I will always wonder what my life would look like if I hadn’t gone through those horrible experiences of sexual abuse in my childhood. If those things didn’t happen to me, would I look at my life differently? Would I still have trust issues? Would I still have horrible nightmares? Most importantly, would I still hate myself?
I was five or six years old. I have always been an extroverted child. I used to adore people regardless of their age. I loved talking with them, I still do now. Maybe this extra friendly nature did play a role in all of these. I used to play with my friend who lived just outside of my house. I still remember the day when I first met the person who changed my life. He was my friend’s uncle, a promising young man who was very handsome.
He was studying in a public university at that time and often used to come to my friend’s place. He was very friendly with me, and we instantly hit it off. He used to talk to us, play with us and treat us with candies. Then slowly, his fondness towards me took a new turn. I have to be honest. I didn’t understand what he was doing to me at that time. How could I understand? I was only 6 years old! But what I do remember now, is that I have never liked it the way he used to show his fondness to me. I guess children do have intuition when something bad happens to them.
He used to make me sit on his lap, then kiss me everywhere. He used to bite me in the most sensitive places of my body. He used to hold my little breasts so tightly and squeezed me in a way that I sometimes thought I was going to die. That was his favorite thing, to play with my breasts. He used to laugh when he pressed his fingers on my chest. One day he put his hand inside my pants and started to play with another sensitive part of my body. I used to return home with bruises.
What did I do? Why did I keep going back to that place? The answer is I don’t know. He used to frighten me that if I told these to anyone or if I stop coming to him, my parents will die and I will be the reason for that. Do I want to be the reason for my parents’ death? Of course no. And I believed him. Believed his every little lie. After each session of playing with my tiny body parts, he told me that he loved me very much. This was his way of showing his love towards me. This went on for over a year.
I still remember those days vividly. I am 21 years old now and there is not a single day when I don’t cringe while thinking of what he has done to me. My first kiss, first touch, and first love bite were his. This thought disgusts me in a way that no words can describe. I sometimes wonder why he didn’t rape me. Maybe because my friend was always around. I wonder if she remembers the things his uncle was doing with me at that time. I wonder.
One day, our house help who was just a couple of years older than me saw him touching my breasts. After that, she never left me alone in that place. Actually, she never left me alone anywhere for a very long time. I will always be grateful to her. She told me that he was lying and had done some very bad things to me. She told me that I cannot tell those to anyone, not even my mother, not my friends. I have to bury those days within myself forever.
For a really long time, I didn’t tell anyone about him. Gradually, when I became older, those memories started to shape my life in a way that I have never wanted for myself. For almost 15 years of my life, I had nightmares about those events on a regular basis. I still have horrifying nightmares.
I have severe anxiety issues, trust issues, and insecurities. I easily get afraid around men, who won’t do any harm. I couldn’t enjoy my actual consensual first kiss with my boyfriend because of that memory of his lip on mine. But most importantly, somehow I blame myself for letting him do those things. That’s why I loathe myself. I loathe my body parts which have been touched by him, kissed by him. I think I am dirty and unlovable.
I wish I could change all of these. I am working very hard to get out of all these memories and fears. I have made some progress and maybe I will make more progress with the course of time. But the scars he gave me, will be with me always. Sometimes no matter how well you are doing, you just can’t erase someone’s scar from you.
Written by: Fahmida Huq Saima