My first encounter with anything sexual was at 7 when an older guy i used to play with india pinned me to a wall and kissed me. I didn’t really understand what as going on but i felt disgusted by his actions. A year later i moved to a different town and there was this older neighbor uncle who groped my boobs (didn’t even have any at this point) while we were playing cards. Again it was disgusting to me but no one seemed to notice. I had developed anorexia at this point but no one really noticed. I moved to USA with my family at 12 and my cousin (who was 17) started molesting me, it lasted for 2-3 years. He used to live right next door and came over all the time because our grandparents lived with my family. He used to touch me everywhere, kissed me on the mouth and made me touch him too. I didn’t know what to do. Initially i used to say no but he didn’t seem to listen and so i stopped saying anything and just let it happen. He did this every chance he got and since my parents worked a lot they were never around to notice anything. I never told anyone, not even my younger brother who was only 10 when it all started. I didn’t think it was a big deal but i knew it was wrong. I pushed it far away in my brain and didn’t think about it. I was a great student and a perfect daughter. This is why i thought whatever happened didn’t really affect me in any way so whatever. Once i started college, i used to go out partying and stuff with my friends and i m sure most girls probably go through some form of unwanted groping at these frat parties and clubs as i did several times. I never hooked up with anyone (like other friends did and it was the norm), i never got into a relationship, i never even entertained the thought of a boyfriend. I put up a wall before any guy could ever get close to me but this was all normal i thought. I just wanted to study hard, get good grades and focus on school. About 2 yrs ago my brother was killed and it still is hard to get through this tragedy. But this trauma also brought out my childhood trauma. Only recently i told a couple of my friends about what my cousin did to me. Everyday i keep discovering new feelings, i m still trying to really cope with it. I never gave myself the chance to feel anything back then and now its all coming back. I have a tendency to bottle up my emotions and now it seems like the bottle can’t contain them anymore. It feels like i m a ticking time bomb. I just don’t understand why i didn’t say anything when it happened. Couple weeks ago i sort of mentioned what happened to my parents, i don’t think they understood it fully because i didn’t really explain it properly. My mom told me why didnt i tell her back then and that she would have done something then but what is she suppose to do now. I understand her and i m not angry at her but i don’t have an answer for her either. Not saying anything at that point will haunt me for the rest of my life. I regret not telling anything to my brother because i know he would have done something about it and now he is gone forever. I feel so lonely and it just feels like the one person who would have understood me is gone. My friends are supportive but i also don’t want to burden them with my problems. My family and my cousin’s family don’t really get along but i still have to see him at family events and i get so angry when i see him it makes my blood boil. When relatives talk about him and say how he is on his way to being a doctor it makes me sick to my stomach. It seems like his life is going so well and i m stuck here. I can’t even think about getting into a relationship because i m so afraid of getting physically intimate with anyone. I don’t know if i will ever get over this but i am trying. Living my life like this feels as if i m in a cage. I just want to break free but its so so difficult. I have just started coping with what happened 12 years ago and i don’t know how long it will take. The more i think about it the more i wonder if there is something about me that attracts this kind of situations in my life. Why don’t i say anything when they touch me? I wish i got the opportunity to have a normal childhood, i feel robbed of what my life could have been.
I just wanted to let this all out and i’m thankful for anyone who has read this far. I hope some day i can use my past to help others.
— Survivor, age 25