When I was 7, something bad happened. An older family member touched me in a bad way - a way that me feel uncomfortable.
The day it happened, I had gone to his room to watch a movie like I sometimes did.
And I never for a second imagined he could harm me.
I was shocked after it happened. I felt so terrible. Why me? What did I do wrong? I asked myself.
How come no one came to my rescue? It made me feel unsafe even with people around. I couldn’t trust anyone anymore.
This incident made me develop a sudden hate for my mum. I felt like she failed me. Maybe if she had stayed at home more, she might have been able to prevent something like this from happening.
I blamed her for everything. But then I realized she had no choice. She was a single parent who had to work to take care of her 4 children. And so, I started blaming my late father. Why did he die? Why did he leave my mum to do everything by herself?.*
I was so hurt. And, I couldn’t even talk to anyone about it. I was sacred they would blame me. Make fun of me. Call me a bad girl. I started keeping it to myself.
Once or twice I cut myself. I thought maybe if I inflicted pain on myself it would make me feel better.
And then, there were days I thought about suicide. I was really depressed.
My diary became my closest friend. As I grew up, I found it difficult to relate with men. I just couldn’t trust them. I disliked all of them.
As years passed, keeping this secret became harder. And then one day, I broke down. I couldn’t hide the pain anymore. I opened up to my mum and sister.
My mum was so furious. She couldn’t believe it. How could I have kept such a thing from her? She was so sad.
We cried and hugged each other afterward. My mum made me promise to never hide anything from her. She asked me to never be afraid to report anyone to her. She promised to always be there for me.
Although, it has been years since all these happened. And, I am happier now than I used to be. I don’t think about cutting myself or taking my own life anymore. I am still working on my hate for men.
And, I still find it hard to trust them. But, I am happy I finally shared this secret. And I hope this would give other springsters the courage to speak up about any hurt they might have experienced.
Dear Springster, you deserve a right to be treated with some respect regardless of your age. If anyone around makes you feel so uncomfortable tell them how they make you feel and also report them to a trusted older adult like your parents or guardians.
If you are like the girl in our story and need someone to speak to, please call Cece Yara on 08008008001. They run a toll free helpline and are ready to talk to you about any issue around period, boys or just growing up.
Their lines are open Monday to Friday from 9am till 5pm. The call is free for Airtel users.
Your discussion with them is completely confidential and so you don’t have to give your name or details. You can just ask questions and get the support you need.