A THOUSAND APOLOGIES

apologies

 

I was nine, going on ten, when I actively felt my first sexual attraction to anyone. After ten, I acted on that attraction. We’d sneak out to the park that had grass that were up to our knees, sit there, take our socks off, and slip a foot up the other’s skirt. It was hot, exciting, and wrong, and a dark, dark, secret. At 11, I touched myself. It felt good. I did it again…

and again.

One night, the moan that escaped my lips did not surprise me. It triggered memories I did not know I had. I was 4 or 5. I was in a dark room. My jaws hurt. My tongue was sore. My throat was dry. I was scared. But I sucked on the breast of someone my mother trusted. She was touching me. Teaching me how she wanted me to touch her. Another time, she was making me watch what she wanted me to do to her, or her to me. Another time, I was watching her do the same things the people did on the TV she made me watch, with her man-friend, and then they will touch me. The memories came like an avalanche, complete with sound, and smell, and taste, and feel…

and fear.

I was a voracious reader by 11. I knew what the memories meant. It meant something not right had happened. It meant sexual abuse. It meant child sexual abuse. But…me?

No.

No.

No.

Not me. Not that story. Not that character. I did not want to be her. I did not want it to be my story.

At 12, I was attracted. Again. She was in my class. She was beautiful. High cheekbones. Laughter that genuinely bubbled, every time. I told her. She said she liked me too. She touched me, it made me excited…and scared at the same time. The smell of my hands after I touched her sent me back to when I was 5… or 6… when this person my mother trusted will bath with me, and my face will be right before her unshaven groin, and I would smell her sweat and private parts. It took me back to when I would be in-between her thighs, when I would taste her sweat and private parts. Back to…memories that knotted up my insides and made me sick. Where does one begin to talk from? I had my hands in the pants of a peer. Was I a bad influence? What was I doing? What were we doing? Where is she now? We were both 12… What was her story?

Somebody needs to apologize.

At 15, I sat five feet away from a man I had begun to like. He was 11 years older. One night, I texted him. “I am attracted to you.” He was a man.  I was attracted to a man. That must be a good thing. Weeks later, we were stealing kisses and hugs. I thought I was in love. I fantasized. At 17, it ended. I wept. I got angry. I thought it was love. It was not. I did not know that then. Years later, much more would make me know what love is not.

Somebody needs to apologize.

At 18, I made a friend online.. It was nice.  3 months, we talked. I’d never met him. He kept insisting we meet. This time, I did not think I was in love. I was not attracted to him. I liked him. That was all. I agreed to meet with him. I waited at the bus stop he said to wait at. He came in a taxi. He did not get off. He opened the door and asked me to hop in. I hesitated, then joined him. I asked where we were going. He said “I just want you to see where I live. I’ll bring you back.” We got there. We went inside. He used the back door. It opened to a corridor that led to a room with a fridge, TV, a bed. And a seat. He locked the door. He brought a drink. I was beginning to not like how things looked. I took the drink, but did not drink it yet. He asked why. I said I would. He took my hand, pulled me up off the seat. I asked what he was doing, he was strong. He turned me around, pushed me on the bed, was on top of me in a flash, his hands going roughly up my skirt while I fought him. He found my lips and kissed me hard, and full, and disgustingly; his tongue in my mouth. I was gagging, trying to keep his hands from pulling down my underwear. I started to cry because I was getting tired. He was hurting me. I was scared. I was asking myself a lot of questions. My parents were going to kill me. Why did I follow him there? How could I like someone like that? He got off me. I staggered up, to the door, and leaned on the wall.  The door was locked. There was no key. “Please….

Let me go.”

He got up too and moved to me. He pinned me on the wall. I let him. He kissed me again, licking my face, grabbing my ass and squeezing it, whispering, “You are mine. Okay? You are mine.” I wanted to cry again but I was too tired…too sorry.

“Let me go.”

I said again when he stopped. He opened the door this time. I walked out. He followed me. I walked out of the compound. He followed me. I walked down to the junction. He followed me, stopped a taxi, payed the taxi driver, and the driver took me back to the bus stop I met him at. I got myself home. First thing I did was throw my clothes away. I tied them in a bag, and dumped it in the trash. I couldn’t discard the memories, however. I couldn’t discard my body, and I couldn’t discard all that happened after.

Somebody needs to apologize.

At 20, it could have happened again. I was in his room for some documents. He locked the door. He had a hard on. I thought fast. I went over, kissed him long and deep, and promised to come over the next night so we could do what he had asked that we do. He let me go. I hated him. He had no idea I couldn’t swallow my spit all the way home. He had no idea when I got home I broke down and cried while seated on the bathroom floor with my bare butt, with my toothbrush in my mouth, trying to brush him out. I kissed him so he wouldn’t hurt me. I hurt me so I wouldn’t be hurt.

Somebody needs to apologize.

A year later. I let a guy kiss me. I liked it. He ran his hands up my thigh and caressed my crotch. I liked it. I wanted more. I needed more.

I got more.

From here, and there, and…

everywhere.

I struggled with myself, comforting myself with lies that I was in control now. Then another kissed me without asking. I never talked to him again. Then another came from behind me in a dressing room and hugged me inappropriately. I let him, but I was seething. Was I losing the control? Did I ever have it? Everybody felt entitled. Was it some permanent mark reading “Damaged” that stank so bad it attracted flies?

 Somebody,

and somebody,

and somebody

need to apologize.

I was down and out one day and blazing on the highway to hell another day; recurrent madness that had its roots deep in years, years back. I was angry, and hurt, and empty all at once.

And I played with my own heart,

my own sanity,

my own life.

I did not love. I just took what paraded as pleasure, but was a capsuled opium that rode on guilt which consumed me. But it was a high I craved and sought…actively.  At what point does one become an addict?

Who apologizes for that?

For not stopping sooner enough to cry and leave and heal and allow a re-birth borne from that deep place where you learn to forgive yourself, and forgive others for your own sake…

I apologize.

I apologize.

I apologize.

Author’s Note:

This story is to draw attention to the possible ripple effect of child sexual abuse, and the mark it leaves on lives of these children who grow into adults…the mark that grows with them. It is also to draw attention to the fact that there is the need for responsibility to be taken, at each level, for these damages done. Responsibility should be taken by all those who keep silent, by those who take advantage of the vulnerability of people who had no hand in the marring of a development that had barely started. This is to attempt a peek into the many struggles inside and outside of the abused child, who becomes the troubled teen, who becomes the numb adult. This may represent one voice in many, but a voice that may be wanting to be heard.

Here (click to read) is another voice. One that provoked this. Thank You, Mamaa.

 

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6 thoughts on “A THOUSAND APOLOGIES

  1. Oh Lawdy! For a while now, I have had a few male friends tell me about being abused as a child. It scares me Amma. How we can be so ignorant about the things happening to our children because we are either too busy or not at all involved in the lives of our children. Most of these abused children grow up bitter and angry. Just a handful. Only a handful get over this. No child deserves this. We should be more observant. Hmmmmm…..

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Aaawwwww! This is heart breaking…
    It’s tho very interesting that about half the parents who leave their kids in the care of others have absolutely no idea what transpire between them… The Lord should have mercy!…

    Liked by 1 person

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