I Survived To Tell The Tale: I was 4 when I first touched a penis

I‘ve thought about telling the man I will be marrying numerous times. Every time I’ve stopped, for fear that I will be judged.


Representational image
Pic – Rick Harris | Flickr

I have never spoken about this before – not to anyone. From the time I was 10 years or so, if there was anything bothering me, I would write it down. Not this. I never could. Until now.

To this day, every time I think of what happened, I wonder if it really did. But how can such a memory stay imprinted for so long, without any of the details changing?

It was in the washing area behind my aunt’s house. She had a 17 year old boy who worked in her house, named after an erstwhile Tamil actor/politician. One afternoon, when the rest of the family was probably taking a nap or watching television, he told my brother and me that he had something to show us. We followed him. He then took his penis out of his pants and made us touch it.

I remember it being stiff and I remember saying ‘so soft’. In retrospect, I realize he had a boner and I was touching the head of his penis. I think we stroked it for a while, giggled at it and then went back into the house.

It really wasn’t much, but now when I think of it, I feel cheated. I’ve thought about telling the man I will be marrying numerous times. Every time I’ve stopped, for fear that I will be judged and with me, so will my brother.

For the longest time, I had been angry with my brother. Each time I think of the incident, I wonder why he didn’t protect me; he is older to me by 6 years. And I wonder, shouldn’t he have known? Shouldn’t he have realized it was wrong?

After reading various articles about child sexual abuse, I realize that he too probably didn’t understand that what happened was wrong. He was only 10 or 11 years old. How could he have known that the boy who entertained us, played with us and told us stories would do something bad?

I have wanted to ask my brother about the incident so many times. To check if it really happened or if he remembers it differently. I am afraid that things might get unpleasant between us if it did happen and we acknowledge it. I don’t think I will ever ask him.

I don’t have any other memories of that man. Maybe my brother did tell my parents, who then kept me away from him.

The incident has not robbed me of the joys of childhood and growing up. But as I write this, I can’t help but remember my reaction to two incidents. The first time I was flashed…and my first time feeling a man’s penis. Both left me shaken for days. I remember wanting to gag each time I thought of it.

I am 28 years old now and I am like any other perfectly normal woman. The incident has not scarred me. It rarely interferes with the way I live my life. Even when I do recall it, it lingers on for a few minutes, before I make sure something else occupies my thoughts.

This however is the first time I am dealing with it. I needed to say this.

The author of this post requested to keep her identity anonoymous. 

Read other stories of child sexual abuse survivors in The Alternative’s I Survived To Tell The Tale series.


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