Gulabisambad

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Gulabisambad

A young male was sexually abused during his childhood.

-On Condition of Anonymity, Sindhupalchowk

Wrestling was the best of all sports we watched during childhood. And, not having a TV at home was the biggest tragedy! So I’d seek friends who owned a TV and were friendly enough to let me watch it during the wrestling matches. Some days, I would end up at Prashant’s home and the rest of the time, I’d have the excuse of helping Ram complete his homework and be invited to his place. 

A family moved near our place and they owned a big-screen color TV. We wanted to make connections with the boys (Mohan and Rohan) so that watching TV would be easier. Thankfully, they were also huge fans of wrestling. Slowly, going to their house became normality as well as a necessity. Additionally, the two brothers and their mother were equally welcoming. At times, we would even go to their place despite Mohan/Rohan’s absence. Aunt would prepare tea for us and at times, lunch too. Nothing less than a feast! Mobility in their place began to increase more than before. Sometimes during the special wrestling matches, we would even stay until midnight and enjoy the fights on TV.

Besides wrestling matches, we started to roam around the places and spend more time together. A feeling of closeness seemed to glue us and friendship flowered as a consequence. During the weekends, they would take us to places far away which we normally would not be travelling to. Traveling with them was a luxury because they had enough money and we did not have to be bothered about lunches during the visits. At times, we were even invited for night stays. Until then, night stays were a completely new thing to me. Gradually, I got used to it. 

Once my friend Suraj shared with me how he (during the night stay) was sexually abused one of the nights. I was shocked, scared, and more importantly, flabbergasted by what I heard. Initially, I couldn’t believe the story and thought he was lying. After listening to the whole story, I felt really bad for him and angry with Mohan for his misconduct. 

The next day, Mohan casually invited me to his home to watch the wrestling match. Recalling Suraj’s story, I was reluctant and scared to go there. However, he convinced me with all the cute and funny stories. Also, it was a day of grand matches that day. Despite the unwillingness, I couldn’t deny it and agreed. Other friends were already there too and that gave me a lot of confidence. “Maybe, I won’t be having any trouble”, I consoled myself. Interesting wrestling matches were on and so were the conversations. Everyone was enjoying the show and so was I. The show was over and thankfully no unexpected events occurred. So, for me, going to Mohan’s place became normality once again. But Suraj stopped going there. He had a different circle of friends from then onwards. 

Once, Mohan was home alone as his parents had left for India for some reason. He wasn’t particularly good at cooking and his mom wanted me to accompany him as I was enthusiastic about cooking. We shared the kitchen workloads and started working. We enjoyed good food with sheer delight and I was about to go back to my room. Mohan requested me to stay there as it was a day for yet another important wrestling match. Without a second thought, I agreed to his offer. Little did I know, I would be his prey the whole night. I was told countless beautiful dreamy lies and promises so that I would agree to whatever he says. He touched my private parts, which made me uncomfortable. I was a helpless kid and didn’t have any idea what or how to respond. I was numb like a log and could not even utter a word. Maybe he took that as a positive signal and touching was not enough for him. Slowly, he undressed me and even raped me… the whole night!

Why did I stay there while he was alone despite knowing all the stories of my friend being abused previously? That certainly was my fault. I shouldn’t have stayed there, I cursed myself. And that wasn’t the only day I was raped. Activities as such were repetitive and like the first night, I didn’t have an answer to his actions. How does it feel to be abused and raped when you have no idea at all that abuse and rape mean? That’s how I was experiencing it. 

These incidents had a long-term traumatic effect on my life. Gradually, I was witnessing the shifts in my behaviors. Studies were rapidly racing on a downward curve. I was having a tough time concentrating on my studies. Sometimes, I would even feel detached and disconnected from my own self. This feeling resulted in increased aggression, stress, and isolation. My family members were surprised to see me detached from social circles and gatherings. Smoking and drinking became a part of my lifestyle at such a tender age. 

The suffering lasted for years to come. I couldn’t share with anyone else and neither could I resolve within myself emotionally. Such was the paradox that punched me every single day once at a time. As I grew older, I knew more about sexual abuse and harassment. Every time I remembered the incident it would make me cry. At times, I would even have terrible dreams of similar incidents. That would invoke a feeling of revenge within me. I would think of harming him physically. But now, I understand that revenge doesn’t help and no good will come from it. Had I taken stern actions against his wrong-doings, things wouldn’t have happened the way they did. But now I have no control over the past. And so, I chose to study social work and aim to contribute to society. Not letting the incidents that I had to undergo happen to anyone else is what I aspire to do in my life.

(Please cite www.gulabisambad.com in case you wish to publish this piece elsewhere).

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