A Letter To A Mother By Her Sexually Abused 9-Year-Old Daughter

Dear Mama,

I did something terribly wrong and I think you’re going to hate me for this, forever. I’m sorry. I know I’m not supposed to tell you this but he told me papa will slap me very hard if I told you or him. Remember that time when papa hit me and my cheek had the marks of his fingers? Please tell him to not do that again, I’m sorry.

You might be thinking if I did something so wrong, why am I confessing to you. Well, the answer to that is- I WANT IT TO STOP.

Mama, I remember a few summers ago, one night when bua and her kids were over (and I don’t like Sonu bhaiya), she said all of us would sleep in one room. I was so worried. I even told you also that I want to sleep between papa and you and you said, “You’re 9 Gudiya. You’re a big girl. You have to sleep in your own room.” After your soothing pats on my back, I whirled into a deep slumber but awoke with a sudden jerk when I felt Sonu bhaiya’s hands in my shame-shame area. Why were his hands inside me, Mama? What were his fingers trying to find?

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Mama, you know how I hate school but I hate summer vacations even more. You asked me once why my mood is always better towards the winter break and not the summer and I had said, “The house feels too crowded in the summer.” You had looked so disappointed in me. “Gudiya, sharing is caring baccha. It is as much bua’s house as much as it is ours.”

But mama, sometimes he doesn’t let me sleep or play or eat. A few summers ago he took Chutki and me to the attic to play a game of ghar-ghar. While Chutki was off making food in our little pretend kitchen he told that I was his wife in the game.

He took me into the corner and slid my hands into his jeans, I could feel something soft and squishy at first but it grew hard and firm in my grip. He said, “Gudiya, you’re my wife na? Won’t you move it for me? It’s the rules of ghar-ghar

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One afternoon, while you slept soundly in your room I was combing the blonde locks of my Barbie and Sonu bhaiya came into my room with his laptop. He told me that he knew about my love for movies and wanted me to watch a new one with him.

I agreed and sat on the bed with him. He played the movie, but it was unlike any other one I had seen before. There were no songs and dances but some movements on screen. “That’s what husbands and wives do”, he told me. I watched in silence confused what was happening on screen. The girl made sounds and screamed her husband’s name out loud.

He said, “Gudiya we’ll try this next time okay? I’ll put something inside you and then I’ll give you chocolates!”

Mama, guess what, he did put it inside me. The day after bua came home he slipped into my room at night and asked me if I remembered the promise I made him last vacations.

He slowly made me take my clothes off and rocked me against his frame. He played with the brown spots on my chest where milk comes from. Steadily he stripped down his pants and made me touch it once again.

He climbed on top of me, pushing his weight into me. Mama, it hurt so much. He wiped my shame- shame area off the white liquid on it and put me to sleep. Sonu bhaiya kept his promise though- he did get me Dairy milk.

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Mama, he did it again and again after that. And my shame-shame happened all the time. I tried keeping my clothes on because you told me that all the donkeys will know my name, but it didn’t work.

He said, “Gudiya, you know how angry mama papa will get with you if I tell them you weren’t listening to me. I’m your bada bhaiya na, what were you taught? We have to always listen to our elders.”

Mama, I know I am doing something wrong. I shouldn’t be telling you all this. Please don’t beat me up. I am very sorry, but I don’t know what else to do. I just want it to be stopped.

Love and kisses,

Gudiya