I belong to an upper-middle-class Brahmin family that is highly respected in our society. All of us are well educated. I live with my parents and my grandfather. We live on the ground floor and have a couple of vacant rooms on the first floor of our house.
I guess it all started when I was a little girl.
I don’t remember my exact age when my cousins started sexually abusing me. I think I must have been 3- 4 years old at that time. I don’t even remember the number of times they indulged in all this. But I am quite certain that it was a really frequent occurrence because our families lived together. I didn’t have any siblings of my own so I would hang out with them.
I remember how he tried to put his p*n*s into my mouth once. He then tried penetrating into my va**n*. It hurt. He didn’t go ahead with his actions because I screamed. He would kiss me and lick me down there. Sometimes both of them would touch me together at the same time.
Then they would say that “It is all a game. Don’t tell your mom about it.” I was too scared to tell her about it so I didn’t tell her anything. I don’t even remember when it stopped. But it stopped eventually. I think I was 10-11 years old at that time.
Another incident happened after I reached puberty. I had just finished with my 8th grade. My dad had got some 9th grade science and math tutorial DVDs for me. He decided to set up our computer in one of the vacant rooms on the first floor.
During the summer break, he would take me to the first floor in order to ‘teach’ me the 9th grade chapters ahead of time.
After he finished teaching me a chapter, he would come and hug me. He would hug me so tightly that I could feel his hard p*n*s against my body. I would get away from him after giving him some excuse or the other. I belong to a conservative family. Daughters don’t hug or kiss their dads. We have been brought up in such a way that we maintain our distance with every male member of our family.
So I found it really weird when he started hugging me. He would never hug me in front of my mom.
I sensed that his intentions were not good. I knew that what he was doing was really wrong. Slowly I realized that I was being sexually abused. But I couldn’t say anything.
How could I? He was my dad after all.
My mom had always taught me never to raise my voice in front of him or even disagree with him. She had always wanted me to be an ‘ideal daughter.’
One day, when he started teaching me he slowly inserted his hand inside my T-shirt from the bottom. He started touching my stomach. I kept my mouth shut. He kept looking at the computer screen.
He then slowly touched the elastic of my bra and asked: "What is this?" I said, "Nothing." I sensed what he would do next. So I froze.
My heart kept saying, “Please don’t do it. Please don’t do this. Please leave me. Please let me go. Please!” A million emotions were churning in my heart and I started shivering. I was as scared as hell.
And then he did it. He slowly lifted the elastic and put his hand inside my bra and on my breast. He started touching my nipples.
I felt as if I was screaming and crying. But I couldn’t react in front of him. He was my dad after all. I couldn’t go against him. In a low voice, I said, "I think I have a fever. I need to go."
I slowly pulled his hand out of my bra and stood up to leave. He then forcefully held me by my waist and kissed me on my lips and all over my face.
I just froze and stood there. I tried to hide my emotions. But my brain was exploding. I was screaming inside.
He then hugged me again very tightly and started caressing my whole body.
I broke down and said, "Please leave me. I have a fever. I need to go." He saw my face and realized that I was crying. I don’t know what he was thinking but he let go of my hand. I came running down the stairs.
I saw my mom sitting in the room and ran towards her.
I held her legs and started crying. She was worried and asked me what happened. I said, "Nothing. I think I have a fever. I held on to her tightly and cried." Later that night I wondered if I should tell her about what had happened.
I knew what she had gone through in her life. I worshipped my mother. She lost my baby brother when he was a year old because he fell sick and the doctor misdiagnosed his illness. Her in-laws were terrible and had never loved her. Everyone in my family treated her like a maid. Yet, she always remained strong and faced the challenges that came her way. She was and is my ideal role model.
I am her world. She lives for me.
I thought about it for a long time and decided that I should really tell her about what had happened. I felt it was the best thing to do right now. Yet I knew that she had already suffered more than enough in her life. I did not feel like adding to her troubles. After a long fight with my heart and my brain, I decided to tell her. She was cooking dinner for us. I went to the kitchen and told her everything. I don’t remember much after that.
All I remember is that my mom held me in her lap like a baby. She was crying even though she was screaming at my dad.
My dad was pleading with her. He told her that he had just touched me to see if I had a fever. I pretended to be asleep all through this. My dad never touched me after that.
It has been more than 10 years since this incident happened. My parents share a normal healthy relationship now. Everyone has moved on. I don’t even know what my mom had to go through to accept and forgive the man who abused her daughter. I can’t even imagine the pain that she must have gone through. But she forgave him.
If my mom can forgive him, why can’t I? I did forgive him.
When kids make mistakes parents forgive them right? So if parents make mistakes don’t you think kids should forgive them too? My dad did make a few mistakes. So what?
He eventually realized his mistakes and never repeated it.
I consider the entire incident as a part of a bad phase in my life. Maybe it happened because of my past life karma. I have accepted everything.
I now work in a multinational company. I earn well. I support my family. I try to do everything to make my parents happy. They mean everything to me.
But I am still scared to get close to a guy. I am still scared to share my bed with anyone else - even my baby cousins. I get scared when a man touches me. I feel conscious when I shake hands with someone. I am very scared about one thing.
If I get married and have a daughter how will I protect her from this world? How will I ensure that she doesn’t face what I faced? How will I save my little baby?