I was six years old when our landlord’s son started his experiments on my body. I took no notice because it was in the midst of play. He’d brush his hands, lightly, over my pubic area and smile. I never smiled back, I saw no humour in whatever message he was trying to pass across.
Time passed and he graduated to lifting me unto his lap. Our compound had a healthy population of children. We all gathered at his house to watch movies on the weekends. When there was room left only to stand, he’d offer his lap for me to sit on. I’d feel him rub my buttocks against his genitals.
I saw no need to protest, he was seven years older than me, he should be wise – trustworthy.
Soon, the lap dances were no longer satisfying. He’d take me under the stairs and fondle me to his fill. At some point, I began to enjoy what he did. Not that I looked forward to the sessions, I still feared that we could get caught. But, the more he played with my body, the more I wanted him to play with it.
For the lack of self-control, the young man blew our cover. He wanted to play, right in my mother’s kitchen.
“My mummy will watch us,” I whispered in protest. I feared my mother’s fury more than I feared the fires of hell.
We argued back and forth, as he tried to put his hand into my skirt.
As I feared, my mother walked in on us and that was it. He never came close to me, ever again.
The boy stopped touching me, but the urges he had awoken raged on.
By JSS 1, my friends and I would hide behind the school building and play with our bodies. We called it “Eberibe”. We’d giggle as we experimented on different strokes that gave pleasure. I’d later learn that it was termed lesbianism.
It didn’t take me long to fall in love with romance novels. My mind was tender and hungry for adventure.
I remember the afternoon, sometime in JSS 2, when I learned how to satisfy the urges. I started masturbating. I’d feed on the romance novels I could find and practice what I read on myself.
At first, it happened once in a while, then occasionally. Soon it was a habit and finally, it became an addiction.
I could no longer help myself. Every time I found myself alone, my hand navigated itself between my legs and then up into my vagina.
The years ran by, with all the promises I made that I would stop. It wasn’t so hard to start, but it seemed impossible to stop touching myself.
I never considered talking to anyone about what I was going through, what would they think of me? I was a typical church girl. The main reason I never had sexual relations with a boy.
I loved the Lord. There were nights when I cried myself to sleep asking him to help me stop. I was 18 and in my first year in the university, if I didn’t stop soon I’d be found out.
I felt like a worthless fraud. Outside, I fronted a saint, but I was a pleasure-loving little sinner.
It was in my second year in the university that desperation set me on the path to healing. I had gained some control of myself. I cut off all ties with romance novels and the likes of them and started reading other books.
Week in week out, I drowned myself in church activities. I poured all my extra time into studying scripture and doing the work of God.
Occasionally, still, I’d fall back into my mess. Regretful, I’d pick myself up and ask for grace.
Many days, I felt like I was kidding myself and there was no hope for a sinner like me. But I knew I loved the Lord and I didn’t want to be filthy anymore.
One day, I woke up to realize that a year had passed since my hands made their adventure. The urges were still there but I had no desire to satisfy them.
Additional Question and Answer Session:
- What could you have done differently?
“…tell someone openly how I felt then, without the fear of judgement. But, to ease the burden and gain more insight.”
- What will you tell a girl that has been abused?
“…we cannot take back the hands of the clock, but she can get better by trying to bury the memory and build on a fresh page.She must learn to cross the thing line from hate to love.”
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