In Focus

'My family IS my biggest enemy'

It took me all of 25 years to gather strength to be able to tell my father that I was abused as a child of 6 years ‘at home’ by ‘his’ brother, ‘my uncle’. I could only do it once I moved out of the family home, away from the perpetrator, the situation and the social/family obligations that had stopped me from speaking out. I picked up the phone and spilled it all to my father certain he would understand my reasons for the delay in telling the truth and respect my decision to move on with my life. When I felt that the worst had passed, I was in for a rude shock.

Instead of being shocked and distraught or asking for details of what had transpired, ‘my father’ told me to call him next morning as he was watching TV with the others… which would include his brother, my molester. I did not call back the next morning and he chose to dismiss the issue that had wreaked havoc in my life. It was as if I had never told him about it. A few days later when I called to speak about it again, he brusquely shot back, “Aisa kuch hua hi nahi hai (it never happened)… this is in your mind… abhi tak so rahi thi kya (were you sleeping all these years)??”

Yes, my father actually said that.