One of my first memories is when I was about 3-ish years old and I woke up to my dad beating my mum in the middle of the night and frantically searching for money as if he had become mad. Sometime after that my mom took the responsibility of getting my dad’s business back on track. So she had to be gone for quite some time. I would be home with my grandmother and extended family as my grandfather would also be working. There was this one employee who would come home to help my grandmother for some work or to play with me or something, but always when my mom or Bapuji were not there.

Then he would take me to the bathroom to fill water balloon or something and make me perform oral sex on him. I remember my grandmother being right outside. I couldn’t understand what was happening but found it disgusting. He told me it was a secret and if my dad came to know my mom would get in trouble. This happened for at least a few times

I couldn’t tell anyone because (1) most of the times there were fights going on (2) I had seen that this person was close to my grandmother and she felt he was such a nice honest man and (3) they always believed others over my mom so no chance of them believing me. Thankfully something happened at work and he was fired

I was so conflicted. I was disgusted by what he was making me do but on other hand my family was all praise for him. So maybe I was wrong? There was something wrong with me maybe. That’s what I thought. I guess from around that time itself I have a hard time sleeping.

Then just a little later my dad’s cousin who was about 5-6 years older than me, started making me do the same but not just on him but also his friends from the building and his cousin. This went on for at least 3-4 years I guess. This fellow was my grandmother’s and everyone’s favourite. At first I thought it was play.

I was disgusted by what he was making me do but on other hand my family was all praise for him.… Click To Tweet

This is how it was supposed to be, even though I was grossed out. Around the same time all the building girls found it suspicious as to why these 2-3 boys wanted to partner only with me while playing and why they chose only this spot to hide. Maybe they tried the same with one of the girls and the girls confronted me and asked me. I told them but not entirely as I was scared.

Then one day while we were playing ‘hide and seek’ my brother walked in and then threatened ME that he’ll tell mom. I begged him not to or I would be in trouble. From then onward my brother would threaten to tell my parents every time I didn’t give him what he wanted – pure blackmail. And then one day soon he told mom because I didn’t do something he wanted me to. I just heard her blow up in anger. I ran and hid. What else could I do? I was just 6!

Then obviously the news went to my parents and family. This guy, dad’s cousin, blamed me a bit and the whole family came to know. So I felt the daggers in their looks. But since my mum had always seen through this guy’s family’s intentions and how they made my dad’s life miserable without my dad even realising or rather accepting it, she supported me. When she did that, she and I were not taken very seriously or for that matter the whole incident wasn’t even considered as true but rather my mom’s ploy of maligning them. This fellow was scolded a bit maybe. But he was soon enjoying the same status in the family.

Who would listen to her and believe her? Click To Tweet

He behaved normally for quite a bit. And then a year later when I was 7, they were to move. So then they were in the next building before shifting completely. There again this happened when I was sent to get something or call him I think. There he tried to mimic penetrating and so did his cousin. But I had my clothes on. I remember his cousin asking him while they had me pinned down under them, “what if she tells someone?” My dad’s cousin said “Who would listen to her and believe her?”.

Back at home, the moment my mom realised I had gone there, she came after me. She took me back and asked me if anything happened, I said no nothing. You may wonder why but at that moment I really believed what he had said was mostly true – no one would believe me. So after that they moved away and any time when we went visiting I would never be alone with him.

Oh yeah and between these two, when we were living in Mahabaleshwar There was this ‘horsewala’ who used to take my brother and me to learn riding. He would make me touch him over his pants. I was 5-ish at that time maybe

Never told it to my parents because (1) most of the times it was just my mom, my brother and me there and (2) who would believe me over him?

This was all by the time I was 10. As I recall this after so many years with you I feel a huge wail and scream in my heart right now. But I can’t. It’s too muffled. It’s turned into an angry rage. I can’t even cry over this anymore.

I guess my grandfather was not aware of this thing with my cousin, and he came to know later somehow. And I think he made all this go away. Because afterwards for about 5 years no one messed with me and after his passing away, the real trouble began. Bapuji was my safety net, my shield. With him gone I was left unprotected. Three people came into our lives after that who were/are very important in my father’s life, and I was abused yet again. This continued well up to the time I was in college.

I have a confession to make at this point: I think that people feel that I am talking about all this just to gain sympathy, because this is not all that bad. Sometimes I wonder if I am even the victim at all? What surprises me is how calm I can be sometimes, and that makes me question my own self. Am I even for real? Am I even honest with myself? I am not guarded I think. Am I?

I think I have become so used to putting things in perspective that it has become a way of life I guess – a self-made prison.

Okay,so moving on with the story…with Bapuji around, even though my parents had problems, and my mom was chronically depressed, he ensured in his own way that we didn’t get harmed as much in the collateral damage. But after him gone, there was no one in this world who could (1) set my father straight and (2) protect us. So, two people came into my life one after the other.

 

Continue to Part 2

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