Essay: A Silent Pain
Trigger Warning: Accounts of physical assault, sexual assault and rape
I first noticed I liked girls when I was 14. I knew that telling my mom or siblings wouldn’t help me, so I kept it to myself. I changed schools around that time and at my new school, I met an old classmate from primary school. She recognized me and came to talk to me, and we became close friends. It was hard not to fall for her. I didn’t tell her anything though. I didn’t want to ruin our friendship.
About a year later, she was at my house one weekend and said she had a funny question. I asked what her question was, and she asked if I liked her. I nodded without thinking about it and she shook her head and asked if I liked her more than a friend. I just kept staring at her and she suddenly kissed me. I used to think there was a possibility it was a phase, but that kiss confirmed it wasn’t.
Days later, I was waiting for her to join me for lunch where we usually ate when a guy from our class walked up to me. I was still wondering why he was there when he said, “I heard you have never dated any guy in this school”.
I looked up and said, ” And?”
He hissed and said, “Sha don’t influence your friend with your lesbianism”.
I smiled and said, “too late” and immediately regretted it.
He beat me to a pulp that day. The empty classroom was close to the school generator and the generator was running, so nobody heard me scream. He left me crying there and because I fought back, his shirt was rumpled. He reported me for attacking him and because I had a history of fighting in school, nobody listened to me. I was suspended for a week.
I thought things couldn’t get worse.
In my second year of university, I met a girl online. She was a tomboy, and I was instantly attracted to her. She only lived a few houses away from mine so, during my long breaks, she would come to my house. We were unofficially together for a while.
One day we were walking around the neighborhood, we decided to take a short route. While we were walking, she began touching me. As we were about to kiss, a man walked by and we quickly sprung apart, startled. I started to avoid her after that day. I was just too scared.
Two weeks later, my mom sent me on an errand and on getting there, the vendor wasn’t available. I decided to leave but noticed that someone had locked the gate after coming in. The rooms in the house were also all locked.
I noticed one door wasn’t locked from the outside, so I knocked on the door. In a split second, the door opened, and I was dragged inside. It was the same man that had seen my ‘partner’ and I almost kiss two weeks back. He beat me till I couldn’t move, and then he raped me. I must have passed out at some point because I woke up in my room.
I wished it was a nightmare but the pain I felt all over my body confirmed it wasn’t. I hated myself and even tried to hurt myself for a very long time. It’s something I can’t deny. I’m queer and although, I can’t come out and say it right now, one day I definitely will.