I was 8 years old when I was abused – Sayra Khanwelkar

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For years, I thought what happened to me was a normal thing. For an 8 year old kid, something like this was beyond comprehension. I used to wonder, that what she did to me was my own fault. Maybe I had done something wrong and it was her way to punish me. I kept on blaming myself and never spoke a word about it to anyone. Until a couple of years ago, I had no idea that what I had to go through was wrong. But eventually, my foggy memories cleared up, and I was able to put the pieces together. The picture that formed in front of me was a scary one. It hadn’t happened once, it had happened multiple times.

This revelation came at a time when I was struggling with Gender Dysphoria and was suicidal. But I started reading about it instead of doing anything reckless and found out that the signs of abuse had always been there. Depression, guilt, shame, self-blame, eating disorders, anxiety, repression, denial, relationship problems, obesity, it all fit together like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.

Finally, I accepted that yes, I was in fact a victim of childhood sexual abuse and there was nothing I could do about it. The perpetrator was long gone, and I wouldn’t have recognised her anyway because I had zero recollection of her face. Coming to terms with this was difficult. The person who did this was free without any kind of punishment and I on the other hand was constantly punishing myself. This had to stop.

It was time to reclaim my life. And I did exactly that. I began writing, reading, playing the guitar and slowly but surely, I started seeing results. Weight loss was another factor that benefited my progress.

I know I will never be able to completely forget what happened to me, and I don’t even want to forget it. I have accepted that there will always be some darkness within me.

But darkness is important, because if there is no darkness, how will the light shine?

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