Dark Secret Revealed: I Was Molested As a Child

April 16, 2017

I hold a dark family secret. I was molested as a child. To this day, I am a wounded adult male. At the time of the evil deed, I was too young to comprehend the magnitude of this sexual assault. However, as a pre-programmed heterosexual male, I intuitively knew that male sexual organs shouldn’t be used in furtherance of sexual pleasure with another male.

Since, 2016, my mind has been fixed on this dark chapter of my life. The more I think about it, the more I feel dirty, uncared for, vulnerable and worthless. I am in a perpetual emotional pain. I am heavy-hearted.

This is the first time I am able to disclose this dastardly deed. It has taken me over 30 years to speak out. Yes, it has always been on mind, but every-time it came to my full consciousness, I pushed the problem down into the dim recesses of my mind.

The attack happened over a month, intermittently. It took me a long time to fully realise what was happening.

Here is the genesis to the story of my sexual attack. When my younger sister was born, my mother decided that I was old enough to join my brothers in their separate hut. I was not happy about my Mom’s decision. I knew I would miss the warmth and comfort of sleeping next to her. I always felt at ease next to my Mom. She was truly my protector and first love. Grudgingly, I relented a week after she had issued the instruction, and I joined my two brothers in their separate hut situated at the foot of the household.

It will be a white lie to say I looked forward to this relocation. It felt like my whole being was uprooted. All that I knew (warmth and comfort) were left behind. All I craved for was the comfort of knowing that my Mom was next to me – to love and protect me. Obviously, on my first night I struggled to sleep. I had the severe fear of the dark. Strangely, psychologists claim that it is a common fear among children and, to a varying degree, of adults. However, my fear of the dark was not fear of darkness itself, but fear of possible or imagined dangers concealed by darkness. There were voices in my head that kept telling me that an intruder would break in at any time to steal young boys like me. I was petrified of going to sleep without the reassurance of my Mom: “I am here for you my boy. You’re safe. God loves you. Don’t listen to the voices in your head.”

In the new sleeping arrangement, I was suddenly upgraded into sleeping in a formal bed. Yes, I used to sleep on the floor with my Mom and other siblings. But, there was a catch; I had to share the bed with my middle brother. There was some little excitement about finally being able to sleep in a formal bed. The little excitement was short-lived.

On my subsequent nights sharing the bed with my middle brother I started feeling uncomfortable. At first, I thought it was all in my mind, but the feeling of discomfort continued relentlessly.

I had to use my tiny brain to get to the bottom of my discomfort. I made a plan to stay awake after lights out so that I could investigate fully the thing that was bothering me. On previous occasions, the thing that made me uncomfortable was the something akin to a human flesh rubbing against my thighs and a bodily movement that had a domino effect on the bed as a whole. It was very strange. Somehow, I didn’t report this strange new phenomenon to my mother or my middle brother.

I had a theory though. My theory was that my middle brother was rubbing his penis against my things to sexually amuse himself. As I said, I was and remain pre-programmed as a heterosexual male. At that point I already had my first crush on my classmate named Zodwa. I wasn’t quite sure what it meant exactly to have a girlfriend or sex. However, my intuition was that it was something to hold and behold.

On the day of my formal investigation of the rubbing sensation on my thighs, I went to sleep as usual except that I wasn’t asleep at all. It wasn’t long after lights out that the movement began. Lo and behold! – It was my middle brother causing the bed to move. The touching feeling was his genitals pressed against my young thighs. I slept still. Towards, the end of the movement, she groaned and moaned, and then I felt some watery substance on my thighs. I was stunned, shocked and paralysed to the bone. Yet, for him, he acted as if nothing happened, minutes later he turned around and went to sleep. My worst fear was confirmed, I had been sexually violated for a month. The thought of this episode terrifies me to this day.

The next day, I asked my mother for a floor mat. She acceded to my request without asking any questions. From that day onwards, I sleep on the floor. There was no movement on the floor mat. There was nothing rubbing against my thighs. I had at least some peaceful sleep, although I was always on the lookout in case he joined me on the floor mat. I never confronted him. I never reported this episode to my mother or any other person until I told my wife this year (2017).

Despite the passage of time, I haven’t healed. I won’t forgive. I loathe my brother. I wish him dead. And, this feeling is natural. In her seminal work on toxic relationships, psychologist Dr Susan Forward says you don’t have to forgive your tormentors. “If I forgive you, we can pretend that what happened wasn’t so terrible,” she said. I am ready to confront my demons even if it means breaking the feudal family peace.

Comments are closed.