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The One I Called Papa

I was born from a marriageless relationship. My mother decided to stop any connection with my biological father due to cultural & religion differences which will make things difficult for both of them & realised she is having me, later.

As she was growing up, my mother was given away from one relative to another, raised by her aunt who couldn’t give her proper love, she grew up strong & independant, protecting & supporting her family during extreme poverty.

She decided to keep me as she believe a child belongs to grow & receive love from a mother which she didn’t get to experience. After having me, she continued working & I was taken care by my grandmother (my mothers aunt who took care of her).

When I was between age 1-6 y/o, she met my step-father. I became instantly attached to him & called him papa. My mother wanted me to feel how is it like to have a complete family decided to get married with him as I was very close to him.

My grandmother was barren & adopted 2 baby boys when my mother was in high school. She wanted a baby girl so much that she held on me & told my mother to leave me to her. My mom stayed with her for years to convice her to let go of me
& at the same time be there for me.
At the age of 7, she had a huge fight with my grandmother & took me away immediately with papa.

Growing up, my mother told me I was very scared & wary of both of them due to the distorted ideas about my mother that grandmother implemented in me as I was growing up.
I Loved papa wholeheartedly & thought he was my one & only father. At the age of 7, I got a baby brother & age 9, a baby sister.

Somewhere around age of 8 or 9, papa sexually abused me without my knowledge. A subtle touch to my private parts. I am not aware of such things were wrong. How many times did those things happened? I couldn’t recall much of it, he performs oral on me and touching my private parts most of the time.

Things went on & on for years. I hated myself for not telling my mother. I felt disgusted of myself when looking in the mirror. Sometimes if I don’t perform at school, I hit myself & pulled my hair because I felt I deserved it.

Due to his approach at such an early age, I felt its not wrong for him to touch me inappropriately in public, my mother warned me not to be too close to him & even slapped him for overstepping father -daughter boundaries which makes elders to question his so called “loving gestures”.

For so many years this have continued & remain hidden. I performed well up till high school. When I went to college & now , university, i felt happy that I could be free from him. But however, I felt empty, unworthy & clueless. I didnt perform much in my college. Going to uni, things went on the same way, my performance just went down. I changed my course & did slightly better than before.

Often times, in uni or college, I just cried for no reason. The sadness is just too overwhelming. I got involved into porn addiction for a year & currently stayed clean for a month. Whenever, I see my guy friends who are intelligent & kind, I felt like he is too good for me. I even scrutinized myself in so many ways & labelled myself as lazy & hopeless.

Sometimes when remembering what he did, I felt like killing him but at the end of the day, I can’t help but blame myself that I let all of this happen.

My mother was worried with my progress that she once burst out & said I’m to dependent on her, cannot do things on my own, always need my mothers drive to stay excellent & not strong like her when she performs well in school to prove those who told her stupid & also supported the family at the young age of 19.

I wanted to tell her soo much, what he did to me. But I felt like she couldn’t understand me if I told her. I couldn’t tell her why I let these things happen. Besides, other people had it much more worse than I do. Sometimes I felt like the memory I had is a blur, I couldn’t tell if it is a dream or not. I couldn’t even remember clearly when or how many incidences it happen.

I am too afraid to try & constantly having issues with my studies which doesnt really restrict me as much when I was still in school. I felt like the only way to fix myself is by breaking my silence, but as of now, I am still hesitating.

I loved everyone, my hesitation comes from those feelings & fear not being understood. I don’t want my siblings to grow up fatherless or with knowledge of what he did. I don’t want my mother to feel she is useless for not protecting me enough. I don’t want our extended family blame these things to my mother. I don’t want to be seen as stupid & powerless despite what I have been depicting myself to people.

As of current, I write this story for those who have it the same way like I do. I thought I was useless, idiot & powerless to not do anything & to feel aroused when he touches me. But after reading articles from Psychology Today, I want to stop this to gain myself back & to feel happy.

To those who are willing to read this lengthy post, thank you for caring. This whole story is what I believe to be key points that leads to my current situation.

— Survivor, age 22

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  • Debra
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