Monday, April 22, 2024

I CONFESS: I was raped by two relatives


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I’m responding to last week’s I Confess where a woman said she was raped by her employer and told no one. He got her pregnant and she had a daughter unbeknown to the man. That girl grew up, began dating and, because she never knew who her father was, became pregnant for her half-brother. Now the woman is in distress because if she says anything she will ruin her daughter’s life.
I understand the anguish this woman is going through because I, too, was raped and told no one and my life has been hell ever since.
I was raped repeatedly by a cousin and an uncle from the time I was nine years old. In fact, they used to do it one after the other and all I could do was lie there and take it. They hurt me bad, but I could not make them stop because no one believed me the first time when I complained. Instead, my mother beat me for telling lies.
I hated her from that day because she did not protect me when she should have. My father was no better as he believed everything my mother told him. She was right and I was wrong and a little liar – so I hated him too. After that I just had to take the abuse.
A few years later when I became pregnant as a result of the same abuse, because of my family’s position they couldn’t let it be known that that had happened to me. So I was forced to strap down my belly and go to school until they got the money and were able to take me to a doctor who did abortions.
Soon after I finished school here they sent me packing overseas to further my studies, not because they wanted to or cared so much about me. They did it to get me out of the way as I had become an embarrassment to them due to my behaviour.
You see, the abuse they said I had lied about had messed up my mind so much that I did not care about myself. I did some strange, stupid, sometimes silly things to get attention or just to provoke anger. I did it for fun or just to be wicked.
My behaviour was such that my family used to describe me as mad. I did not care about anything or anyone, and I would do things to shock and embarrass my parents because it was their indifference that made me feel worthless.
For more than 30 years I lived my life on the edge, becoming involved with men and women, going way beyond the boundaries of decent behaviour. I was just deviant. I figured since the two people who brought me into this world thought I was nothing, then I must be and behaved as such. There was no one I could turn to who I respected and trusted enough to listen to. I was lost.
How I came to my senses is a story in itself, but it’s sufficient to say that I found God and since then my life had purpose, it has new meaning. I have come so far that I can now speak to my uncle and cousin who abused me without hating them.
The power of God is such that one day when I went by my uncle to pick up something, he remarked that I was amazing.
I asked him if he was talking about the fact that for years he abused me and I allowed him to get away with it because I never reported him to the police after I became an adult? Or, was it because I still talked to him despite the fact that he abused me and destroyed any chance of happiness I could have enjoyed as a young woman? He could not answer.
My story is totally different from that woman’s, but the factor which made me whole can also heal her. She needs to find comfort in the loving arms of God for only He can soothe the pain and suffering she has. Only God, too, can give her direction as to her next move now that her daughter is pregnant for her half-brother.
I would like that woman and all Barbadians to know that God is real. He made me whole after years of being abused, then years of self-inflicted abuse. Seek God and He will give you the strength and direction you need at this time. Believe me, God works.


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