He came in my room to say hi, touched me and gave this weird wicked smile that he used to always give after hurting me, but this time I shouted “Maa” and he backed off, apologized and left the room. He got scared because he knew I wasn’t a kid anymore.
I think that smile was so scary that I had no option now but to scare it back and I obviously had turned a little more courageous than I was back when it started.
I had decided that I wanted to speak so I tried initiating a conversation with my mother, when she told me what a drowned man he always was. This man was my aunt’s (bua) husband. He was a drug addict. He was in a rehab from last 2 years and had been there quite a few times. He was here because they were getting divorced and needed to discuss proceedings.
Something, right away, held me back from telling her the truth now, so I did not tell her. I never did. I know, maybe it was my fault to not speak of it, perhaps I could have had him pay for what he did and stop him from doing this to anyone else but I couldn’t and I don’t have an answer to “why”.
But today, even if it’s too late, I am sharing my story to break free from those shackles.
Five months ago, anxiety hit me after encountering him or a similar face (I am unsure) at a metro station, ever since I’ve been dealing with ugly and filthy flashes, sleepless nights and high functioning anxiety and then I knew I had to keep my head high and look straight in my fear’s eye.
Even though there are so many other factors that have led to my anxiety, I am glad I addressed the ugliest and come out with the help of this platform. Maybe this will spark a lot more courage and hope in people reading this and me as well.
My heart goes out to those who have been there, where I was once and I know you will come out of that dark place gloriously because as much the dark is night, the sun is bright.