Story by Anonymous
Trigger Warning: Sexual Abuse
I was just 11 when my sister and I were visiting our uncle. My periods had just started. I was yet to understand the changes in my body and everything that goes with it. The same night, while I was asleep, I felt something that startled me awake. My uncle was fondling my breasts. My body froze and my heart pounded against my chest. I felt his hands slide down my trousers and touch my vagina.
It was a feeling that I was unaware of. I didn’t know whether I should stop him or this touch was normal.
About a month later, I visited my cousin. My cousin and I were of the same age. We decided to watch a movie that night and I was very excited. As the movie played, he started to caress my thigh. I didn’t think much of it as he was someone I could trust, I grew up with him after all. Slowly he leaned in to kiss me while fondling my breasts. It reminded me of my uncle and the way he touched me while I was sleeping. I thought to myself that this was normal if my own cousin is doing it. He would never do anything bad with me, right?
I didn’t know the difference between good and bad touch. I didn’t know what all this was even supposed to mean. Somewhere I never resisted my cousin because for the longest time, I did trust him. Years went by and he did a lot to me. I was being sexually abused even before I was even told what sex is.
Every time I visited my cousin since that night, he did things to me, some confused me and some terrified me. This went on till I was 18.
I was scared to talk about this with my parents as they probably would blame me for it. I was at my lowest and I started pushing people away. If I couldn’t even trust my own family, how could I even trust someone to be my friend? I was gripped with low self-esteem which reflected in my choice of toxic men who did nothing but treat me just like my cousin did. Nightmares and flashbacks left me paralysed for days at end. I was just left with a body with no life within.
I knew I had to do something when I started feeling suicidal. I decided to get some help and finally talk about this secret seemed to crush everything within me. Luckily, there was a therapist at my college. Eventually she made me comfortable and I opened up. I shared my past with her while I finally let myself cry.
Through countless sessions, she encouraged me to talk with my parents who surprisingly supported me and heard my story with compassion and sympathy. I even gathered the courage to confront my cousin, slap him and threaten him to stay away from my little sister and me. It was the first time that I felt in control of my life.
I hate that this incident defined my life and to an extent it still does. Men around the age group as my cousin and my uncle still scare me. I was never taught anything about sex. I was never told about bad touch. Through my story, I hope to bring awareness to anyone who has been through the same. Nobody deserves to have their innocence taken away from them. Nobody deserves the pain and the self-hate that comes with sexual abuse.