“There is no greater evil than those who willingly hurt an innocent child.”
It started out as just another ordinary day. Little did I know that my life would was about to change forever.
There is not much that I remember about my childhood. Most memories faded away. I do not have those fond memories that most people have about the friendships and the life they had growing up. All I seem to remember about my childhood is darkness. This was a period when my whole life came crumbling down on me.
I was only 8 years old; my parents were business people who travelled a lot. Instead of leaving me and my siblings behind with nannies, they always had family members come and take care of us. I remember there were many older cousins leaving with us at different stages. One of my favorite cousins, Wacera had just left to go to college when my uncle Kim came to live with us. Uncle Kim was a hoot, we all loved him. He was so funny and always had us in stitches. I remember the tricks he taught us. For instance, he used to curve pears into small tablet-like shapes. Every time we would complain of headaches, he would then give us the pears and a glass of water. I don’t know if it’s because we simply trusted him or what it was, but this medication used to work for us. That was Uncle Kim.
I loved Uncle Kim. I remember how he used to pick me up from nursery school and walk me all the way home. I had a habit of picking flowers for my parents every day on my way home and soon I started picking small bouquets for my uncle too.
One afternoon, I had walked home with my friends from school since Uncle Kim could not make it to pick me up. As usual, I picked up flowers for him and was looking forward to seeing him. I had done very well in class in a spelling test and couldn’t wait to show him what the teacher had written on my notebook, “Keep it up!” Those words written in red had me smiling and I knew that Uncle Kim would be happy too. Since my parents were away, I knew that at least I had a grownup to appreciate my efforts.
I walked into the house and found Dolly Patrons music playing “She is an eagle, when she flies…” I found Uncle Kim lying on his bed and singing along to Dolly. I quickly said hi, gave him the flowers and my notebook. He congratulated me just as I had expected and I beamed with joy. My favorite uncle was proud of me. He asked me to lie next to him which I did. We never took afternoon naps but I trusted Uncle Kim and I knew that if he said that it was okay, then it would be okay.
Soon as I lay on his bed, I realized something was wrong. He started touching me in a way that I had never been touched before. His breathing was heavy and he kept pulling me very close to him. He touched me at my most private parts and I remember feeling so dirty and wrong but not knowing what was happening.
I lost my innocence that day.
“So often survivors have had their experiences denied, trivialized, or distorted. Writing is an important avenue for healing because it gives you the opportunity to define your own reality. You can say: This did happen to me. It was that bad. It was the fault & responsibility of the adult. I was—and am—innocent.” The Courage to Heal by Ellen Bass & Laura Davis”
― Ellen Bass
All I remember was the yellow t-shirt that he was wearing and at some point while he was on top of me, I turned my head and on the floor, I saw the flowers that I had brought and my notebook with the visible “ Keep it up” mocking me.
The pain and the guilt that followed me from then on were unimaginable. I could not tell my parents because I blamed myself. I must have been a terrible person to have gone through that. Only very bad girls did what I had done, I was filthy and unworthy of any kind of love. I had nightmares for days. I remember waking up in the middle of the night screaming that a man in a yellow shirt was coming to get me. It was simply a horrible time in my life.
Unfortunately as is the case with most people who get abused, the nightmares never stop and so do the feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness. They never go away. Twenty years later, I can still see the yellow t-shirt.
“Many abused children cling to the hope that growing up will bring escape and freedom.
But the personality formed in the environment of coercive control is not well adapted to adult life. The survivor is left with fundamental problems in basic trust, autonomy, and initiative. She approaches the task of early adulthood――establishing independence and intimacy――burdened by major impairments in self-care, in cognition and in memory, in identity, and in the capacity to form stable relationships.