“My father abandoned my family and went to UK when I was 12. We lived in a joint family system so in my father’s absence, we were under my uncle’s care who was a religious scholar. My mother sent me to him every night for Quran recitation as a child. Back then, he took advantage of us being alone and molested me. I was very afraid of him and too afraid to tell anyone. When my father left, he got even more confident. When I was 14, he raped me for the first time.
I tried telling my mom about the violent abuse by showing her the blood but she shunned me, saying that maybe I was on periods. Because of this, I didn’t have any confidence and wasn’t able to trust anyone enough to be friends with them. As a result, I was bullied. Having no friends to talk to, I made books my friends. Despite being mentally disturbed by the situation at home, I managed to maintain my good grades. To distract myself, I took up extra subjects at my private school. After my father abandoned us, my mother couldn’t pay the fees so I took it upon myself to earn my way through life. I did volunteer work, took part in all the debates, speeches, impromptu competitions and won them. However, none of it managed to distract me from the hell that awaited me at home from my uncle. I attempted suicide after my O level result came out. After this failed attempt, my mother carted me off to Lahore (for A Levels) to live with her maternal family. This changed my life.
I met amazing people who gave me a new perspective on life. They listened to me and accepted me for who I was. My fears that people would feel disgusted, blame me, would not want to be my friends once they knew about my past were all proved wrong. Today, I am a happily married girl, whose husband supports her through the panic attacks and flashes, understands her and loves her like no other. I want to tell all child abuse and rape victims that healing is possible. The dark days will end. Just trust someone enough to speak about it. I did and it made all the difference in the world. You are not unlovable. You are not wrong. Though your innocence was stolen from you, you are as pure and innocent as the day you were born.”
[Disclaimer: Original picture not attached due to privacy concerns.]