It started when I was in second grade. He was eight years older than I was, but I never truly understood what was happening between us until years later.
My father was very strict and I hardly ever watched TV, so I never understood these things. I never had anything to do with my siblings, and I never felt like I could come forward and talk about anything that happened to me with any one of them.
I don’t remember all the details, all I remember was that there was touching and caressing almost daily until I was in my second year of Preparatory School. So, almost six years… I was very young and I didn’t understand that what was happening was abnormal, but I started to think it was weird when he used to do it really fast and stop doing it whenever he heard anyone coming, and especially when he said to me, “don’t tell anyone”. I always listened to him because he was older than I was, but when I thought about it again, I realized that it just wasn’t normal.
“I don’t remember all the details, all I remember was that there was touching and caressing almost daily until I was in my second year of Preparatory School.”
I was in fourth grade when I told my mother “he grabs my boobs, and sometimes unzips his pants and… is this ok?” She got really angry and told my dad, and he beat him up, and everyone at home found out that he was beaten because of me, but they didn’t know why. I wished I could tell them that what he did to me deserved much more than just a beating.
Dad never spoke to me about it neither did Mum, and I never really understood. I didn’t even understand what masturbation was until I was in university!
After Dad beat him up, he stopped for four months, and then started doing it again, gradually. Sometimes, he would come over when everyone was asleep and I was watching TV alone, and he’d do anything he could, quickly; maybe what happened to me wasn’t that bad in comparison to what a lot others have been through, but the duration and continuity of it was very hard for me…
“I was in fourth grade when I told my mother “he grabs my boobs, and sometimes unzips his pants and… is this ok?””
When he finally stopped I felt relieved, but at the same time I felt very depressed because no one had stood up for me. For the first couple of years after he stopped, we would be around each other without talking or dealing with each other, and even now our relationship is very formal. I can never sit comfortably when he is around me, and if I’m dressed in anything tight or revealing I go to my room and change right away, not in fear that he might do anything, but because whenever he’s around I feel like I’m on the street, and I can’t be dressed like that on the street, can I?
When it stopped, I felt that everyone got on with their lives except for me…
I never spoke to anyone about this even though it bothers me, and sometimes I feel like I want to talk about it with any of my close friends and tell them but I don’t know what difference it would make. I just wish I could, but I can’t, because I don’t trust anyone, and I’m always afraid to talk about this issue, especially because of the fact that I was brought up with a list of strict taboos.
“When he finally stopped I felt relieved, but at the same time I felt very depressed because no one had stood up for me.”
After a while, he started treating me very nicely, I don’t know why, maybe as an attempt to compensate for his mistake, but why should he get on with his life and I can’t? This is what bothers me. How can I hurt you so badly, and then afterwards see you and go out with you?
I don’t know if, had I known what he was doing, I would have stopped him or not because usually when someone is older than you, he’s in a superior position. Plus with the way I grew up, I would have never understood what was happening.
Now, however, in the streets I am never silent! And if anyone tries to do anything I turn it into a scandal!
In the beginning I used to be silent, but now no! Once, someone tried to touch me, so I caused a scene, but I found another girl giving me looks of disapproval and told me that I shouldn’t have made a scene, that it’s ok! Why? Am I wearing a sign that says “a place for touching?”
“Now, however, in the streets I am never silent! And if anyone tries to do anything I turn it into a scandal!”
Usually people are surprised when the girl is not silent or passive, but Oprah Winfrey is the one who encouraged me not to be silent. She used to say that no matter what happens, I should never be silent.
I still see him every day and sometimes we talk, and sometimes we laugh. He got on with his life but I didn’t…
BuSSy is a performing arts project that documents and gives voice to censored untold stories about gender in different communities in Egypt. The project organizes storytelling workshops and performances where women and men step on stage to share stories about harassment, rape, gender discrimination, honor killing, forced marriage, Female genital mutilation, motherhood, domestic violence, child abuse, mass sexual assaults and many others, from different communities and cities in Egypt.
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