I Was 10 When I Realised I Was Interested In Women, What I Did Next Was The Biggest Mistake Of My Life

Anonymous Anonymous in Single Women Bad Women on 16 December, 2016

I was 10 when I first figured I liked women. Actually I was 5, and I wanted to marry my prettiest cousin, I shouted at anyone who dared to tell me otherwise.

"No, you can't! You are both girls!"
"No, I will, I will!"
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It took me four years to realise that I got butterflies in my stomach every time I saw a girl, and another 4 years to confess the fact to someone else. Someone horrible. This, right up there, was my biggest secret and my grandest mistake. Not the realisation, though, no. The confession? Yes, very much yes. I was too innocent to realise that we live in a big bad world with really selfish people.

The woman I confessed to was someone I had known all my life. She still did what she did. 

She was a distant cousin of my mother. My parents had rented out our ground floor to her for a mere pittance, right after her child, a boy not much younger than me, was born. And this was someone I trusted. This was the mother of my nearest and dearest friend, my bhai whom I loved as much as I would a hypothetical, blood-related sibling.

I still remember the day I foolishly came out to her.
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Back then I wasn't well-acquainted with the prejudice that was set against queer people in our society, about which I learnt much after. Actually, I was not even aware that people of my orientation existed, that these feelings, which were new in themselves, could ever be reciprocated. I just knew I was different, I was not represented in anything I saw, and I craved validation, or at the very least an assurance that nothing was wrong with me. I did not wish to alienate my mother over something even I could not understand, and, moreover, could not control and thus, sought a safe middle ground for support.

She did appear to listen at first. At first, I say, because slowly things changed. What followed soon after was the ugliest validation of my sexual preferences. 

There soon came a day when she started touching me in places that I knew to be "bad". My mother had taught me to be cautious of "MEN who would touch you in bad places". But this was a woman. Moreover, this was a woman I knew, and she appeared to be concerned, always eager to explain away the touches as 'tokens of affection'. These were the good days, though.

On a very, very bad day, she twisted my breasts painfully till I screamed and when I protested, she lashed out at me saying, "Be grateful that I am touching you. Do you think other women would touch a pervert like you?"

And THAT particular straw broke the camel's back, so to speak. That is when I told my mother about it. I was very, very afraid. I had not yet come out to my mother, and though I was not yet aware of the probable negative effects of coming out of the closet, I was scared that I would be thought of as an alien and therefore, as someone who probably deserved to be touched in all the "bad places". So quite honestly, I was afraid even as I recounted to her what my aunt did. I was scared that my aunt would out me. 

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You see, I was too young to know that she was also shit scared, that she had been scared all her life, and she had more at stake if she were outed. So she stood quiet as my mother gave her a thorough dressing down trying to interject petty excuses ("It was only a little horseplay between aunt and niece"), being immediately shouted down by my mother whenever she did so.

She tried to hide her shame the next time she talked to me, and even tried to guilt me into thinking that she, the innocent confidante, had been betrayed by my revelation of our "little secret".

The thing is, my indoctrination was not as complete and cemented as she had hoped it to be, and so I called bullshit and distanced myself from her toxic presence. She has long since moved to a house of her own but I still have to visit her house sometimes for the sake of my bhai (yes, her child). I used to feel enraged earlier but now I only feel a strange kind of apathy towards her. I want to pity the circumstances that made her the person she became but it is hard to feel pity when the circumstances have had such a negative effect on your life.

My aunt used my secret to satisfy her needs, I will never forget that but I can't help but wonder how many innocent people this may have happened to. And if they fight it or keep their mouths shut because their secret is "abnormal" or "unnatural" in our society.