I was always an awkward child. I wasn’t what you would call pretty in the conventional sense. I was hefty, dark, always oiled hair and used to wear very plain clothes. My friends were more stylish. I believe trying to groom myself was never my priority. But I was always smart. I scored well, was considered intelligent. I loved school. I liked and still like to learn new things. And I love books. But I was never happy. I could never connect with a friend. I was always sad and looked unwell. My mother used to think this is my basic nature. She often would try to talk to me but she was never home enough that I could feel comfortable with her. The truth was that I was internally broken.
I had been living with my mother since 7 years in an apartment. My parents are divorced. I would get home by 3 in the afternoon and my mother would be away at work. Everyday around 4, the door bell used to ring and upon opening the door, I would find the man who lived two doors away. He knew I was home alone, scared and a coward. I was forced to open the door for him. He would come inside and molest me.
I was forced because sometime back when he had rung the bell for the first time, I was unaware of his intentions. I let him in out of courtesy as he said he wanted some water. His water cooler had broken down. Apparently. As I had gone inside the kitchen to fetch water, he came up behind me and forced himself on me. As I cried after he was done, he took objectionable pictures to blackmail me. I couldn’t tell anyone what had happened otherwise he would spread my pictures.
So this was going on for seven painful years. I was hollow from inside. I didn’t think I could ever recover or stop from being used everyday. I always felt dirty and blamed myself all the time. I would cry myself to sleep every night. But I made sure my mom would never suspect. She would be so hurt. I just suffered in silence.
However, a few months back from today, a new girl joined my college. We became friends. She was different from the rest, there was something about her. She was confident in her own skin. She never tried hard to become someone. We became best friends and I confided in her. I told her my biggest secret, the first person whom I ever told. She was shocked, angry and hurt. We started talking about my problem and how I should tell my mother. But I was scared because it had already been seven years and my mother might suspect if I liked what was being done to me. My friend told me to be brave because an end had to be put to this.
I told my mom exactly two months back. She looked at me with wide eyes, full of pain and shock. I remember that look because she started to cry. She hadn’t cried that much even during the divorce. She was upset with herself that I couldn’t feel free enough to confide in her, she didn’t blame me for a thing. I felt hopeful for the first time in my life. I was so happy that my mother believed me. We both were extremely grateful to my best friend for showing me the right path.
We have taken help of an NGO and filed an FIR against that man. We have a lawyer and the court life has already begun. Things are going in a good direction and I am sure there will be justice. I am also into therapy and communicate with my mother everyday.I want to tell to every person suffering out there to speak up. It isn’t your fault, don’t let the culprit get away. Talk to somebody. I wish I had told the truth to my mother years ago. Don’t blame yourself and be brave. Life is so precious, don’t let it go to waste. Speak up because you deserve to live with respect, happiness and love.
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