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I share this to celebrate the resilience within every child sexual assault survivor. An experience of this kind so early in life not only traumatizes you, but also lines the lens of your perception. Your perception of people, your relationships with them, sex, love, and most importantly – yourself. If you lack knowledge about how your experiences have changed you, you will find yourself stuck in a loop of repression and explosion.

It is important, I believe, to let go of the fear to look within, for the knowledge you gain from introspection is the only thing that can give you power over your biggest asset – your mind.

But you are not alone in this pursuit. Reach out to mental health helplines, a therapist, your parents, or your friends. The task is not easy, but is guaranteed to be rewarding.

Happy Mental Health Day!

Trigger Warning: Child Sexual Assault

WHO AM I?

Am I that one girl – who walks down a street under your perverse sight, in nothing but a little black dress?

Am I the girl – who sits in the lunch hall proudly bragging about her sexual conquests?

Am I the girl that drinks too much, smokes too much… And tends to overindulge in everything; All the time?
***

Or am I that witty student seated right under your nose?

With eyes open wide in wonder of how much easier it had been

Before the psychotic Austrian* had started to read into her mind.
***

Am I not the girl you forgot you ever spoke with?

The one you cared about until she got under your sheets,

And then mindfully deleted from your list of contacts. 
***

Have I never been that little child who somehow feels inquisitive about the difference between her male peers and herself?

The girl you slapped and threw across the room for she touched her ‘private parts’,

Thus redefining ‘private’ in her mind.
[‘Private'(adjective) – Something that can be touched by all except its owner.]
***

My being that girl might have given you some malicious satisfaction.

“Take advantage of the weak – the children, especially the female children. Why, after all, do they even roam this earth?”

Was I not the girl you then “let loose”?

Starting with hands on her thighs, then moving up…higher and higher.

What were the words you had uttered? “Does this not feel nice? It had better, or else…”


How I wish I was not the girl whose house you came to, and lured into the corner. 

Whose skirt was lifted “to check for hair down there”

And whose single strand was considered enough of a sign,

To advance to the next level, of Distraught Today’s and Lonesome Tomorrow’s.


I fear I am the girl who ‘gave her consent’ when you pleaded for it later.

After nine winters on earth, she had not learned that consent was even an option.

For, since three winters ago, it hadn’t been. 


If only I had not been the girl you pushed against the wall of the elevator

And squeezed the tender chest of, until it seemed much like a curse of a growth.

The girl who turned to discover a red lens** with a promise to expose and shame her.

It did not.

Although, in all her nightmares, it did.


I am, perhaps, the girl who mustered up a ‘no’, when you pleaded with her that last time.

The thoughts you gave her, however, haunt her every day…

How she might have been happier had she said yes, how she might have had that perfect first sexual conquest,

How she gave up an opportunity too big…
*


But of course, I am her. I am all these girls in one. 

They say you are the sum of your experiences, but I ask, which ones?

I know I would not be me without you; should that make me sad?

Because in truth, I quite love this nymphomaniac;

And this consent factory, you equipped,

With all the sexuality to wet the worst of whips.

I also fell in love, along the way, with the pessimist I became,

To keep those who had been my closest, at bay.

I thank you for pulling my faith from the untainted picture I had of society,

For bringing me down to earth and bullying my thoughts with ideas

Of Princes too Charming with essences a crystallized black…

Of a capturing reality.

But most of all, I thank you for making me ask myself who I am.

  • *Sigmund Freud’s ideas about child sexuality seem wild until you put them into perspective with experience
  • **Camera

Raksha Saraf is an undergraduate student of Psychology looking to specialize in Sexuality and Neuroscience.…  

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