sexual assault

Saved Through Songs and Sermons

Although I keep telling myself that my issues weren’t a big deal, I’m glad that I’ve overcome them. I’ll try to keep this brief, and just a pre-warning that this story talks about sexual assault.

Where It All Began

In this crucial part of my life, I was only fifteen years old. When I think about it, it doesn’t seem too long ago. At that point in my life, I was struggling with my facial appearance and I was also going through puberty late. On the home front was another issue which I had left untold up until some point in August, 2017. I was being sexually molested by a cousin with whom I was living.

At this point in my life, I felt absolutely worthless. I was almost through high school when I started to face these challenges; and it certainly didn’t help that I was at school away from home, so I had to stay at my aunt’s. She’s a very loving woman, with whom I always felt at home. However, her son would occasionally coerce me into doing sexual things that I didn’t want to do, or was too weak to refuse. 

The shame I had coupled with my low self-esteem and body insecurities made it harder for me to tell anyone what I was going through. I thought that they’d probably laugh at me, and call me girlish like they usually do. 

The Impact It Had On Me

My results for those school terms were very low and that got my parents worried. I remember my dad asked several times if anything was wrong, but I couldn’t bring myself to tell him what was happening, nor did I tell my aunt. I really didn’t want any fuss over my situation, so I kept quiet and endured. 

Most days when I returned home from school, I would go to my room and cry my eyes out after taking jeers and jabs all day. It got really bad when I began contemplating suicide—I was barely 15. I didn’t feel like living if I was stuck in my body forever; and I honestly couldn’t find meaning in all the hurt. 

During this time, I withdrew and kept to myself. I was always alone with my negative thoughts, it got really depressing. I just felt empty and worthless every day, and it felt like nothing would change. I could literally feel a pit dropping in my chest each day, and this shallow feeling plagued me for almost a year. I never dated or grew the guts to like anybody or make friends because I felt I wasn’t really likeable. I didn’t feel special at all. I felt like everybody else could do the same things that I did so there was no use feeling unique. But guess I was wrong.

How I Found My Light Again

One thing that helped me pull through was music. I always got nice comments about my voice and I equally felt nice when singing, so that gave me some sense of self-worth. People would occasionally ask me to sing for them and over time, that helped build my self-esteem.  Religion equally helped me; all the sermons against suicide and my timely prayers gave me a sense of purpose and peace. 

And my mother always said ‘if God calls you beautiful, then you just are”. My family always welcomed me with love whenever I was around, constantly spurring me on. Eventually I graduated high school and most of the bullying and abuse had already stopped. I told my story to my family eventually and they helped me heal. As much as I cried and felt like life was meaningless, my family and music gave me a meaning. They still do, and for that I am ever grateful.

This story was selflessly submitted anonymously.

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