Trigger warning: Before reading this post, please be aware that it contains references to childhood rape and sexual assault.
Hey, I’m Ridhi. I’m 18 and I live in India. I went through child sexual abuse from when I was 10 to 17. The abuser is a very close family member (not my parents), and when he first assaulted me, I had no idea that he was doing something wrong, considering I was only 10. I later realised it when I was 12, and tried to stop and avoid him which worked most of the time but not all the time. The problem is only 2 of my close friends know about this. I can’t tell my parents because I’m afraid they’ll never see me the same again, I’m to embarrassed even if I’m aware that it’s not my fault, it would create a lot of family problems, I don’t think my parents would even believe me in the first place because this situation from their perspective is unreal.
This man did go as far as penetrating his fingers in my vagina and rubbing his penis on it, but the penis never penetrated. I still feel disgusted and in shock, all the time. Lately, I have been thinking about this during the night, like I have all of these explicit flashbacks. I also get nightmares, so I force myself not to sleep at night. It feels so much better sleeping in the afternoon. I’m afraid that I might have PTSD. I usually don’t cry about it, I’ve only had 3 breakdowns in 8 years. But I think it’s because I’m still in shock, and I try to distract myself as much as possible. The PTSD signs have only got this worse since the past few months. They were never this bad. My third breakdown happened today, which is why I’m here.
He did not sexually assault me since I turned 18, which was this October, because I just avoided him. We often go to their house, which just does not help me at all, mentally and physically. Also, when I told my 2 friends about this, I was laughing, but that is because humour is my coping mechanism, and that’s how I tell people the things that have negatively affected me.