Read it at your own risk

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I was in 7th standard in the hostel ‘Children’s Haven’. My favorite teacher Ms Angela who was in her early twenties was telling us about sex. She was more of a friend than teacher and all of us loved her. There were less than 10 of us in the room huddled around her, 4th std to 7th std- the eldest girls in the co-ed hostel. Everyone was grossed out because sex sounded so…. impossible. The  meeting of bodies in THAT way… how men and women were made to fit into each other.

I was thinking something else… all this sounded so familiar… like it had happened to me… long, long, long ago. And I remembered. It was flashes of memory but it was real. I was 4/5/6 years? I don’t remember. I was lying under our neighbour’s son. What was he doing? Well, he was having sex with me. I have never called it ‘rape’ because rape to my mind is always about the victim screaming, shouting, being forced into it unwillingly. I don’t remember doing any of that. What if I gave consent and horrors of horrors actually liked it? But then, there is no concept of consensus for a 5 year old when it comes to sex. So it has to be rape. I remembered all of this when I was a teenager… my mind had completely blocked it out… too late to do anything about it, too late to say anything about it. I am just surprised nobody noticed it… my father was a busy doctor but my mother was a housewife who ran a salon from home. The neighbour had an elder brother, a younger sister, his mother was a housewife and father ran a cardboard box making business from home. Didn’t nobody notice or wonder where I was gone? Why was I alone in a room with this guy? And how many times did it happen? I don’t remember.

Imagine going to the cops to file a complaint and telling them- ‘I have no proof except this flash of memory’. Who would ever believe me? I would be on those articles revolving on the internet -‘Women who lied about being raped’. Hilarious.

I told my friend ‘Sil’ what happened and she started behaving in a odd manner like I was a ‘victim’ or ‘damaged goods’. No no… it’s not her fault. How are you supposed to handle this kind of information when you are in your 7th std? Few days later I told her it was a joke.

*Took a break to reply to hubby’s mail where he has been recognized by his colleagues as someone who has inspired extraordinary performance in 2014*

She probably thought I am insensitive asshole for making up such ridiculous stories. But I’d rather be an asshole than a victim.

The 2nd person I told was a nun who came for retreat. She had come from another convent and we could spend few minutes with her talking about anything. I was in 10th std and at the end of the conversation asked her; “Does this mean I am not a virgin anymore?”. She didn’t answer and changed the topic. I was sad for losing something I didn’t even know was gone.

I have always told my ‘serious’ boyfriends about this. I don’t know why… it’s not like it matters. Also, the only difference it made in life was I was not inhibited about losing my virginity all over again when I was 18 years. I mean, if I am not a virgin I can have sex once am legally an adult? There are no more mental barriers about it.

I told my parents in 2008. They didn’t react. At best, they didn’t know what to say or do… at worst, they don’t believe me. My battle/trauma is not that I was ‘raped’ as a child… hell, I don’t even remember it. The way I see it, I had it easy. My mind blocked it out and I remembered only when I was capable enough to deal with it. My trauma is when my sister takes the name of this ‘guy’ during Diwali in 2013 casually. Her logic? ‘Since you didn’t tell me exactly what happened or didn’t cry about it, am assuming it was nothing serious’. That was the moment I lost all ‘love’ for family… any family. I flew into a rage… cursed that she will realize when her kids get ‘raped’. I was ashamed immediately and apologized later. No, she didn’t apologize. It’s been a year and there is no apology on the horizon.

The most hilarious part is my parents spent their entire life protecting us. We were not allowed to talk to guys, drink, party, hang out with friends, wear sleeveless or short clothes…. everything to protect the damn hymen. That’s what it is, right? Everyone is only worried about the girl’s hymen because which decent guy is going to marry a girl who is not a virgin? They will have to pay excess dowry just for the loss of virginity… not to talk about the shame and loss of honour in society. Sometimes I want to laugh because what they were protecting was already gone… right from under their noses and they could do shit about it.

It’s not over. I attended the ‘guy’s’ wedding when I was in college. I met him, saw him and wondered if he remembers what he did to me. Did he do it to someone else?

I have been thinking about writing this for a few weeks now… specially since the ‘Uber rape’ but wanted to write it when I was at my most unemotional. I wanted to write about it like I would talk to someone about it… unemotionally… and like I don’t care.


7 thoughts on “Read it at your own risk

  1. I wish your had your family emotionally available for you then. Yup happened to me, and every other girl i spoke to.. if not anything intense but sexually harassed .. I just remembered the incident suddenly during college time i guess, suddenly from no where. and that stayed in mind.Flash of memories from 4yrs, 12yrs, 17yrs and 23yrs …quite a lot, isn’t it? I protested every time but at 4yrs i shied away and smiled probably. A helpless disgusting feeling now.

  2. Sasmita, thanks for this comment. I am sure if all women speak up there will be a hell lot of horror stories out there. But then again, what is the point of speaking up? How does speaking up even help?
    Sigh!!!

  3. Bulbul
    Don’t know what to say,
    But I’ll tell you you are one Strong,disciplined and well sorted human being i have come across.
    Migma

  4. Since clearly it means so much to you, I am sorry. I didn’t realize what had happened, and how hurt you were and still are. It is unacceptable for me to have said that to you.
    Unconnected to this, it is very hard to have a conversation with you that is a two-way street. Once you feel a certain way, only that matters and it feels like the feelings or hurt that people around you doesn’t matter, and our hurt is less than yours. Or that an apology of yours should make everything ok. Your apology for bringing my kids is not enough. Kids are innocent, it was completely uncalled for to say that you wish sexual abuse had happened to them. You are basically saying that you, their aunt, wishes it for them because you have no self-control in your pain and anger. I feel like I’m a conversation with you I am not heard and it’s not balanced or a 2-way street. But I can see that my statement has affected you and I am truly sorry. I don’t think an apology on your side can make up for cursing that this exact thing should happen to my 6 month old kids.

  5. My previous post has typos since I was typing on my phone. But also wanted to add, what happened to you is in the past. It already happened, you can’t change it. It is hurtful and should not have happened, you didn’t deserve that. My bringing it up hurt you rightfully so. However, you said that it should happen to my kids, you hope it happens to my then 6-8 month old babies. And you expect a sorry and move on to make it ok. What if they were old enough to hear you talk like that? What happened to you is done, but you basically said it should happen to BOTH my kids. Why would you say or think that, or even think it is ok to say that? Who talks like that? In all my life I have never ever met someone other than you who would talk like that in anger. As their mother, it is my job to protect them; there is so much resentment in you about our parents and what they should or shouldn’t do. I am their mother. How do you think it makes me feel to hear your words about wishing their sexual abuse/rape?? Have you ever thought about how it felt to hear that from you? How your words are so unacceptable? A sorry cannot justify or wash them away. What I need is not an apology, but a realization that you cannot say whatever you want just because you are angry, some boundaries should not be crossed. It is ok to respect others, everything is not a battlefield.

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