Monday, October 16, 2017

Why now?, asked my mother. Why are you telling me this now? If you had told your father something then, he would have slapped him hard with a slipper, she added holding her palm up as if it were a slipper. I knew this was coming, I had seen it a mile away. I knew this question would be her response when I told her that yes, I too had been sexually assaulted. But the brutal manner in she had tossed it back to me. As if it were my fault all along for not saying much, for keeping quiet, for rolling the words over and over in my mind and each time faltering at the last hurdle. Why are you telling me this now? That question again. Why have you remained quiet for so long? So I told her then that I had not the words for assault of the kind I had endured when I was a child. And when as an adult, I had confessed, there were no slippers that were raised, no anger that was displayed but a mere cowardly silence. And quiet words asking to be left alone. Deal with it yourself, it seemed to say. I will not join your fight. I will not even raise my voice in anger or display disgust, fight your own battle like you have always done. That voice that fights so many other battles, refusing to lend its weight behind mine. I fight alone like I have always done. 


Premalatha said...

Ammani - ask her, did she too have been assaulted, did she too suffer in silence and did she blames herself for it, especially the silence?

- Premalatha

(Thinking of you everytime I talk to my German team mate. He suggested Christmas is grand in his parts of Germany, tempting me to venture that side. As always, not enough money to buy that flight ticket. :-) )

AKM said...

I can understand ( not appreciate) responses like : why couldn't you let sleeping dogs lie, why did you have to bring it up now, did you think of his family suffering etc. What I can't understand is people disbelieving. Can someone look at a person and say " you're making up a story of abuse, because .... something ?"

Ah well. You didn't expect anything more from them, so that's some consolation.

ammani said...

Premalatha, no, I did not ask. Frankly, I was just shoring up more anger for myself. So didn't pursue the conversation.

AKM, I cannot understand that either. Not believing someone when they tell you what happened to them. How could someone doubt their words?

Anonymous said...

I don't know how it took me this long to find this blog. Almost every post is echoing exactly what I would be saying. Yes, battles are fought alone always in my world too.

- MG

umm oviya said...

I was abused by a family friend (Abhi, you may even have seen him around at home). And he was such an integral part of my family I could never bring it up. He helped organised my wedding celebrations. It was a horrible feeling. Then, when I was pregnant I made a decision. Once my child was born, I gave an ultimatum. I told my folks if he set foot in this house, my child and I won't. My mother was heartbroken, felt guilty and apologised. She hasn't quite forgiven herself for allowing this to happen in her watch. She didn't question me, didn't defend herself, just cut him off. My sisters were not surprised, they were never comfortable with him, but they were never alone with him the way I was... They stood by me. My father tried making excuses, and his response to me for the years following my ultimatum has done irreparable damage to our relationship. Even if he has come around now to understanding my anger... he felt it was alright for them to have a professional relationship, as what happened was personal. It sickens me. So I feel you and hear you... and I weep every day a little for the children who kept quiet all those years. You, me and the tens of thousands of others.