Saturday, December 18, 2010

Sometimes I Wish It Never Happened

You haven't truly learnt anything until you share your knowledge and experiences with others.
So I share.

Yesterday night I was chatting with a friend of mine and he asked me a rather uncomfortable question. Well, the question itself wasn't as uncomfortable as the answer.

He asked me whether there was anything I wanted to erase from my life. A question that I have always answered with a boring, "There's always something to learn from unpleasantness"; but this time, I paused and thought.

It did not take me long to figure out exactly what it was that I wanted to discard from my life like an unwanted weed.

I was about eight years old and not very different from other girls my age.

I was also a victim of sexual abuse.
It lasted a couple of years.

Now, you might be having a rather sorry image of mine in your head where I'm little, scared and crying. Thankfully though, that wasn't the case. My age came to my advantage. When you're that young, you don't fully comprehend what's happening to you. I happily sailed through my life and apart from those few tense moments, I was a content, smiling child who laughed the loudest among her friends. 

The real problems arose many years later, when I was in my mid teens. There was a growing awareness within me that I had been sexually abused. My unconscious was always buzzing with what had happened and that resulted in many behavioural and psychological problems. I became a bitter, rude and condescending person. I would frequently get into fights with boys and often went to the extent of beating them up. I was unsympathetic to the needs of others and often made cruel jokes at their expense. I felt disconnected with the other girls. Their supposed emotional and physical weakness disgusted me no end. I ridiculed them for not being able to handle their stupid problems and wondered how they could dwell for so long over insignificant matters.

Of course, with time I realized that I just couldn't continue with such behaviour and thoughts. I tried my best to become more emphatic, developed a softer attitude towards others and worked towards developing a calmer and more mature disposition. After all that hard work, I began to see that my anger had subsided and I had become a more pleasing person to be with. By the end of my teens, I was once again like any other person my age.

However, I was still troubled deep inside. I decided that the best way to get rid of all these teeming thoughts would be to share them with someone. I decided to confide in my closest friend. We talked a lot and came to the conclusion that I would only feel at ease once I revealed everything to my mother.

So, travelling in an autorickshaw one cold winter night, I decided to tell her everything. I started at the very beginning and poured my heart out. By the end of it, I finally felt at peace. From that day forth, I have never had a single unpleasant thought in my head regarding my abuse. It is done and in my past. I do not carry it forward with me.

Of course, I did confront the person in question about his actions. He broke down, apologised and wished he could take it all back.

Well, he can't.

And that is why I sometimes wish this never happened. It would have been a different life.. a different me..


  1. I have no words Rima.. simply coz I felt like I was reading my own story..

    Yup, same things happened to me, sexual abuse.. began when I was 6, ended when I was close to 9, by a family member.. Once I reached my teens: Went through the same cycle of anger, disgust towards men, self-loathing, lashing out at others for no reason.. When I was 21 I finally sought help of a psychiatrist who helped coach me through how to break it to my mom.. Earlier my mom wld not understand why I wld refuse to go to my uncle's place or get so angry when he wld come over.. Of course I never confronted him, but since that day I spoke to my mom, I have never spoken to that man again. I just walk past him & he knows why..

    It is really gr8 that u have been able to overcome the repressed feelings & they no longer control you.. unfortunately for some reason I have not been able to exorcise that demon completely, & i think it is bcoz I had a tough childhood coz I am also dyslexic.. There are days when I lash out for no reason at all, days when my self esteem crashes for no reason.. I find it very hard to trust people, & I am afraid my experience has made me a bit of a loner.. I hope I am not sounding too sad here, I am not looking for pity, just that for the first time in my life I have come across a person who'll understand wht I am saying..

    Thnks for sharing this girl :D.. god bless..

  2. I ao agree with the sharing would never feel that comfortable untill and unless we remove all that out and share with someone...but u r so brave...u held this to urself for so long..
    I dont thnk I could have..for sure..

  3. Hi Rima,

    The sexual abuse happens to most girls in their childhood and the culprits escape their crime without any guilt 100% of the times, but the victim has to live with the painful memory for the rest of her life. Mostly girls tend to keep this kind of abuse within themselves as our Indian society is very rigid & not open in discussing the pain & turmoil a girl undergoes with such an experience. Sometimes even parents turn deaf ears to this issue.


  4. I cant even comprehend what you must have been through...After reading this post i was left speechless for a while.i know that most girls who have such expriences end up being very very troubled.But i am glad you had the strength and courage to think rationally and get over the problems that haunted you.Most of the girls would just cripple under the pressure and depression.I am glad you decided to share such a private thing with us make us all understand that We should not let sumthing like this get to us,to make us weak.Today I am honestly Very proud to call you a friend of mine. of having the chance to know you!

  5. tanveer, i am very touched to hear your story and that you decided to share it as well. god knows how many people (girls as well as boys) go through such abuse and then much worse! it's much more prevalent that we think it is. on days you feel like you're crashing, just remind yourself that the victim isn't you, it's the person who did this to you. they have bigger problems that we'll ever have..

    bhumika, thank you for your words. i never thought twice before confiding in my friend or mother. i was always free with them. it's just that i was looking for the right moment. things happen only when they have to happen. :)

    prerna, that is exactly why i wrote this article. we need to be open and speak about such things. today, if something like this happens to someone, it shouldn't be hard for them to speak up or ask for help.

    my dearest fathima, it feels so good to be able to share so much with all of you. yes, you are all my friends. someday, i hope to meet all of you. :)
    such incidents do leave deep emotional scars. as tanveer said, there are days when you go for a toss.

  6. Rima, I'm sorry to hear that u went through something so awful n cruel.I know how much it can damage someone. It's very brave of u to confront the person and tell yr mom. It shows a fragile innocent child can one day become a strong woman who will stand up for herself. I admire that you decided not to become a bitter & angry person anymore, and you should coz u deserve to be happy n not let something that tainted your childhood do the same to your adulthood as well. I wish I can say more but I just can't find the words...
    God bless you & stay strong.


  7. hummmmmmmmmm read ur post after long time...its really thoughtful post...thanx for sharing as....!!

    and keep smiling like ur picture says...

    Jai ho Mangalmay HO

  8. I once read that 1 in 3 kids is sexually abused. I think I read it in this book called Bitter Chocolate. Thanks for the support Rima :)

  9. thank you baldie :)

    cynthia, i'll always come back to your positive words when i'm feeling low :)

    vish ji, long time for sure! i'll keep smiling for sure :)

    tanveer, yes the number is quite high. unfortunate!

  10. Sexual abuse is awful and it gets only awfully terrible when the culprit is a family member.

    You've been really strong and honest about the entire episode.The fact that you shared it with your mom and also later confronted that filthy person is commendable.Its very important and difficult to overcome such things. And you've done it.

    I don;t have enough words.Wish you always remain strong.
    Take care

  11. Oh my god, I read Tanveer and your experience and I can so identify with it!!!....The same happened to me too, I was 10 years old, and yes it was a family relative, my uncle. I too went through this whole gamut of blaming myself, where i thought i must have in some way brought it upon myself. And i agree with Tanveer it is another reason i think i am a loner, you just shut people out and not trust them. I have come a long way from there and sought some psychiatric help too, but am not sure it has completely helped me. I still sometimes have difficulty in forming close relationships, because it is easier keeping people at an arms length. And the worst part is i could not bring myself to tell my mom, but she got to know it from one of my sisters but since it was her brother she didnt couldnt really bring herself to confront him. We just pretended for a long while that he and the problem didnt exist. I finally managed to tell her about it myself just a few years back, but i kept feeling its too late. We should have done it then. Confronted him and maybe I wouldnt have these trust and relationship problems. Anyway I am glad to have spoken out and feel in a sense am not alone in this. But seriously these people should be flogged for betraying trust and scarring lives.

  12. my dear sugary cube, thank you for your words of courage.

    anamika, see how common it is. this one post has brought up so many incidents. everything happens for a reason, so don't feel bad about not being able to tell your mother earlier. sometimes, confronting the person about his/her actions isn't the best way to go about things. i myself did it in a fit of rage, when i couldn't control myself any longer. maybe i should seek some form of intervention too. let's see, in future! take care dear and do stay in touch.

  13. Hey thanks rima four your words of support,they mean a lot coming from someone who knows what it is like. so thanks :-) I also meant its late in the sense my uncle, he was somewhere around 43-44 yrs old, died untimely a month back, so that bit is gone with him. The possiblility of a confrontation is over and its sad that we have tainted memories of him. Anyway its real nice that in this somewhat superficial world of beauty blogging we women can share these kind of experiences. Just talking about it and reading is cathartic in a thanks, and yes i intend keeping in touch :-)

  14. oh yes this has indeed been cathartic. :)

  15. Anamika - God bless.. I understand when you say - It is easier to keep people at arm's length - it truly is easier at times :)

    We're always there for you, incase you need someone to talk to :D

    Thanks again Rima - for putting this up. I think this post of your's will help a lot of girls & boys to start addressing their buried issues in a positive manner.

  16. Rima - It would be a dishonest statement if I say that "I know what you went through", coz at such a stage, nobody else can actually experience your state of being. However, it is all divine grace that you have vented out and flushed out those blocks and moved ahead to emerge as the n strong woman you are now. God bless you dear.

    And believe me...your mother is your biggest blessing. I know some cases where parents of the abused getting even more depressed and at times even blame the victim. Your mom was such a strong woman..for not letting any of those getting to you.

    Love ya dear

    Anamika n Tanveer - I have no words to express what I feel...God bless you both.

  17. i agree wholeheartedly with what you have said about my mother. i know a friend who went through the same and her mother refused to believe her. imagine her plight.

  18. Hi Rima,

    My cousin was a sexual abuse victim at age 8 and just like Anamika's mom, my maasi(her mom) couldn't confront her brother for the emotional injuries he inflicted on her innocent child.

    My cousin confided about the incidents to her mom, & my maasi confided this to my mom (my mom is her younger sister), my maasi so desperately wanted to scream at her brother for his wrong doings but words simply didnt' come out of her mouth whenever she saw my uncle at the family gatherings. But I guess maasi must have forgiven her brother as she meets him & invites him to her place even now.

    My cousin has now moved on with marriage & life involving her children and has put the past behind her.


  19. societal pressure.. sigh.. but good to hear your cousin has moved on.

  20. Rima, thank you so much for writing about this. I agree completely with you when you say that we should be able to talk about this openly. A lot of people are in denial that sexual abuse is common and needs to be addressed.

    Also, what you said about the growing awareness as a teen really felt familiar to me. No matter how innocent we are as children, I think somewhere somehow we know that something wrong has been done, and those incidents stay in our memories.

  21. besides staying in our memories, those incidents also impact the way we think and behave.

  22. hello, you are right Rima, such incidents do affect our behaviour. at my ancestral home we used to have a lady as our kiraydar..she has a nephew who was doing pg at that time and i was only 9-10. he would pick me and my elder sis in his lap and would 'touch' us..u get the meaning na.... i was young and only know somwthing is wierd 'coz my sis would not let me near him ..i don't know why ...and she told mum also why..mum also told me not to go near when i come to know what is sexual abuse i always thank god for giving me such a good she prevents me from a bad experience... but now whenever i go at a family function i just stick with her instead of mingling with people.

  23. prachi, it is good to know that elders in your family were there to protect you. but, sometimes they are the ones who harm us!

  24. I think Sexual abuse of children is very common and we, as a society, persist in turning a blind eye to it.
    My mom was very protective and a lot of times in my childhood and teens I was mad at her for not letting me go to that friend's house or that cousin's place. Now that I understand, I am grateful to her. Still there was a small incident with an employee of a relative. Only in the recent years have I understood and talked to my mom about it. It distressed me for weeks. I cant imagine what you went through, happy that you've been able to put it behind you. God bless. All of this just makes me scared that one day I will be responsible for a child.

  25. my mother too took a lot of care but if something has to happen, it will happen. no matter how alert we are, things still manage to slip through. i won't say that i'm scared that one day i too will be responsible for a child, but it does make me a little anxious. i think the best way to deal with such things is to have an open channel of communication with everyone around you, not just your children.

  26. I can't even begin to comprehend what all must have gone through your mind all these years.
    It's one thing to be whistled, or ogled at, or to even have a 'innocent' brush of some stranger's hand across your body..
    But a relative!
    Sad, to say the least.

    But it's great that you've moved on with life. And you've emerged a fine young girl!! :)

  27. It is weird, I've also been a victim of sexual abuse, by a family member. I also could not comprehend it till I was about 15. It was always at the back of my head but I never gave it too much thought till then, and I was eventually pretty disturbed. I still haven't told any family member about it, and I don't think I ever will. However, last year I decided to confront that particular family member about it and he totally denied it & told me he had no idea what I was talking about. As sick as that response was, I was slightly relieved I let him know. But I'm still not. I agree with you on the fact that I could have been a completely different person with that experience out of life, but I think I'm happy with the way I turned out eventually, and I've learnt to embrace it. We all find our little outlets; escapists as we are.

    Cheers to today and many more fabulous years to come :)
    Thanks for sharing this, I'm glad you did.

  28. hey :)
    i think it's important to just let it out of your system, whether or not people believe you. i think we're all very content with how we've turned out to be. at least we're better than those who did us wrong!

  29. but I was really enthralled to see the pinnacle of your melting point. Gr8 going gal, God bless....


  30. Rima I have tears in my eyes while I am typing this.... you are truly a strong is such an excruciating incident...I can never ever imagine what you must have gone through cuz only the person who has gone through the turmoil knows how it feels...

    It's so relieving to hear that you've emerged strong out of it and dear Rima I pray for your well being..


  31. thanks dipti for those encouraging words. :)

  32. You are very brave for sharing your experiences with the world. As I'm sure you have seen and heard and learnt through your healing process - your voice will speak to other voices. You are brave, you are honest, you are are woman! and you are not alone, dear :) Keep writing! Great stuff!

  33. thank you for those encouraging words !

  34. hi rima...I have juststarted foloowing your blog afew days ago..mutely would not know me really.but I know you from IMBB.....I just read this and cannot comprehend the trauma that you must have gone through at that tender age.Being the mother of a daughter today,(And a son)I was touched by the way you brought it out in the open.....It takes reaallll guts Rima.....
    I dont have too many encouraging words....everyone above has already said what i would have liked to convey...but I want to say this...
    I want to give you a poochi and a hug...
    and also want to say that you are truly a diamond from the coalmine...shining through after all the adversities.....muaaahhhh and god bless

  35. your poochi and hug mean a lot, i wish i could get them in person :)
    being a mother, you would have understood the situation from a different perspective as well. it's sad that such things happen but what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger!

  36. I truly believe that too a pediatrician will not believe the cases I come across...its sad but its there....
    another poochi and a bear hug to you...till we meet in person...i really hpe we do someday...till then online love:)

  37. While we all have our 'I wish it never happened' moments, it is very very difficult to come up with this on a public forum..Very brave!

  38. Rima, you are beautiful and brave. Thank you for sharing your story. It took a lot of courage to take the positive steps that you have taken, and now you are inspiring others. You were an innocent child who was victimized, but you are now a strong woman!

  39. thank you for your encouraging words!

  40. Hi Rima, I'm extremely sorry to hear this. I was also sexually abused as a kid, but it was ONLY once but still sometimes the images and flashback are hard to deal with. So maybe I can feel a trace of what you feel. I won't extend my sympathies to you though because I know you, like all victims are strong people. I think abuse really just gives us two options, to let it determine who we become or just turn it around and make ourselves stronger and I feel you have done exactly that. Because I know a lot of people still can't come to terms and can't even admit to the pain they have endured, let alone talk about. My best wishes to you. xo

  41. you're bang on, shivani! we all have our problems but we shouldn't let them make us bitter, cold people.

  42. Hi Rima... This is first time I'm here on your blog... while browsing through wonderful pieces of writing, I came across this..

    Life is not at all easy for a woman, they are still thought of an object of sexual gratification. It pains me to think, how much a girls has to go through ( and some cases boys too )

    Its sad that it happened with you and I'm really happy that you have got over this Dear.. and remember God watches and he has his ways to even out the things, as I strongly believe that by having you confronted that person, all is not done. Justice will definitely be met.

    Take care and Hugs to a Courageous Woman I met today, Glad I came here Rima :)

  43. oh, boys go through a lot, yes. gender has got little to do with this exploitation. thank you for your words of encouragement!

  44. same thing happened to me as well when i was about 13 years of age and now i am where i was not supposed to be in my life

  45. i believe 99% girls face this...inside or outside home....


Please dont mince your words!