Confessions of a victim of child abuse
I was abused when I was only three or four. I hate myself now and I don't know how to snap out of it.
Am I crazy?
Am I depressed?
Does this only happen to me?
Why do I feel so lonely, so empty?
Why am I scared to interact with others?
Why I am I not as courageous and strong as the other guys?
Why do I feel that people hate me?
Why am I leading such a life?
I had to deal with such and a lot of other questions like these when the "black dog" (depression) started haunting me some years ago. It may be hard to believe that a 15-year-old boy would have to deal with something as serious as depression, but it is true for me and others like me ─ people who have been victims of child abuse.
Yes, I went through child abuse; I was molested at a very young age. A servant at my house abused me when I was just three to four years of age. However, it had no impact on me in my early years.
I was once very bold, confident, sharp, cheerful and energetic, but by the time I reached grade eight, I began experiencing severe depression. I felt lonely and hopeless - as if I had lost everything. I felt like all the pleasure in my life and my self-esteem were being sucked out and reduced to nothing. My confidence was crushed and misery ate me inside. Negativity clouded my perception as all my positives were eroded away.
I lost my father when I was just a year old. My mother shifted to her parent's house and started working as a teacher. At home, I spent most of the time with my grandparents, a housemaid and a servant.
The male servant took advantage of the absence of my parents. He knew that my grandparents were old and ill and this encouraged him to maltreat me.
I still remember how he would secretly take me to the drawing room to molest me. I was way too young to understand what was going on, but I do know that it happened several times.
One day he was caught red-handed by my mother and the housemaid and he was fired. However, still no strict action was taken against him due to the absence of a 'man' in the house.
This is a part of my past, and the past cannot be changed, but it has the power to take everything away from the present. I feel as though I've completely lost my identity. Now I feel insecure amongst people of my own sex ─ boys at school, men outside, even my own cousins, some of whom adopt a sexual behaviour with me and forcibly try to touch me. I know it sounds strange that I am so paranoid about everyone, but only I know what hell I have had to deal with every day of my life.
As a result of this incident, I stopped trusting people at a very young age. Because of this, I was never able to develop friendships with my fellow male students and sat alone during lunch breaks, sports periods and home-time at school. Even at home, I would never go out to play with other kids.
To this day, I have no friends and thus no social circle. I try but I cannot communicate or interact with people at school, nor outside. Most of my time is spent feeling depressed and being enraged internally.
Depression will either make you lose or gain a lot of weight. In my case, I gained weight, because I eat to overcome depression. I have become the butt of every joke in my family because of my weight gain, too. No one realises that this only worsens my condition and fuels my inferiority complex and hopelessness.
I am living in a nightmare every day. I feel guilty and ashamed of myself. I cringe in memory of those day all the time, although deep down I know it wasn't my fault at all. I was just a child.
I do not blame God for this and try to practice my religion as much as I can because I know this is a test and I am going to get through it. But I would still like a friend who I can talk to ─ someone who can understand my situation and help me get though it.
I don't want to end up being a helpless and so-called 'innocent' child abuse victim; I want to be like others. I want to live and have a social life. I want my personality back ─ the self that I lost as a result of all this.
I want a reason to live; just one reason.
The Express Tribune is committed to tackling the issue of child abuse through raising awareness and dialogue. If you are a victim of child abuse, share your story with us and our community by emailing us. All emails are confidential.