I Was Molested and It Still Haunts Me

i was molested and it still haunts me - Arewa Diaries

Written by Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff is a team of Editors and Authors Trusted by over 1.3 million readers worldwide.

June 14, 2020

My Name is Khadeejah Sani, and this is the story of how I Was Molested and It Still Haunts Me.

They always say it’s more likely to happen with someone you know. Someone you trust. Someone who changes your life forever, and not in a good way.

When I was 10 years old, I was your typical nerdy, only child, I loved books more than I loved to play. But I was also very lonely. I was left to entertain myself a majority of the time. I longed for attention or for someone to play with. I loved to write stories about my imaginary life where I had a million friends to play with.

My cousin moved in with us. His parents lived in Lagos and sent him to us because they wanted him to have a good education in a Northern University. When he first moved in, I was overjoyed. I thought, finally, someone to play with me! He was 19 years old and certainly had other things on his mind than hanging out with a 10-year-old. But I was lonely and pestered him pretty much all the time and he began to warm up to me. We’d play board games, watch movies and eat popcorn. I was so happy – he was the closest thing to a sibling that I’d ever had. I worshipped him like a big brother.

When I was 10 years old, my cousin molested me.

I was a very affectionate kid. I loved hugs and snuggling. It helped me feel less lonely. When my cousin would hug and kiss me on the cheek, I felt like a princess. There was never a doubt in my mind that he was my ‘big brother’ and that he would always protect me. When the snuggles became more frequent, or the hugs began to last a little longer, I never gave it a second thought. When we’d watch a movie and he’d rest his hand on my thigh, I barely noticed. But eventually, I did begin to notice, and I became very confused. My love for my cousin and my childlike innocence was at odds with the disturbing feeling that I began to have that something was very wrong.

I endured some very traumatic things that no child should ever be exposed to. It is a bell that you can never un-ring. The images in my mind still haunt me to this very day in my late-20s. If I see or meet someone who looks like him, my breath catches in my throat. When I see someone sitting too close to one of my children, I panic. While I thank my lucky stars that I was not raped in the literal sense, I was violated to my very core – my mind especially.

I felt suffocated when he would kiss me and not let me go. I felt the most intense desire to die when the hand on my thigh began to move to other places on my body. But children are not equipped to handle these emotions. I couldn’t register in my brain why my most favourite person in the world was causing me to feel this way. I thought it was my fault.

When I was 11 years old, I finally couldn’t take it anymore. I had finally realized that he was hurting me, that as much as I wanted him as my big brother, I knew deep down that something was wrong. I cried all the time. I experienced the most intense depression and anxiety. I began to cringe when anyone would touch me. I finally told my mother and as a child, I didn’t have the right words to describe what was going on, other than my cousin was hurting me.

My mother betrayed me and broke my heart. She laughed right in my face. She told me I was overreacting. She told me I must be confused. She told my cousin what I said, and he laughed as well. They chalked it up to a little girl’s crush.
I left for a boarding house thankfully. We didn’t cross paths anymore as we used too. When I was home he was at school, and, when I was in school he was at home. Until he decided to move back home.

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What I didn’t know was this was just the beginning of a ride to hell for me.
During my service year. I was posted to a farther state. I didn’t know anyone there. I had a cousin whose fiancée worked there. She asked him for his assistance to help me settle in properly. I never let my guard around men. And he was no different.

What I didn’t know was the fact that he had duplicated the key to the apartment I was staying in. On this very unfortunate day, he broke in. I was in the shower and I had just come out with nothing but a towel around me. Just for me to find him sitting comfortably on the bed.

Once I saw him, I knew his intentions were not pure. I took a turn back into the bathroom but he caught up with me and held onto one of my hands tightly. I used the other hand to hold on to my towel, to not let it drop to the floor. He pulled me towards him and threw me on the bed and I let out a scream hoping the neighbours would hear.

But who was I kidding? Things never seem to work out for us when we are being assaulted. I put up a fight with every fiber of strength I had but he overpowered me and had his way. And at that moment I just closed my eyes and was praying for everything to be over.

I wanted to die after. I couldn’t cry. I couldn’t walk properly. He murdered me in every way you can think of. I wish I had known to go to the hospital immediately so I could get DNA “proof” of the assault. However, I had not received such education and instead did what shame told me to do. I went home and hid. I didn’t tell my parents until it was days too late to get DNA evidence and ultimately, justice. My parents tried to take it to court, especially after finding out that this wasn’t his first sexual assault accusation, but of course, you can’t do that without hard evidence. Even if you have the evidence, it is still extremely difficult to prove it was rape.

This was another traumatic event on my path of re-traumatization. I have sought out therapy to heal this trauma, to reprocess it and desensitize it and to shake it off. But then the experiences won’t stop. Bad things kept on happening.
I was molested in a restaurant by an old creep. At a wedding. By my supervisor during my second degree. And the list goes on…These were just a few of the incident that I remember clearly, but if I were to go on talking about the harassment I’ve faced through these years, this post would be endless.

The thing that bothered me for so long, and still haunts me today, is the fact that they may still be assaulting other women. That they never went to prison and were never truly held accountable for their crimes and they are still possibly getting away with it. AND I realize: how many others are like me and have never received justice or the support and compassion they deserve? How many have not received treatment? Are not yet healed from sexual assault? These thoughts have kept me up at night.

If you find yourself a victim of sexual violence, PLEASE remember you are not alone in your experience or your shame. Shame needs three ingredients to grow exponentially: silence, secrecy and judgment. Consider sharing your experience (when you are ready) with a trustworthy individual (or therapist) who will not judge, criticize, or minimize your experience. It takes courage and bravery to be vulnerable and start your healing process – the “right” time is different for everyone, and that’s okay.

That was my story.

I was molested. And it wasn’t my fault. And I wasn’t crazy. And I will never be the same.

I was molested and it still haunts me.

I was molested and it still haunts me.

I was molested and it still haunts me.

I was molested and it still haunts me.

I was molested and it still haunts me.

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