At the time it began, I was in nursery school when our house boy of about early 20s began to sexually abuse me, he said that there was something about me that made him want to touch me and made me swear not to tell anyone. In my young mind I believed that there had to be something wrong with me for him to want to touch me and have sex with me, initially I didn’t know that what he was doing to me was wrong but I knew it was painful and it felt like down there was on fire. It went on for a long time, and as time passed, he got bolder, it was no longer happening while my parents were away but when my mum was home too. And one day, my mum was cooking in the kitchen when he dragged me to their room and got on top of me, my cousin who lived with us at the time came into the room and saw him and called my mum. My dad came home not too long after and he was sent away, nobody asked me anything, it was like nothing happened and everyone moved on.
The peculiar thing is that I was also sexually abused by my cousin who came to live with us after they lost their father. I can’t really remember how it began, but he started where our house boy stopped and I saw myself being pulled into hidden corners and sexually abused once again, all these happened between the age of 5/6 and 9. I was in so much pain that nobody knew about and I couldn’t tell anybody about and I cried a lot, I became reclusive and paranoid, believing that everyone was out to hurt me especially the opposite sex.
But I’ve come to see over the years that abuse is a gift that keeps on giving, it’s like there’s a stamp on your head that invites repeat occurrences. It affects its victims in very different ways; some go on to live very destructive lives, dabbling in drugs, prostitution, abusive relationships, and so on just to cope, I went on to have very bad experiences to the point that I wished I could die. By the time I left for boarding school, I came home and never allowed my cousin lay a hand on me again. Nobody in my family knows about my cousin, I see him at family functions and he used to come to my house a lot after he moved out, but I don’t get angry when I see him anymore; I just feel pity for him and wonder how many other girls have encountered our house boy and him since me.
The experience isn’t as difficult to live with as it used to be, it gets better as time goes by but I’ve found that there’s no day-off in healing from trauma, it’s a daily, intentional activity. It made me who I am today, I don’t thank it, because I could really have done without all its effects but it is what it is. I’m truly grateful that I didn’t turn out worse than I could have.
“A small gesture can turn somebody’s situation around. Support survivors by ONLY leaving a kind and thoughtful comment.”