trigger warning – description of sexual molestation.
i was molested in my early teenage years. my recollection of it is vague because it would happen while i slept. but sometimes i’d wake up, and those brief moments are imprinted. like a scar, burned into my memories. a dark corner i never want to visit. today, i want to shine the brightest light i can muster, directly at that corner. i want to know what is so disgustingly painful. dirty. shameful. that i have not been able to find the voice to share it in it’s absolute truth before. what a useless thing to carry around, shame. i have been on a quest to find my essence self. i write this in hope of releasing what has caged me for almost the entirety of my life.
the molestation took place in my home. my room. i was most likely 13-14, and my brother would have been 10-11. i can’t remember how often or how many times it happened. all i know for sure is that i can count 4 incidents. he would sneak into my room and touch me. my breasts. and then he’d lift my nightgown and move my underwear to look at my vagina. i don’t believe he ever touched my there. once i remember him reaching ejaculation because some of it landed on my leg. one night, i heard my door open. i must have intentionally moved around, causing him to hide under the bed and i called for my mum. and even then, even though i knew full well what was going on, i told her i thought there was something under my double decker bed. of course that must have sounded like the silliest thing coming from a 13/14 year old. one would think a 13/14 year old has outgrown the “monster under my bed” fear. but she checked, and found my brother. who said he wanted to scare me. and we left it at that. i don’t remember the order of those incidents. i’d like to think that was the end of it.
i now fully accept that his actions must have been out of curiosity. every teenager is curious. i have no idea why he chose to act on that curiosity with me, but i don’t hold that against him any more than i need to. i confronted him once in 2008, although my emotional and mental state was such a mess back then, i did not know how to address it in a mature, wholesome way. it was during a fight, because we used to fight terribly. i’d upset or annoy him and sometimes that would lead to him grabbing me by my hair and/or spitting at me. i blame the physical violence on my parent’s relationship. another corner for another day. so it was during one of those fights that i went to grab a knife. and i sat down across him and told him that if he didn’t come near me, i wouldn’t attack him. and then i demanded an apology for what he did to me. i’m sure he apologized. i don’t think i ever let him know before, that i knew. and i have not brought it up since. just that once. the way i remember it, my dad was sitting right there. i wish i could remember with certainty what his reaction was, because when i think of how my dad handled the situation, all i draw is a blank. could it be that he just ignored it? or did he not think much of it as i did not reveal details? should i have?
the thing with being molested when you’re young is. someone is touching you sexually. someone is touching you sexually in a way you have never experienced being touched before. it is something you are not in the slightest bit prepared for. perhaps if it were to happen in adulthood, one would have a clearer idea of what’s alright and what’s not. because when you are touched sexually not in a rough, rape type scenario, it’s not in itself an unpleasant feeling. especially when i had never been touched, never had a sexual experience. i gather part of the shame and darkness in the whole experience is because i liked it on some level. being touched. being aroused. i created a fantasy world where it was not my brother touching me. i was just being touched. the stories we tell ourselves stories to make things alright. maybe i even looked forward to it. being aroused. pretended to still be asleep. until it was too much to deal with anymore – the fact that it was my brother – making it all sorts of wrong – and i chose, i think, to put an end to it. i sealed that corner off for good. never to be visited. never wanting to feel that way again. because it was disgusting and wrong.
unfortunately though, all my natural normal sexual feelings got sealed in as well and the result of that was that being aroused always went hand in hand with feeling guilty. or shame. or dirty. so for the longest time, i never let anyone touch my breasts. and whenever anyone insisted to, it felt terrible. sometimes it made me want to cry. but no one ever understood why because for the longest time, even i didn’t understand why. i had done such a great job at pretending it didn’t affect me that i couldn’t see how it was spilling into all my experiences, affecting all my relationships. i always used the excuse that my breasts were for my babies and not for sexual pleasure. but the truth was that it brought me great pleasure, which then made me instantly feel all that disgust, effectively removing enjoyment from intimacy. despite being very active. i chose to focus on the guy and pleasing him, to avoid being pleased myself which caused all my energy to go towards serving instead of self loving.
and that’s how the story went until i began to face it. my psychedelic awakening as i crossed into adulthood forced me to come to terms with the fact that i was in need of healing in more ways than one. for the longest time it was incredibly hard to face the truth of what happened. i was angry at life for taking something away from me. why did it have to happen to me? why was i not entitled to blossom into my full self without being scarred by that trauma. i had to face the reality of how that one incident reached through the rest of my life into all my experiences and forgive life over and over again. anytime i came across something in movies or the media that touched on the subject, capturing my attention in a way no regular person would have interest in, i used those opportunities to search a little deeper. to share more with my husband. to open up about it. until i was no longer angry. until i was no longer ashamed. until i reached a tipping point and it all finally clicked for me.
i can, allow myself to enjoy being aroused. it is not dirty, it is not wrong. there is no shame in a healthy sexual experience. i am not the abuse that happened to me. it happened, but it’s alright that it happened. all kinds of things happen in life that we have little to no control over. it does not define me. and it certainly does not need to linger into every sexual experience i have for the rest of my life. i can part ways with my confused, tormented child self. i can experience things the way i could have, had it not been made confusing.
would it have made a difference if i had spoken up about it at an earlier point in my life? or any point for that matter. what if i had told my parents when it happened? would it have helped heal me in time to allow me the freedom to experience myself? you see, it was my brother. my much loved baby brother. and even though for the longest time our relationship was strained, i have always loved him. i didn’t ask for those things to happen. i have always wanted our relationship to be undamaged. the way it could have been. and how could i speak of things without putting him in the role of the perpetrator? how could i heal myself without implicating him in what happened. i have forgiven him and i understand that sometimes we do things that we feel like doing without knowing the consequences. everybody does. how do we know what is right and wrong until we learn it? there is a line between unintended mistakes and evil and i don’t believe this was the latter.
but i acknowledge that to some extent it is easier for me to face, “easy” for me to express. as it is much less of a social stigma for me than it would be for him if people found out. the awareness of putting him in a place he might not want to be always kept me quiet. i didn’t want people to know of what he did, because what if he doesn’t want people to know? how would that affect him? and what would become of our relationship? it is still the one thing that keeps me from sharing. had it been anyone else, i could have done this a long time ago. what if it was someone else? i am tired of pretending and playing games with my memories.
there is a light bursting through the seams of my silence. i do not want to hold it in any longer and deny myself the lightness that comes with being transparent about the experiences we have. to put it all out there and say yes, this happened to me, and there is no shame. there is no shame because i am not ashamed of my story. this is me. all of me. and i love all of me. but for now, i share this quietly. despite the desire to be open and proud of it. because he is still my baby brother. because of that, i do not want to forcefully put him in that place. never. but it is also alright if it is meant to be that the truth finds its way to the light. i am not scared of the consequences anymore. it is not for me to concern myself with whether anyone else is able to handle the truth or not.
i shall do what i need to to heal myself. because i am allowed to heal myself and reclaim the me i would have been.
the light at the end of the tunnel is not an illusion. the tunnel is.