All about ‘how’ and ‘what’ happened(1)

IF THIS TRIGGERS YOU IN ANY WAY POSSIBLE, PLEASE DON’T READ!

POSSIBLE TRIGGER WARNING !

So far, I have come across a lot of people including men and women, who have been through hell in their childhood. The worst part of their misery is not being able to communicate about it even as adults.

Whenever I have tried to communicate about sexual assault and abuse through my work (as a visual artist) and generally; Mostly people have reacted as its an imaginary world of mine where it happened or as if it doesn’t happen. They have acted as ‘sex’ and ‘sexual assault’ does not exist in this world. Now that I have a social life, a happening social media profile and a smile on my face, they show their indifferent faces more.

I have not been able to tell the details and the number of times it has happened. It did not happen as one event of being molested and assaulted. There has been series of events which I have not been able to talk in detail, not even with my counselor. It takes a lot of courage and emotional turmoil for me to write about these details. Writing has been my better way of communication than talking in general. I am writing this for my own self and for my own peace of mind.

When it happened for the first time, I was very young as much as 3 or 4 years old. My mother has been a narcissistic and abusive one and she never cared about my well-being which played a vital role in my childhood. She was a very social person and mostly left me with neighbors. All I remember about my childhood is crying about her and other people scaring me with imaginary monsters. When you wake up as a child and found yourself sleeping in your neighbor’s bed, I still feel that uncomfortable void inside even though I am in my early thirties. So when it happened the first time, I remember myself crying and asking him to take me to my mother. He was forcing me to eat his ‘banana’ and convincing about its ‘good taste’. I remember he asked me to take the full thing till it touches my throat while I was crying to leave. He did his deed in an under-construction house, unfortunately, I still remember that house.  I was a very vocal child, a shy one but vocal who loved to talk. I remember complaining about it to my mother in my childish vocabulary. She said ‘ I will smack him’. But I was again sent with him regardless of my innocent protests as a child. He called it a ‘game’.

When it happened next time I was around 9 years old so I remember it more. When I grew up and collected the details of those ‘games’, it left me shivering and extremely angry about it. My mother forced me to play with my brother who is 4.5 years older than me. He made me lay with him under the covers and made my hand touch his body. When I complained that what is it that you are making me touch, he explained ‘Its just my wet fingers’. I hated this game. For several nights, I refused to play with me and my mother scolded me saying ‘He wants to play with you and you are refusing’, considering she has been extremely abusive to me throughout all the years, I have lived with them. She also had a conversation with my brother ‘Did you make her touch ‘there?’ continued with her evil laugh whenever she occurred pain to me. I was forced to play this game for several weeks.

There are more incidents and I will talk about it when I have the strength as today. It still gives me nightmares and all I want from this life is to be able to sleep without seeing their faces in my nightmares. When you are tired after a long working day, and you are able to sleep soundly, consider yourself lucky.

We need to understand its aftermath of a person’s emotional health, it does not end immediately as soon as it ends with an incident.

Definition of harassment based on true events – Part 1!

Last week, while discussing harassment in general, I and my female friend were discussing our own experiences and reminding each other’s as well. We happened to experience many and most of it happens on a daily basis. I have received several inappropriate messages including pornography, marriage proposals of strangers on my official page which I use for work entirely, several messages insisting to accept their friend requests, people following my car (which must have happened to all the ladies in their lifetime), been groped right outside my gate while parking my car four years ago and so on. Since I have learned to stand for myself and take appropriate action more than screaming and cursing on them, the number of such incidents has decreased. Once I shared screenshots of entire chat from a fellow artist who insisted inappropriately to chat with him on my profile, many others witnessed it, since then no one else has disturbed me. I am sharing very few and major ones here. The worst part is that I have been always told to ignore or keep quiet mainly by women.

Last year, we faced an electricity break down at our house. After calling our beloved K Electric, I drove to nearby office and filed a complaint in person. They asked for my contact number for correct address and to inform them once it’s solved. The electrician who later visited to solve the issue showed the audacity to add my number on WhatsApp and tried to chat with me. He also mentioned it to other people in the house also. Of Course, I blocked him immediately!

One afternoon, while I was driving home, I noticed a man on his bike riding literally next to my car. He was following me but from my side. My first thought was an attempt of mugging. But to shocking surprise, he was jerking off while looking at me driving my car. I could not think of a solution or reaction to that. I drove with an act of complete ignorance and drove as fast as possible away from him.
This year, I faced some sexist comments from a person that was assigned to monitor the progress of my on-going project not my clothes which he mentioned later. While reaching late on his designated time, disturbing a workshop while I was conducting it, sharing his concerns regarding my western attire (I was wearing a kurti on jeans) with the staff members of that institute where I have conducted the workshop (these people did not know me personally and monitoring team cannot share such concerns with any one besides the organization). Another day while my female artists were working on site with labor’s, welder and a mason, we faced an episode of being humiliated for being girls taking help of a mason who was a man in clear words. Those incidents got reported officially. This time, I did not have to say much because other two female colleagues took charge of both incidents and their behavior all together with me. All of this humiliation for what we were wearing, they did not consider the fact of working in scorching heat on site against all odds. That day, it was not only about me but my other three female team members.  

I and my female friends have been through so many such incidents whereas there is a long list of people calling on your number which has been taken from a form while you visited the hospital or bought an internet connection. I have taught a lesson to a prank caller, a biker who followed me from my workplace to home through hitting his bike with my car, another biker who tried to grope in front of my house while I was opening the gate to park my car, an artist who I added in my Facebook profile being a curator and he sent me several messages to chat with him and so on.  He is not the only one who expects me to be available, thankfully options of blocking, ignore messages and block messages have solved this issue. Those prank callers who non-stop called on my number and tried to scare while mentioning my name and address. I know, there is an option of blocking these people and ignoring these messages. But ignorance is not the answer always and one needs his lesson.

I don’t understand why women don’t harass men, why we don’t follow their vehicles, why don’t we catcall, why don’t we insist them to be our friends, why don’t we grope them in public and why doesn’t we decide their clothing. Because we are so occupied by dealing with their nuisance and justifying our existence.