This is something I have never shared with anyone. But I have decided to share my story now, openly. In short, I was sexually abused by an uncle when I was 12-13 years old. And I may still have some effects of it lingering around my life.
This happened when I was in grade 7, and it was about a year after moving to Colombo. During this time, I would often go to the house this particular relatives, after school on my way home. Most of the time there would be a number of people in that house, including some cousins and others. But on one particular day, everyone had gone out to some event (I cannot recall what it was) and only that uncle was there at the house.
As usual, I sat in front of the television and watched a children’s programme or a movie. This uncle came and sat next to my chair. It seemed normal. He put his arm on my thighs. It seemed okay (?). He put his hand through my shorts and touched my penis. It was confusing. He took my penis out and started licking it. It felt wrong.
I did not know what was happening, but I felt it was something bad. So I just pushed him away and took my school bag and ran out of the house. I ran up to the main street and was not sure which way was my house. I vaguely remembered some buildings and started walking that way. I did not have any money for the bus fare, but I also did not know which bus to take or where to get off. After walking for how long, and asking for directions from random people, I reached home. In the meantime, my mother had gone to pick me up from that house and found that I had already left. So when she got back home I had no good reason to tell and for some reason I also did not tell what had happened. And I have not told anyone about this since.
This may seem an insignificant act to some, and it was only one time. I managed to avoid being alone with this uncle after this incident and I have grown to face him without any fear at this point. But when thinking about this now, after 21 years, I think it has affected me in a number of ways. I have grown up to become an adult fully cynical of families and relatives. I am very much a loner and actively avoid interacting with people when there is no absolute need. I was in significant self-doubt at least up until my mid twenties. However, I am not saying all of this because of the incident, but I cannot discount the fact that it may have had something to do with all these.
So why am I sharing this after all these years? Recently, I had an opportunity to hear from another person who also faced sexual abuse from a family relative, and how they had to endure many years thinking it was something only happened to them. At least by sharing these stories out, some victims can find that they are not alone and start on the path of healing.
Note: I am not going to name my abuser here on my discretion. I am certain he is going to read this, or at least his children would. I want to let him live the rest of his miserable life second guessing when I might out him. And I hope his children read this and be cautious when leaving their children, his grandchildren, around him…