I was keeping this inside me for years. I felt uncomfortable whenever I wanted to share it due to the comments I had faced then, due to the mindset of the people: this is a still a huge problem in the world. But after the "me too" phenomenon, after hearing so many stories come out, and after the march in my college, I felt stronger and I feel I should just let out my feelings, so that I can feel less burdened, and could be a help towards others.
This was 10 years ago, when I was in school. I was unpopular. I was bullied everyday for various different reasons, it was all verbal, never thought it would be physical too. I had gone for a school trip to a museum, and there was this attraction called "dark room", where we put headphones on to listen to the scary sounds, as if it was really happening, and that's when it all happened. There were guys from my school. I was groped by one of them. He then pulled my hand hard and then threw headphones at me, which was painful. The guys had lights on their phone too. I went away, shocked by the incident, didn't know what happened. There was a part of me where I blamed myself as I should have just waited for the next round, knowing that they weren't nice guys.
He did that to me and that hurt me, but what struck me hard was when no one was by my side. There were some who deliberately just didn't want to believe me, as they hated me and wanted to see me hurt. I was called a "liar" by some, I was told how I was making a big deal out of it, as it wasn't something serious, some thought that it could have been an accident too, there were some who wanted to help but didn't know how, and there were some who just didn't know and I didn't bother to tell them due to the peer pressure and the comments I have faced.
But today I have an answer for all of that. I know I was unpopular, I know I was naive and I used to overreact, but I wouldn't lie about something like this, especially something so sensitive that will bring more trouble. Besides, I am a terrible liar. Also, none of these people were there, none of them faced this, how would they know how I felt? How would they know the incident? How could people judge like that? This happened to me, and only I know what really happened, and only I know how traumatic that was and how terrible it felt. I know this wasn't something serious like rape, but it's a horrible feeling to be touched inappropriately, without any consent. A no means no. Maybe it was because they were teenagers like me, and they didn't understand, but all I can say is that, it's not good to judge someone and it's definitely not funny to think that you can play around by touching without consent.
I went crying to my mom, even though I was told by people, to keep it inside me due to peer pressure. But I had to let it out somewhere. My mom was one of the greatest support systems. She was hurt, seeing me hurt. She told me, "maybe you shouldn't go to school anymore, you are always getting bullied." I told my mom that I want to study. She said maybe I should consider home-schooling as she couldn't see me in more pain. I had realized something, and I had told my mom that these people want me to give up, and I shouldn't let them win. This wasn't the end of my life, I will work hard, prove to everyone that I can be somebody. She was so proud at what I said.
He had apologized with a letter the next day, I just said that I forgive him, I put an end to this, and I moved on. But have I?
I have become a stronger person through this. After this, I solely focused on the one thing I loved the most, i.e music. Music was always a healer. Music was my way of connecting to people. I worked on my skills. Now I am happy I am at one of the best music colleges in the world, it has changed my life for the better, and I made the best of friends who were like my family. But I still couldn't forget all that has happened. I still have some trust issues, it takes me a while to trust people due to the way I was judged then. It takes me even more harder to trust a male, makes me hard to talk to them. I was pointed out recently that I do get awkward around men. I was thinking that this may have been the reason why I have been single all my life, because the incident completely traumatized me. Its hard for me to trust a guy and get involved, as I am afraid something like this will happen again. I know not all men are the same, and I am glad to have some male friends who are nice, but due to the trauma it will take a while for me to trust and open up. I realized that keeping this inside me for years means that I haven't moved on. All these years I had been thinking that I should have done something, I should have reported him and not get worried about my reputation. I had so much anger then. Maybe I still have the guilt that I went for the attraction despite knowing what kind of guys they were. Then I realized that I did one thing that I felt was right i.e open up to my mom. Opening up to at least one person makes you feel a lot lighter, and especially when that person was a huge support. I feel that maybe if I open up to everyone, I can get rid of the fears, the pain, the guilt etc. and I can start fresh.
I can say now that I have forgiven my bullies, I have forgiven the guy, because we were all immature and naive back then. I believe people change and I want to move on. But certain things cannot be forgotten, I just cannot forget all the pain and trauma that I have gone through.
I am writing this for all the victims who were abused/assaulted/harassed, to let them know that they are not alone. No one deserves to go through such a horrifying thing. I hope the world does something about sexual assault/abuse/harassment as it is a serious problem that needs to be taken seriously. You wouldn't know how traumatic it can be for the victims. Its nothing to do with what the person wears, and it is definitely not the victims' fault to be in that situation. It is those men with the mindset who treat women as an object. And anything without consent, is a no.
I am writing this to acknowledge that this indeed happened. I am writing this to get rid of all my fears, to get rid of the heavy burden that was in me the whole time. I write because that's my way of expressing. I believe we should let out our feelings, as keeping it inside will only make us feel worse. I know its been 10 years. I have been afraid due to the thought of what people will think, I didn't want to create more tensions and troubles, but then I felt if I don't share it, it would just make things worse for me from the inside. I felt if I don't share it, I would miss the opportunity to help others and to help make the world a better place. I have seen so many people coming out with their stories these days. They have been receiving so much support, and that's made me stronger, and I feel I should share as well, to let it all out. The "Me too" phenomenon had played a huge impact, which are making many of us come out and acknowledge this.
Its up to you now how you want to judge me. If you think I am lying and that I am making a big deal, then I am sorry to say this but you can unfriend and unfollow me as I would not like to associate with such people. I am sorry if I have offended someone. Through this post, I am not looking for any sympathy. I do hope people will understand me and this topic better. I have been through a lot in my life, it is a fact that I am acknowledging, but I am grateful for all my difficulties and that has made me stronger every time.
I am writing this with tears in my eyes. I hope that I completely move on from this. I hope to feel less burdened, I hope to get rid of all the fears and I hope to start a new journey! Let's work on being kinder, supportive, accepting and caring towards each other!
Me too guys, Me too!