I am the 20-year-old daughter of an all-sacrificing father and a mother who takes me as her best friend. I’ve just completed my undergraduate degree and have applied for my post graduation in the hope that my life will finally take a much-needed turn. I am a staunch feminist; I work for women's rights and have participated in many rallies against evils faced by women and girls.
All I am today is because of the horrible experiences of my past, my childhood.
My parents provided my siblings and me with everything that we needed and gave us values and loads of love. They tried to give me a normal childhood too, but that couldn't happen.I don't exactly remember when all the horrible things started in my life, I just remember the horrors, but it was somewhere between 2002 and 2007. By ‘horrible things’ I mean my family members sexually abusing me.
I can’t recollect when and how but I clearly remember those who did it to me and I'll never forgive them.
They say that the bond between a brother and sister is sacred; it is pure and protective. But I was cursed with a brother who exploited me and ruined this relationship forever! He was not the only one. The second guy was my elder mamu's son, my cousin, the third was my younger mamu's son, the fourth was my professor at the school and the list went on...
When I was younger, my mom would often go to my nani's house and leave me home with her son and my dadu. I remember those afternoons when I’d return from school and my elder sister would not be home. My elder brother was home and he’d to tell me to play with him.
I was too young to understand whether he was just playing or exploiting my body.
This abuse continued even when I went to my nani’s house. The house was very crowded as it was a joint family with an army of children. The whole family was supposed to be closed and connected but it was all a pretense.
My elder mamu's son, who was my sister's age, would forcefully make me sit on his lap, play with my private parts, literally make me sleep with him and force me to play with his private part and put it in my mouth. He’d tell me to lie down while he fingered me vigorously.
It hurt so bad that I’d keep crying but I was too sacred to tell anyone, so I grew up suffering this abuse.
I distinctly recollect the day when there were no elders at my nani's place and I was asked to stay with my cousins. I was so scared! Although my nani's house was always crowded, it was pretty huge and there were separate rooms for all the families.
That day it meant that I’d be alone, locked in a room with my elder cousin who would force himself upon me.
Hence I was extremely reluctant to go there in the first place. I kept crying at my place saying that I didn’t want to play with my cousins and that I’d stay home. But my own home was not safe for me, as I was always left in the custody of my brother. My dadu had met with an accident when I was very small and lost his memory, so he would sit in one corner of the house without talking to anyone.
But I was his blood and he could hear my cries for help whenever my brother abused me. I’d scream in pain and fear and my grandpa would come to help me. But my brother would hurt him badly.
I've seen him trying to choke his very own grandfather!
He would push him out of the room and shut the door on his hand or leg, leaving him with a bruise. However, by the time my father would ask him how he got hurt, my grandpa would have no memory of it.
My father is an ideal man, the best father, a good husband and the best son! He took care of my grandpa, bathed him, fed him, made his beard and did everything else. Once, dadu tried telling my father that the other man in the house (my brother) had tried to kill him many times. My father assumed that my grandpa was losing his sanity because of his disease when in reality, he was telling the truth.
Being abused in the house where I had a million memories (and still counting) was the greatest trauma of my life.
I don't remember much since I was barely between 4-7 years old but I remember becoming familiar with things that girls learn only on their first night after marriage! It devastated me and affected my performance in school. I never had any friends during those 13 years in the same school with the same classmates!
I had developed trust issues, was extremely moody and always arrogant.
My grandpa died in 2004 and my brother finally stopped having sex with me. At last, I felt safe in my home, but I was still scared to go to my nani's house where my cousin left no opportunity to abuse my body. I grew up thinking that this was how girls were treated in every household. Then came the dawn of the Internet and the boom of social networking sites.
I realized that the things I’d been experiencing weren’t normal and that's not how a girl should be treated!
So I started revolting. I stopped going to my nani's house and it so happened that my nani also left that house and moved in with my younger mamu, which meant no further interaction with that horrible human and no more visits to that house.
I started moving on with life. My sister got engaged, my brother was fooling around, my parents were busy bringing us up, my cousins were happy with their lives and we rarely met. Then I found a friend. During my sister's brother-in-law’s marriage, he and I became quite friendly.
He was extremely charming and I was happy to finally find a friend.
His wife also liked me and stayed in touch with me after the wedding. When they were expecting a baby, she went to her mom's house in the last trimester. He was alone and that’s when he started texting me.
He would often send me intimate messages meant for his wife, claiming that he sent them by mistake.
It got worse when he started sending me texts like " my love" and so on. It worried me but at the same time, I was beginning to enjoy it. When he came to town, he stayed at our house because he couldn’t stay with his in-laws. We kept minimal contact and it was extremely awkward to be around him, as normally, we chatted all day like a newly engaged couple. But real life hit us and he got busy with his small family.
Both of us realized that what we had was nothing but a nasty little fantasy.
That chapter got over and then I went on a school trip where I met a guy from my community. He was extraordinarily charming and I was completely into him. During the trip, we got very close. We behaved like a couple and would always be together. Everybody in school, especially my seniors, started teasing us. Unfortunately, I soon learned that he was engaged to another girl. I stopped talking to him, everybody stopped teasing me and I forgot about him for a while.
This happened when I was in the 9th grade. During this time, we had another school trip where my professor who taught us biology took us trekking. He would often take my hand and put it on his chest, while the other smaller kids would wonder what the professor was doing with didi.
I was shaken, although I knew this was how professors often behaved with female students.
Fortunately, he was expelled from school because he tried to get his dirty way with other students who reported him. There was another professor who would ask me to meet him in his cabin at odd times, after school or before classes started where there was no one else in his room. He didn’t do extreme things, but he’d talk dirty to me and his expressions disgusted me! Luckily, I managed to ignore him.
After I’d recovered from my break up, I developed a crush on a senior. He was really good looking and was my dad’s friend’s son. I started following him around. I would keep staring at him, that's all I ever did! I was in 10th grade while he was in 12th. We started dating soon after. This was the time when my elder siblings got married. It was also when my younger mamu's son tried touching me inappropriately. But this time, I didn't tolerate it.
I shouted at him and warned him that if he ever tried touching me, I would make sure that he died a gruesome death!
He stopped. In the meantime, something terrible happened in my elder mamu's family and I took as God's way of punishment. The cousin who abused me died! He was only 24.
I cannot express how happy I was when it happened because he got what he deserved.
Karma f*****d him! He had ruined my life, and I’d left it to God to punish people like him who abuse their sister! I thought I was heartless to have such feelings, but who wouldn't be happy when and if the person who destroyed their life died?
Then my elder brother got married and so did my sister. Soon after my sister's marriage, my brother split from our family. It was heartbreaking for my parents, as they’d never expected him to do so. He left in a horrible way giving my father sleepless nights while my mother couldn't think of anything but the pain caused by his harsh words. I can never forgive him for his actions.
He sexually abused me, he tainted my entire life and he also hurt my family; he tried to murder my grandpa and broke my mother’s heart.
By this time, I was in the 11th grade and my 'relationship' with my senior was going well, but when he asked me to commit to him (I was in the 12th grade), I couldn't. In fact, I behaved like I’d never loved him and horribly broke his heart. How could I explain to him all that was going on in my life? I was confused and didn’t know how to prioritize things; was I right in worrying about these things or was I too young and thus, should just focus on my studies and my boards!
Those two years were traumatic. There was a lot of imbalance in the house; my mom kept crying, my dad met with an accident and now, his leg has a plate instead of a bone, my sister suffered a miscarriage and I was stressed about my boards and unable to decide whether or not to push my love away! Eventually, things started working out for my family when my father started recovering and my sister was expecting another kid.
My so-called brother kept going further away from my family and I was happy because another abuser was out of my life.
I never told anybody about him. For so many years, I lived with the burden of this sorrow; I thought if I didn’t think about it, I would forget it. But that didn't help as I kept getting nightmares about it.
I shared my nightmares with my sister but I always eliminated the parts of my horrific abuse, as I was not ready for the drama that she would create. Things haven't really changed even now, as I was diagnosed with depression during a school camp conducted in the 12th grade.
At that time, I never told my folks or any body because I knew that they wouldn't believe me.
Just to confirm, I attended another mental health camp when I was in college. This camp diagnosed my mental stability and when I received my report, it said that I’d been suffering from anxiety and battling depression for over three years and it was time to start therapy.
When I finally confessed to my sister, she refused to believe me and said that it was the bad influence of social media. I realized that I had to tell her my story. We had gone shopping when I decided to tell her everything; why I acted differently, how it became my nature and so on.
I broke down in public when I started telling her things that she could never have imagined.
I had shared this only with my best friend in college who supported me and encouraged me to report my brother to the police. She went to the extent of calling my mom and telling her to disown my brother! But I managed the situation. My sister was horrified and hurt. She said, “We were so close yet you chose to hide this from me the whole time? You trusted your newly made friend over your own sister!?”
I said, “It was my 'own' brother and my kin who sexually harassed me, do you think I trusted the word 'own' anymore?”
She couldn't say anything. She requested me not to tell this our dad, as he would kill my brother and ruin his family. My family always taunted me that I behaved like my brother and kept letting everyone and myself down. One day, I couldn’t control my anger and yelled at my mom saying, “You think I'm one of those humans who f**k their own sister!?'
My mom realized that I was talking about being sexually abused by my own brother!
She realized that I was nothing like her eldest born and would never be like him! I told her to pass this message to my father but she didn’t as he’d be heartbroken and could take extreme steps.
My mother disowned her son completely; she says that she has two daughters only. But my dad doesn't know the truth and he still compares me to him and believes that I'm following his footsteps. If only he knew! If only I could see my so-called brother behind bars.
I just hope and pray that his daughter does not meet the same fate as her aunt at the hands of her own father!
I pray that one day, he pays for his mistakes and karma f***s him badly, whether I live to see it or not!
I’ve always been compared to my sister because she is very strong and looks ravishingly beautiful while I'm 'ugly' as per the standards of beauty in our society. And it is true, she is beautiful even from within abut how was she never subjected to such harassment over the years while I was fingered or f****d by almost everybody. Heaven forbids that anything ever happens to her.
I felt like a prostitute who was trafficked from one man to another where every time, there was a new man violating my body.
And all I could do was pretend that I everything was normal. But I don't agree that she is stronger than me. I have lived through so much abuse, had so many reasons to simply give up this life and end my body’s suffering but I didn’t.
Instead, it encouraged me to become the person I am today. It has given me the strength to shout out loud and help others get over their trauma.
I know what it's like to be abused and I know that victim blaming isn't right because it is not the victim's fault.
It’s high time that our society understands it too.