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The Dual Life

She was ten and had not been taught about the good and the bad touch yet; but she sensed that something was wrong when dad walked into her room that night. He said it was alright as he held her close to him but her father had never given her warm hugs before. She felt uncomfortable and tried to wriggle her tiny frame out of his grasp. He scolded her for being such nuisance and asked her to do as he said. She had always been scared of her father so she lay there quietly as he went about his little game. As he walked out, he threatened her not to tell mummy about this. She bit into the pillow and let out a muffled cry.

She started dreading the nights and hated her mother for not being able to protect her. The mother who was busy with a high flying political career never had enough time for her. The girl herself was a brilliant student and this sudden and brutal blow of fate did not come with a study leave. Threatened by her father that her grades should not fall, she was expected to study and top her exams in the morning and become his whore during the night. It was as if she was living a dual life; a quiet, obedient child during the day that was raped and crushed every night. She was the neighbours’ envy, but every night she prayed that no child should have a fate like hers.

She was strong enough to put those traumatic years behind her and shape her life as per her will. When she received the university gold medal and had job offers from leading firms, her dad hugged her saying she was his son and he was so proud of her. While one part of her wanted to shove him off and just run away, the other part realised that he was old and weak now and that it was too late for her to bring up ghosts of the past.

Torn between the two parts and unable to submit to one, she continued living as the dutiful daughter, even though her heart cringed in hatred every time she saw her father. She was the boss whom people looked up to, the loving wifey and the caring mum. To an observer, their family was just perfect with all the ingredients for love and happiness in perfect blend.  Yet, her husband fails to understand why she never lets the kids stay with Grandpa.

(Note: This post is inspired by a report on child sexual abuse that I came across some time back. Statistics by WHO state that 1 in 10 children is sexually abused. While 30-40% of victims are abused by a family member, only 10% are victimised by a complete stranger.

Over 30% victims never disclose the experience to anyone and continue to let the demons torment them.)

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