Story Thirty Nine: Deema from Saudi Arabia
I lie to myself and say that I got over it.
Maybe I did get over the fact that my own uncle molested me repeatedly starting at age 17.. .
I got over the psychological damage after years of difficulties relating to all men and my own sexuality. I did perhaps get over it to a point where I can now relate to men in my life with no hostility.
But what I am still struggling with is how my mother reacted when I finally gathered the courage to tell her. After 11 months of non stop violations of my body, sleepless nights and suicidal thoughts, after feeling like dirt thinking it was my fault, after realizing it was not a passing phase and won’t stop on its own, I finally decided to do what was even scarier, tell my mother that her brother is molesting me.
“I am sorry mom, but I will never forgive you. I will never be able to forgive what you did to me… Because the damage you caused cannot be repaired… If I had lost faith in men because of him, I lost faith in everything because of YOU!”
I had the impression that I was fighting a world of nasty men who viewed me as an object. But that day you showed me that even you, saw me as no more than a product with the sole purpose of being sold to the highest bidder.
Mom, you know what I am talking about. Do I need to remind you of the time when I came to you crying, choking with my own words, terrified of how you will receive the news that your own brother is a monster, one who repeatedly used your daughter for his sexual gratification? do you remember you cried with me? I felt good when you cried, I cried more, I finally let it out. I thought to myself that you understood against all odds, and you were hurt for me…
But it was only 30 seconds later that you asked me the most horrible question: “did he leave you intact (virgin)?”
Stunned, I couldn’t answer… You interrupted the first moment of relief I had in 11 months to ask me the ugliest question that was ever asked. You asked me again…
“yes”, I puked that answer out in disgust… And I saw your tears dry up instantly. You stood up and said that you needed to go to bed and that was the extent of your consolation.
Do you know that this moment defined our relationship once and for all? A seller and a product, that’s what we were and that’s what I learned that day. My feelings and dignity were secondary. All you wanted to know was whether the scratches and the bruises were invisible enough so they won’t affect my value.
And then you concluded the conversation by saying “I will not tell your father, he will kill him if he knew”…
Thanks for that too…Although it should really have been the abusers’ argument to shut me up, not my own mother! And thank you for making it sound like you were doing me a favor.
The next time you referred to that incident was three weeks later. When you lied to me and said you had spoken to my uncle and told him never to show his face again or else you’ll get him arrested. I know you lied mom. I know you never confronted him. Because there he was, few months later, making advances on me again, with the face of a criminal who’s proud of never being caught.
And am still fighting him on my own, wishing I had never told you… Because all you do now is scrutinize me every time he is around, as if you want to catch me guilty of seducing him… How can I ever forgive you?