I woke up, not realizing I had grown up. I was a woman, woman with responsibilities. A woman who had everything to look forward to. A woman who wanted to go places and to see the world from every possible lens. Someone who valued herself and her body. I was grown, waiting to build upon my idea of womanhood. Independent, respectable, free spirited and strong.
I woke up another day with the same realization, only this time I wasn’t free like the woman I wanted to be. I was stuffed in the corner like the crumpled papers of unworthy ideas. One after another, the crumbled pieces of paper piled up, overflowing the grave of self pity and insecurities. I feared being exposed. I feared myself. My self concept was over populated with the doubts I had about myself. My strength was weak and my energy was drained. The thought of being unmasked was my biggest fear. So I decided to obscure myself from my thoughts and avoid the feelings of self hate. My past dragged behind me. On my low days, it hovered over me like a dark cloud ready to drop everything I’ve always wanted to forget. I snuck away, tried to run away but the rope that connected me to my past only got tighter, gripping my bare skin with the harsh pain of the past. The more I tried to get away, the tighter the rope became, scraping over the scars and stabbing through the ripped memories. The shield I had constructed over the years was nothing but a thin layer of false hope of being normal.
7 years back, I woke up wanting to be the woman of my definition. Independent, respectable, free spirited and strong. I was sitting on a chair, with the door closed browsing the internet, until I felt a pair of hands on my shoulders. His cold fingers dragged up my neck, around my ears in a circular motion. Innocent and oblivious to reality, I couldn’t blame the man I respected all my life. I trusted him. His fingers slithered behind my ears, as he picked up every piece of my hair and rested them behind my ears. I shifted around in my seat, uncomfortable with the situation. He then rested his hands on my shoulder and pierced his fingers in and out, massaging my bony back, then my arms, then my chest. He hugged my breast with his palms, as I sat speechless, paralyzed behind a screen.
Confused and unsure, I contemplated my way out of the situation, but I couldn’t move. It felt like an invisible being was restraining my movements. I felt like I was tied to the chair. I felt completely numb. In such state, I stayed quite, hoping I could vanish. I wished it could stop. I pretended it never happened.
But then he moved his hands below my breasts as he traced my side and grabbed my hips. He held on to my hips with a tense grasp on my bone. I could feel his warmth as he pulled me towards his chest and hugged me with his shadow. His breathing became increasingly intense as he lowered his chin down to my shoulders. His breath was warm. As he got closer, I stopped breathing. The silence was overbearing. My heartbeat became intense, as it stabbed through my chest and out my body. My legs became stiff. He turned me over aggressively, grabbing my tense thighs and rubbing them up and down. The friction became harsher and harsher until his nails dug into my flesh, tearing every thing I had held back.
Tears dripped down one after another, slowly at first. Next thing I know, my face was wet, my palms were dripping with the tears I had wiped off. My hair was soaking with sweat from fear. I couldn’t breathe. My heart was throbbing as I laid down looking up at someone I had always respected. Someone I had always trusted. I looked away. I closed my eyes. My body was shaking almost like I was having a seizure. I tried to not think and not to make myself feel anything. However, I could feel every part of me tearing away with every thrust.
For three years, he repeatedly stole me and my definition of womanhood. Independent, respectable, free spirited and strong.
Who was I anymore? He dug in and grabbed everything he could find. He left me exposed. And now I was empty. Hollow. Completely unmasked.