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Sexually Assaulted as a Child

Im a 39 year old woman from India. I was sexually abused at 8 years old by my 15 year old cousin for a period of 6 months.
My cousin lived with his mother in the same apartment building as my family. We used to visit each other’s homes quite frequently since his mother is my dad’s sister.
My parents worked full time and I was in the care of a stay at home nanny. All was well in my childhood till I reached the third grade. Those were days when telephone has recently been introduced across homes in India. My family got a phone as well and as a curious child, I was excited to receive phone calls from friends and relatives. And so it happened one day. I heard the phone ring and it was my cousin on the other side. He asked me to go upstairs to his apartment to “play”. An unsuspecting 8 year old I was, I did as I was told. Surprisingly enough my nanny didnt suspect any foul play and let me go.
When at his place, my cousin slowly cajoled me to get closer to him, tried mouth to mouth French kisses with me. I remember being absolutely disgusted but didnt quite understand what was going on. He then made me wear a swimming cap over my eyes and then asked me to remove my underwear.During the same time he made me taste something that I couldn’t see because my eyes were covered with the swimming cap. But now looking back , I realise that he basically made me put his penis in my mouth and lick it.
This episode lasted for about 1 hour and then he sent me back home. He then regularly over a period of 6 months French kissed and groped me at available opportunities.
After 6 months it all stopped. As a child, I didnt understand what had happened to me.
I didnt even know what sexual abuse was.
Much later when I came to the United States amidst all the chatter around abuse, I realised that I had been abused.
Since this happened during my growing years, I suspect that it had a deep impact on the way my body reacts to men. I have not had a single fulfilling relationship in my adult life. The brief sexual relations I did have were extremely painful for me to handle.
I told my parents about my experience about 4 years back because until then the stigma around it was too scary to even tell my parents. As I expected, my parents told me it was too late to confront my cousin or his mom and that this would be to my detriment. In the meanwhile, I see that my cousin has had a fulfilling life with a wife and 2 kids and a successful career to boot. Everytime I see his family, I question if his actions stole my chance at happiness with a man and family of my own.
I’m trying very hard to forgive and move on. Hopefully putting the experience to print is cathartic and helps this process.
Thank you for hearing my story.


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