By Anahita Batra
i was sexually abused exactly one year ago and i wrote about it. For me, it was a huge leap towards my healing; not because the people around me came to know about my story or it was an inspiration to some, but, because on specifically that day, I finally let go of the shame and guilt I had been housing inside me since what seemed like forever.
I vividly remember how I suddenly felt an overwhelming urge to do it, to lay myself out in the open, vulnerable, but alive. I wrote about breaking my silence in less than half an hour and published it without re-reading it even once. As I hit the Publish button, I could feel my heart beating louder and faster than ever.
To be very honest, I was apprehensive about the response my story would get. I wasn’t hoping for much of positive response and thought that the readers would carry forward our great culture, criticizing me for being open about a supposed taboo subject. To say that I was astonished after reading the comments would be an understatement. I felt a great deal of acceptance and love.
I thank you from all of my heart for supporting me in this journey, no matter how big or small your contribution has been.
Although my choice to go public about this has been criticized time and again, on the pretext of losing my family’s and my honour in the society, making myself a target of mockery or affecting my relationships within the family, writing out my story has been one of the best decisions I have made in life. I cannot go on encouraging people to share their stories to let go of the emotional baggage they’ve held on to since years, if I myself can’t do it.
My honour does not lie in my breasts or my vagina. Violation of my body parts is not the violation of my honour or my innocence.
It is unfortunate how the society we live in states the survivor of sexual violence responsible or guilty of what happened to them. You never ask a cancer patient to keep their secret because if they disclose it, the family honour would be in threat. People don’t make fun of you if you share about being in a car accident.
My relationship with my abusers was over the moment they chose to breach my trust and force me into something that caused so much damage to my body, mind and soul. Being in the same family as them doesn’t mean that I have to carry on a dead relation lifelong.
I would be lying if I say the accusation and criticism didn’t matter to me. They did hit me with a pang of betrayal and disappointment. But, if I weigh it against the healing my blog has brought to me, my healing would immediately win out with such a large difference that the criticism becomes easy to embrace.
Writing about it was my initial act of
rebellion. Since then, I have made a lot of choices that align
themselves with my cause and existence and go against many notions the
I am not fighting against anything. I am fighting for something that holds importance to me. Coincidentally, it often goes against many people and the norms they have. But as long as I am walking on my path, these intersections and hurdles hardly make any difference to my spirit.
Since my childhood, I was praised within the family because of my good manners, academic excellence and obedience towards the elders. But to me, it was of no use, because I was dead inside. All I wanted was to live, but I lacked the courage then. Lately, when I have made some choices that I was not expected to, there has been some disturbance. Going public about my abuse, talking “shamelessly” about it, working towards its prevention and dropping out of engineering to pursue my cause, to state a few.
At the same time, I have never felt more alive. I am able to feel more. Love more. Laugh more. Cry more. I am more present here than I have ever been. I am living the life I once dreamed of.