Growing up was never easy for me, more so because I grew up without parents. I lived, and still live, with my paternal grandmother. I have aunts and a whole lot of cousins. I would love to say that I live a simple and straight life, but I would simply be lying.
I’ve lived with a deep, dark secret for a good ten years, a secret rooted in physical and mental pain.
I was only a ten year old at the time, free from any responsibilities or stress. I lived my life on my own terms while obeying the rules I was given by my elders. I was simply a care-free spirit. I enjoyed playing outside as that was where I found the most happiness and enjoyment. Each day I would play like there was no tomorrow. My life had neither problems nor complications. I was doing well at school too as a straight A student.
It all started while I was still doing Grade 3. I was innocent, I knew nothing but running around the yard, causing mayhem and just enjoying myself. I did not deserve it and no other girl deserves to ever experience what I went through, regardless their age or circumstances.
I was molested at a tender age of ten. It all started as innocent visits from the perpetrator. He would visit me and my grandmother and buy me sweets and snacks. I was only a child, I never thought he was buying my silence. My house is not big, it is a three-roomed house and he used to do all those nasty things to me in the dining room.
He would give me money and I always kept quiet. I do not know why. I can’t go into all the nasty details because it’s humiliating. Was it my fault? Did I have a hand in pushing the individual to do this to me?
I do not know how I managed to live with this for so long. I guess a part of me was afraid of judgement, pity and sympathy. Those are the things that I never want people to feel for me. I just cannot deal with such emotions and attention. I am a very emotional being and that is why I never express my emotions.
I have gotten used to bottling things up. I keep things to myself to avoid unnecessary attention from people who are judgemental pretenders.
I picked myself up from the bad ordeal, brushed off the dirt and just carried on with life, like nothing happened. I still do not know today why it was easy for me to do so without suffering from some kind of meltdown or psychological trauma. I was still a child. He had no right whatsoever, he was selfish, inconsiderate and the worst of all beings I have come across in my life.
The person who inflicted this pain had an easy escape. If only I could make them pay for all he has done to me.
I am just a simple girl. I spend most of my time on my own, not because I do not like socialising, I just prefer to be on my own. I do not have a lot of friends but the ones I have are really close to my heart. I value relationships as much as I value my own life. So having gone through such an ordeal at the hands of the one who was trusted enough by my family…
I lived in a time when every child on the street was your friend, regardless of who they were, where they came from or who their parents were. Everyone was just there for everyone. I miss my old self; the care free me, the sociable me. But a lot has changed and I feel that I have lost myself in the process.
I am stronger than I may look. I was able to move from this ordeal stronger and not broken, although a part of me has still not accepted and fully healed from it. I know this may sound as if I’m contradicting myself, but that is what I believe at the moment.
To every girl out there who has faced similar situations or even worse, you are pearls and diamonds. You are strong. You are beautiful. You are powerful. And most importantly, you are the daughter of the most high God. You are precious and you are special.
Tell us: How does this big secret make you feel?