I had just returned home from a long day at the NGO. Mom was waiting to talk to me. The sun was setting and I wasn’t in the mood to talk after the mentally straining day. I went straight to my room and lay down on my bed, letting the street lights stream into my bedroom. I didn’t want to switch on the lights. I just needed some space to collect my thoughts.
I don’t care what you think. I know what has happened was not right and no amount of cajoling would make me apologise.
Mom came in and switched on the light. She said she needed to talk. I told her even if she had to, to please switch off the light. I didn’t want her to see how battered I was. I couldn’t let her have a one up on the conversation. She started speaking of things that didn’t matter and I asked her to come straight to the point. She wanted me to apologise to my brother. I told her no. He apologises to me first.
She wanted to know what for. As if she didn’t know already. She was the one who had caught him in the act and told him what he did was wrong. She said it happened a long time back and I needed to forget about it. I told her if I could it wouldn’t be troubling me all these years later. She then bought up my promiscuity, saying that how come it hasn’t affected that? I just wanted to tell her there is a difference between choice and not knowing what is happening to you. And when you realise what has happened to you it scars you for life.
I tried to explain my point of view the way I would to any parent at the NGO. Just quivering at every word cause it was my mother that I was talking to. My mother who didn’t want to believe what I said, who wanted me to forget everything when I couldn’t. By the end of it she agreed I should see a shrink (officially) and get over with it. If that made me feel better, she said.
In that dark room she made many promises on how she would keep me safe and help me get out of my mess. But as she walked on to the light and till many days later she didn’t act. Thinking that our conversation would help me forget everything.
Years of self loathing and disrespecting myself, I learnt how to cope up and say no. I only regret the years wasted in self destruction. Only if she held my hand then and explained what we explain to survivors now. Only if she told me what good touch and bad touch was instead of shutting me up every time I broached the topic. My childhood memories are tainted with these well defined incidents and somewhere all the happy ones have receded into the black night. As dark as the night of the darkest conversation I had with mom.