Incest Survivor


WARNING: This article contains graphic descriptions of sexual abuse that may be triggering.



Held in very high esteem is family. However, there are many ways that the warmth and love oftentimes associated with family isn’t always there, turning the group of people supposedly closest to you into, for lack of a better term, monsters.  The fact of the matter is everyone isn’t privileged enough to be born into families that show love and love on each other. That there are people on this earth who get their first dose of Hell from those living in the same household as them. That there exist loads of people worldwide who have their innocence stripped from them before they turn 10 or even before they can speak.  To think that one of the perks of life that make being an adult worthwhile i.e sex, was forced upon kids whose thoughts and desires comprised of anything but that.  What impact does this have on their life? Did their sense of trust waver? and what’s it like living with the culprit? Did they ever tell anyone what was happening at night? We hear from Sasha*.


The way she told it, you’d think it happened yesterday but in reality, it happened 30 years ago. “My parents didn’t believe in coming to collect me from school themselves when my brothers were close by, therefore, they’d have them bring me home. Now, I was the last of four kids and the only girl and the age gaps between me and the boys were quite broad. To paint a picture, when I was getting my primary education, my brothers were finishing secondary and in the middle of tertiary education. I guess it worked out for my parents because due to their jobs, the earliest you could have expected to see either was 7pm.” 


Pausing a bit, she continued, “One afternoon, we were all watching cartoons on TV in the living room when abruptly, my eldest brother left the room. I thought nothing of it but I did hear movement in my parents’ room.  Not thinking anything of it, I continued looking at the TV with the rest of my brothers.  After a while, I heard my name being bellowed from the room, so I, a bit scared and wondering what I did wrong, made my way to their room.  Cautiously I entered, nervous as hell. There he sat on the edge of the bed, when I was further into the room he tore his eyes away from the static-blaring TV and said to me, no longer shouting, “Close the door and come”. Closing the door, I entered the room and sat on the bed. There was a DVD cover on the bed with naked women and men. When the static stopped and what I suspected was the DVD began to play, I felt all sorts of wrong. 


As he pressed fast forward, searching for a specific part I realized his hand was on his pants, I registered him rubbing the material which I remember thinking was quite odd as there wasn’t anything spilled there or needed wiping. I also remember wondering if he was in pain the way he was constantly rubbing it. Back to the TV, there were people, very naked people, black and white people, doing things with each other that made me feel, in my gut, weird and uncomfortable. I didn’t understand it fully then but all I knew was feeling like I was doing something wrong. “Come, sit closer to me,” he said in a distinctly softer voice.  I remember feeling unwilling to get closer then all too soon, he put me on his lap and sat me on him, directly on him. Then he started moving under me, slowly. I remember that under my butt I felt “a hard lump” that kept pressing into me. This rocking motion went on for a while, and with the other hand that wasn’t holding me against him, he placed it into my pants and touched between my legs, quickly moving his fingers swiftly down there. I remember thinking he sounded like the people on TV. This act went on for a while until it came to an audible, abrupt stop. I remember getting off of him and for some reason, I couldn’t look him in the eye. He stood up, stopped the video, and ejected it from the DVD Player. Standing awkwardly looking everywhere but at him, he said to me “Don’t tell mommy and daddy what we did, okay?” Then me, not knowing how to even explain what we did and with feelings I now understood to be shame creeping in, I had no desire to ever speak of this. So I piped up, “Okay!” He said, “Good girl, now go and watch TV”. While closing the door, that was my first recollection of feeling dirty, and only at age 8. This continued and other acts were introduced as the years ticked on.


Now, by the time I was 10, I was very familiar with the penis, though it wasn’t till I was 11 that I became introduced to the vagina in a sexual manner. It was during the summer, that last one before I was to start high school and we were visiting some relatives in Florida.  One night, all of the children, 5 boys and 2 girls, were left home with grandma and her two lady friends while the adults went bar hopping. When it was bedtime, we told the boys good night and we girls went to our room. Taking turns in the shower, we did our bedtime routine which was basically wrapping our hair then with brushed teeth, we jumped into bed. Long story short, during the night she asked me to “taste it” and indicated to her fingers which she at the time was using to do what I later understood as fingering herself. I remember thinking it tasted weird, then she directed me on how to pleasure her with my mouth. The following day, she acted like nothing happened.   


Well, by the time my twelfth birthday came around, I was well versed in a number of sexual acts. My parents never stopped sending my brothers to pick me up and not once were they home before 7pm most nights. Therefore, all three guys had their way with me and because I didn’t want to get beaten up, as they often threatened me with that so I kept following their order of “Don’t tell mommy and daddy what we did, okay?” Although they didn’t penetrate me with their penis, it didn’t stop them from committing to the myriad of things they made me do such as painfully fingering me, religiously jerking off on me or having me lay there while they pressed themselves against me, grinding till the abrupt stop which always resulted in “the gooey thing” being left on my stomach, back, face or lips. It was like I was their puppet. I don’t even know the exact date or month they stopped calling me to my parents’ room, but it must have been when I started my period. Come to think of it, when I hit my 10th birthday, they, especially the eldest, would periodically ask me if  “The red thing, has it started yet?” I never understood what that meant and because I haven’t been seeing any “red thing”, my answer would always be no. During the years it was happening, I would often think “why me?” But then I would remember it wasn’t always me, as my eldest would call another brother into the room with him as often as he called me.  One time, curious to know what they did in the room and if it was the same as when I would be in there, I kneeled outside the door and looked through the keyhole. What I saw was both guys naked, however, eldest’s hand was wrapped around the other’s penis.  Pulling my eyes away from the keyhole I felt dirty having seen that, I went straight to the TV room and chilled with my other brother who gave me a look of knowing.  Then, when I turned 12 and my period came, it felt like I was given a new life in the sense of, no longer was I sought after for their pleasure. No longer would I be subjected to nipple grabs while walking in the corridor and they happened to be there too. 


 When I look at them today,  these guys with their daughters and their sons, I wonder, what is in store for their offspring? Would history repeat itself? The history I’d rather not, but know so well? To this day, I can’t look them in their eyes. Knowing what was done to me, the way they passed me around like food? When I look at them, it’s flashback central. Sometimes, when I visit the house we grew up in to see the parents, I try my hardest to avoid thinking about it, but I could picture it, everything that happened and the room it happened in. Such as the time I was taught to put a condom on in my room, the time my mother almost caught us in the act of me giving him a hand job in his room, or the time I had to give my cousin head in the living room when she and her family vacationed with us.  I think to myself, would they do that to their daughters or sons? Because let me tell ya, when I look at them holding and interacting with these kids? I still get flashbacks.” 


Ending her account of being a survivor, we joined the line as we were about to catch a movie. While in line for our popcorn and Mountain Dew, it struck me: The fact of the matter is this, Incest? It’s a permanent stain that’s situated itself comfortably within our communities and even when it’s realized that it’s an active thing, it stays on the hush-hush.  But damn, even after all this time, she still gets flashbacks.


*Names have been changed for anonymity.


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