The Secrets We Carry: Stories of Molestation (Part 1)19,444 views
*all names have been changed and are not in any way related to the actual anonymous contributors*
“It all revolves around the number five.
When I was young, I was known to be ghannoujet el beit. People would always come to cuddle me, I never said no!
I was young when these experiences happened to me and I do remember them as if they happened yesterday, like a nightmare that will never end. Every time I face it, I make it disappear for a while, only to sneak up on me a couple of months later.
Every Friday night, my uncle’s family would spend the evening at our place. Ramy, my 15 year old cousin, would spend the night playing with me. Cute?! Well not with toys and cards, actually playing with me, with my body, in the dark. He would say: “Don’t let anyone touch you here other than me.” My other cousin Hadi, 14 years old, used to do the same thing every time his family would come around to visit us. While Ramy was gentle and sweet, Hadi would threaten me with pushing my older brother over the edge if I ever told my family or his.
This molestation story from both sides of my family went on till I turned 8. I constantly lived in fear and ignorance, not knowing that what they did to me was wrong or bad. When my cousins turned 18 they simply stopped coming around with their families.”
Zeina wants to tell her story devoid of feelings, of anger and hurt. She wants to just let it out of her system. She tells me that this the first time she tells her story and she apologizes to me for it being cold and dry. I assure her with a nervous laugh that all of our stories are cold and dry with a twist of rage.
I turn to Samar. I asked her if she could help me with an article by telling me her personal experience with sexual harassment and molestation. She laugh: “Could I?!”
Samar is a 24-year-old with the attitude of a strong, willful and unbending woman. She’s confused at first; she doesn’t know where to begin.
“Ask me questions, and I’ll answer you.
“No I won’t.. I just want you to tell me whatever comes to your mind…”
She takes a deep breath, and words start flowing. She doesn’t choke, she doesn’t hesitate. She doesn’t stop until the story is completely over. I stay quiet and listen.
“My uncle used to spend every Friday night at our place. I would always spend it in my room minding my own business. One of those nights he decides to come into my room. I was 12 years old at the time. My parents trusted him; he used to say I was his favorite.
So he comes into my room and starts talking to me all the while closing the door and moving closer towards me. He says: “You know I love you ya zghire” and he holds me close. So I hold him back. But when I want to let go, he doesn’t. I try to walk away. That’s when everything happens so fast and so slowly at the same time!
He grabs me tight, putting one hand on my breasts and the other on my pussy. He lifts me up to his waist and that’s when I feel his dick against my back. He then starts moving his hand into my pants and touching me.
I wanted him to stop! I told him to stop! So he shut me up with his hand whispering to me that he loved me and that I shouldn’t be scared.
Those 5 minutes felt like a year to me!
I hear my mother calling him: “Yalla ta3a jebtellak talej” while he was sticking his finger up my ass!
He let go of me very quickly and left.”
Samar then stays quiet for a while and then smirks: “You know what’s funny? He never stopped coming to our place! Every Friday! And he would still say I was his favorite niece!”
She stops. “But he never came back into my room again”
I turn back to Zeina,who continues her story:
“I didn’t really process what my cousins put me through. I was young and thought I was unaffected. Then I turned 14 and moved to another school. I was a smart A-student and spoke perfect French. My French teacher was impressed.”
She pauses to ask me: “Is it good to impress people around you?! My experience taught me otherwise!”
“My teacher was a nice 40-year-old funny guy. I was used to people’s “teghnij” all the time. They would smile at me, take my cheeks into their hands, hug me and cuddle me… and I never said no.
On a cold winter day at school, I was heading to the bathroom. My leg was in a cast, so I was allowed to use the teachers’ bathrooms. When I passed by the teacher’s lounge, Toufic, my French teacher, called me in. He asked me to close the door behind me. So I did and came closer to the heater to warm my hands. That’s when he came from behind and held me tight and close. I told him I had to go, that I would be late for class, but he wouldn’t let go. He stood there hugging me with his hands on my boobs over my raincoat. I thought it was by mistake. But suddenly I started feeling something weird touching my butt. I pushed him away. He smiled and told me to take off my raincoat and have a cup of hot chocolate with him. I said I couldn’t and wanted to leave. But then he took off my coat and made me sit next to him. All of a sudden he jumped on me! I felt like he was a wolf trying to kiss me and touch me… smelling my hair intensely. I managed to struggle out of his grip and run out.
The next day he calls me up after class. That’s when he apologized and told me that he loved me like his own daughter. I believed him.
She turns to me and smiles: “So are you keeping count Kim? Three men so far. Three men I was supposed to not be scared of… the 4th one is gonna blow your mind away!”
Stay tuned to the next issue of Bekhsoos for the continuation of Kim’s article.