He came with tweezers and it still hurts at the wrong places.
There were candy wrappers lying unnoticed, there were mouths that were dry, there were hair at the foot of the bed, there were hair burning inside my palms, there was scratched cement in the insides of the nails, there were confusion and shame that made me question my existence, that made my heart break like pencil nibs, there wasn’t enough graphite to draw the darkness.
They must have thought that I would not remember but how can I ever forget?
He came with tweezers but my heart wasn’t so tiny to be plucked by one.
So he pinched and plucked parts of it, took bites and spat them out half chewed and I, at the back of the desk in my classroom, never covered the holes in my uniform stockings.
The clouds were so close to my eyes, they made my thoughts blurry. I might never figure out how no one saw them but me. The claws were made of sweet chocolates and how it never tasted any good to me again, Seven is not the best age to be thinking about dying.
‘Child Sexual Abuse’
Now say it again, this time you need to spit out the shame along with it.
“Child Sexual Abuse”
Now say it again, while spewing out the miasma of guilt along with it.
“Child Sexual Abuse”
Now say it again for the ones in the back.
Not pleasant, was it? To finally disgorge out the words, full of hatred to its brim but not loud enough to let your child hear it. Trust me, my dear, responsible, adult friend, it’s easier to say it out loud for the children to hear than to see them twenty years later purging out the questions in the eulogy of their last letter wondering what might have happened if the parents taught them the lessons of Good-touch-bad-touch basics, drenched with the prayers behind their names.
So go and save the soul before it gets too late because there are predators standing at your doorsteps or lurking in your family photos, with the tweezers.
Teach them the basic rules. How no one should be touching them in any way they feel odd or uncomfortable. How their bodies are fully theirs and no one else is supposed to be making their innocence at the finger-points. Teach them the correct anatomy. Give them the correct language of a full and honest disclosure.
I was nine when my eight-year-old friend told me that the tall boys slid their hands down her skirt when she was trying to go home from school, so we must leave from a different gate from that day on. She said they hurt her ‘tummy’.
We would have told someone only if we knew that it was abuse, only if we knew that no one was allowed to touch the body parts we did not know the names of, only if we knew what exactly to tell and why.
Realise that a child telling you that they are being abused is far from reality in the majority of the cases. Never assume that the child will yell NO and come running towards you when someone tries to silence them. The abuser, most of the times, is an adult who will be an important figure the child was supposed to be looking up to. Predators spend a great deal of time grooming your child into accepting the abuse, even blaming it all on them. You need not only to create a friendly environment for the child to speak up freely but also to look for signs of abuse and even the signs of predatory behaviours in the person spending time with the children.
My aggressive tantrums and my aberrantly quiet behaviour were labelled as ‘weird’ and ‘childish’ when I was clouded by darkness. The shame and guilt shaped my personality and I found myself in depression after all these years. Only if someone looked for the signs, I might have been a stronger person today.
Know that it’s important:
It’s important to educate yourself and your child about these things because it shapes their future, their personality as well as their health. Any kind of childhood trauma not only stays at the back of the mind of a human being, but it haunts them forever. It leads to depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, slim health, mental illness and lesser years of life expectancy.
My own health has always been in question. The bent shoulders, bony fingers, unsteady hands, anxiety sitting at the back of my spine and the chewed insides of my mouth tells my story anyway. The stress hormones punctured my body so many times, like the tweezers that were used when I stood four feet high from the ground. My will may be strong but the body grew up to be so weak that art and poetry might be the only thing I could create by now.
Yes, It does matter.
Because they come with tweezers and it hurts at the wrong places.