One cloudy evening during her college days Hadley was overwhelmed with emotions , this was nothing new but today she had finally found the courage to let that slip into the universe. She had decided to tell her roommate and best friend Remmy about the dark secret she had been hiding behind her graceful smile, the one that had murdered the little girl in her way too soon. As the night got full and they had got into their dorm beds she started her story.
“I don’t even know why I’m thinking about this today. I can’t get it out of my mind this time though I had managed to bottle it up for years together. I know this is going to blow your mind . This is something I have never shared with anyone in my whole life. Now I feel like I should let it out .Do you remember, the time I had gone for a family trip during our high school days ?”
Remmy slowly nodded in reply . Her eyes all curious as to what it could be. She could partly assume that it was something really bad because she could see how nervous and pale Hadley had become.
She continued. ” We had gone to a Waterfall near Kerala. I was so happy to go out with my cousins after a really long time. The summer sun was so beautiful and we were all having a great time. Though I was a 15-year-old bubbly young teenager , I had the mentality of a 11-year-old child. I loved playing with my 8 – 10-year-old cousins. As I had glasses with the power of 3, going to water themed places has always been a struggle. It was like I am almost blind the entire time. It was fun too.
The waterfall was not crowded so our parents had let us free. We were playing in the waterfalls running through it and splashing water at each other. They were sitting on the other side immersed in their gossip sessions. There was a gang of young men staring at us comfortably leaning against the rocks. I just ignored them mostly because I could just see a blurred image of them and their faces were not clear to me. We were engaged in our own world of excitement. Suddenly one guy came near me as if he were going past me , groped my lady parts (VJJ) like how you would squeeze a lemon and just walked away as if nothing had happened. I looked back to see the person and I could see an evil smile on his blurred face as he disappeared into the gang while the others cheered and applauded.
I was so shocked at what had happened. For the first time I hated myself for the poor eyesight I was born with. I stood there feeling numb and helpless not able to function. I slowly recollected myself and rushed to the change room to get my glasses. As I ran back with my heart beating so fast and my eyes flooding , something else had flashed in my mind. Immediately I could see the image of that person who had abused me in my childhood. I was a 5 year old child when it happened. My perpetrator was none other than a close relative of mine, then around 20 years old. As far as my little brain can recall he had molested me over four times. I was unaware about what was happening back then. I liked him a lot. He was one of my favorite person. We used to go out on walks and he used to buy me candies or whatever I asked for. One day he made me sit on his lap as usual and was telling me a story. He started putting his hand inside my underwear. I did not know what he intended to do . Though it ached , I sat there quietly may be because he was too close to my family.
Later that evening when I went to the washroom I could see little blood in my panty. I hid it from my mom because I did not know how to articulate what had occurred. I was not even sure if I should ever tell this to anyone. Having two brothers , I hardly got any alone time with my mom. After it happened for the third time , I was scared to even sit next to him when we were left alone. I started to hate hearing stories from him. Sitting near men used to scare me , I became more reserved and would stick to my mom wherever we went. Afterall when a family member could behave like this , how can you trust strangers!
As I grew up I realized this was sexual abuse. This thing had mentally and emotionally traumatized my childhood. He has always been one of my favorite people and I know he loves me too. But I still can’t comprehend why/ how he could do such a thing to a child. He must have thought I wouldn’t remember this when I grow up, but I DO. This is the first thing I remember every time I see his face. I’m not hurting anymore. I have even forgiven him. I don’t want to ever make a confrontation with him mostly because it would break my family. But if I ever get a chance I would definitely ask ‘How you would feel if the same happened to your daughter’
Child sexual abuse is the worst thing you could do to the innocent soul. This was all a faint memory until the Waterfall incident triggered the whole thing and now I can never forget it again.” Hearing all of this Remmy’s eyes had welled up already. She hugged Hadley and said ‘You are not alone, I have been through the same too.’
‘CHILD-SEXUAL-ABUSE ‘ These three words should never go hand in hand even in a dictionary. If you have ever been a victim of this, please speak up. Let it out and let it go. You don’t have to keep it a secret and let it kill you little by little. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
Ministry of Women & Child Development entitled study on Child Abuse 2007 revealed that more than 53% of children in India have probably been sexually abused and many of them have never shared the fact of this abuse with anyone.
Disclaimer: Based on a true incident. Names have been changed.
-Jehosheba is a final year med student and an Inspirational blogger. She hails from the southern tip of India and currently calls Shandong province of China her home.