My story is not very different from the millions of survivors of child sexual abuse. I was abused by my uncle from a very early age. It began when I must have been between two and three years of age since I don’t have any recollectable memory of it, or maybe I buried it so deep that I can’t remember it.
It ended when I was 15 when my aunt, uncle’s wife walked in one day in the afternoon when I was being abused. Aunty walked out immediately, began to cry and uncle went to console her. I dressed up and went back to my house. At home, I got scolded by my mom. She called me a really bad girl saying that I was trying to destroy the marriage of uncle and aunty. It didn’t occur to her that I was the victim, not the initiator of sexual abuse. Uncle also got scolded but he never got banished from our house.
It’s the usual story of sweeping sexual abuse of girls and also boys in the family right under the carpet, because if it is known it will bring shame to the family. Strangely, our idea of shame for a family is when sexual abuse become public knowledge but the fact that a child of the family has been abused is not a big concern, it seems. Still what was good about my situation was that from that day onwards my abuse stopped.
Uncle was not the only one who abused me. The problem was somehow molesters seemed to know that they could zero in on me. I just didn’t know how to say no. Somewhere in my long years of abuse, my ability to say no was crushed, which is not so easy to understand since otherwise I am a very bold person. As a kid, I was feared by my friends. I would beat up girls and even boys and I knew how to fight fiercely with other kids. I was what you would term as a tomboy, climbing trees, doing dangerous stunts, playing with boys and girls.
Fortunately, my education didn’t suffer though I suffer from low self esteem and I have all the aftereffects of Child Sexual Abuse (CSA). I am obese, had a bad marriage and was promiscuous in my younger years. It was my encounter with Jesus Christ that saved me.
When I learnt that Jesus Christ said, “I came to give you life and life abundantly”, I knew that it also meant me. He died for my sins, pain and even my shame. This aspect never struck me till recently. I never knew that Christ also died for my shame and that shame and loss of face was something which bothered me a lot.
Now that I am able to speak about my abuse and deal with it, I want to help others get liberated by speaking out about their abuse. The first step to healing from the pain and the hurt is to speak out. Silence is the weapon that the abuser has over you. Once you speak out, you will be on your road to dealing with your abuse, pain and shame and be a survivor instead of a victim of CSA.