SEXUAL MOLESTATION AND ITS IMPACTS
My first sexual abuse happened when I was five years old by my mother’s female family friend who forced me into giving her oral sex for the exchange of sugar cane.
My second encounter happened when I was ten years old. One night while I was sound asleep on the floor in the middle room of the family house I felt my elder male cousin trying to force his penis into my vagina. I became startled and scream and he put his hand over my mouth so I would not wake his nephew that was sleeping beside me. He had his way with me and I fell back to sleep. In the morning I saw him sound asleep in the backroom on the bed looking very satisfied. He continued to have his way with me many times after that. I remember him sneaking up on me from behind the outside Latrine, grabbed me, bent me over the toilet and had his way with me. I was only twelve years old. This happened about three to four times more after that. One incident was enough to warrant the distrust I developed for men and distorted the way I viewed sex and sexuality. I kept quiet for many years and was not confident enough to let” Mommy” know so I carried this secret inside until it festered into hate for myself.
The third time was my first partial penetration by my male cousin who was 17 years my senior raped me out of my sleep. My virginity was stolen when I was in my teens, afterwards, I was ganged raped. I began carrying a knife in my pants waist for protection, I did not get rape any more after that. In 1986 after my grandmother “Mommy died I went to live with relatives in St Catherine and within a few months, an elder man who practised Voodooism came to the house to do work said I was ill, dying and needed emergency medical attention.
I was dropped off at his house in Old Harbour, Maypen, Jamaica. When night came he took me to a house in a remote area, paid for a room and raped me all night until morning saying he had to cure me of the illness. I was 15 years old then, and by the time my immigration papers were processed and I came to Canada, I arrived with full-blown Gonorrhea. had Gynecologic problems, including chronic pelvic pain, dyspareunia, vaginismus, nonspecific vaginitis, and gastrointestinal disorders when I was a teenager way into adulthood. That led to two major surgeries and a full hysterectomy that pushed me into surgical induced menopause years later after I had my two beautiful daughters.
When I was 17 years old my male cousin raped me several times then told me my clitoris was a bit big.
I recall stumbling to my room in the pitch dark corridor of the family’s old apartment unit on 144 Shaftesbury Street and throwing myself onto the bed wet after attempting to drown myself under the shower, naked pulling the sheets over my head and crying silent bitter tears until I fell asleep. The next morning I woke up feeling horrible from the night’s horrific event.
I hated myself and men just has equally. I became very depressed, angry and anxious. I hated my father for not being there to protect me from the bad things that kept happening to me.
I suffered immensely from emotional outbursts and feelings of fear, shame, humiliation, guilt, and self–blame. For a very long time, I believed I deserved the sexual abuse.
For many years I suffered post-traumatic stress, intrusive and recurring thoughts of the abuse as well as nightmares and flashbacks. I used to get panic when people get too close and I had very difficulty trusting.
I was unable to differentiate between sex, sexual and intimacy. I felt worthless, dirty and ashamed of myself and have a difficult time nurturing myself. I used to be promiscuous and used sex as rewards and as favours.
I had a nervous breakdown and harboured suicidal thoughts for many years and was hospitalized for psychiatric issues.
I had to learn how to accept and reassure myself that the flashbacks were not reality.
I did yoga, meditation, group therapy and private counselling that helped me to understand and accept the rape, sexual assaults and incest I went through as a child, adolescent and adult.
Healing is a continuous journey because the little girl inside of me is scared deeply though the woman that stared back at me in the mirror smiles. But I have surely taken my power back and I am seeing myself in a new light and have placed values on myself as a person and a woman. I trust myself to trust others with my heart and I am not afraid to be vulnerable with my emotions.
“Her dream is clear as crystal, it is very realistic as the sun is bright and the storm is chilling to the bones. Was it a metaphor, a nightmare, or was it a premonition? She questioned herself aloud as if the quietness of the room was supposed to respond.”