22. That’s how many years it has been since I’ve decided to actually talk about my past. I don’t actually know how to start talking about this topic, but I’ll do my best.
Growing up I’ve always felt that my duty was to help someone regardless of when, where, and how. I have come to make it my mission in life to follow a career, which would allow me to come home each and every night with the satisfaction that I had saved someone.
Today, I am 27 years old and though life has been a struggle, I’ve realized no life is without its downfalls. I am currently working for the State Police, and before that I worked for the Richmond Police Department. I have seen a great deal when it comes to domestic violence, rape, and murder. Thus, I finally decided it was time you knew my story.
I grew up in Bangladesh, in a small village of Rangpur. The grass was always green and the pain of poverty was evident in the streets and slums I was raised around. I was fortunate, more than most. My father lived in the U.S. and we were better off than many of our neighbors. I, like any other 5 year old in Bangladesh, enjoyed running around bare foot, climbing coconut trees, stealing shoe’s from our local masjids and selling them to poor vendors for ice-cream, and taking things apart; I absolutely loved taking things apart. I was the problem child, and then I made a friend.
To be honest, I don’t remember the name of this friend. I was so young, I just remember having fun. I did know that he worked for our house. I guess you could say he was like a butler. Don’t know how else to put it. He cleaned, helped cook, ran errands, and mostly made sure I stayed out of trouble.
I lived in a small house, with one bedroom, which had a wooden bed. My mother, older brother, and I slept in the same bed. The room was lit with a glass oil-lantern that vaguely showed the beige color of our walls. Toilet paper was non-existent. We relied on leaves. Seriously.
Our neighborhood was fairly simple. Our house was a lot like the center piece, next to us lived my Uncle, who had the biggest boroi(Bangladeshi Fruit) tree in our neighborhood. My uncles were all farmers. Behind our house, we had a godown (barn) where rice was processed, bagged, weighed, and stored in stacks that were 20ft high.
I remember this place because this is where I had been raped. The kid that worked at our house was probably around the age of 15. I remember him taking me to this godown (barn), because he wanted to teach me a new game. I was naïve because I had trusted my friend who had always protected me. I was also naïve because, I was a child. I remember playing hiding-o-seek, and one day hid in a small room covered with hay on the top floor of this dark wooden go down. I remember the stench of this place, because this barn was used to shelter the cows our neighbor grazed.
My friend had found me, and decided he wanted to show me something. I didn’t know what it was, but I do remember his taking my pants off. I was than asked to turn around, and he told me that it was something I would like. It was something that I would enjoy. I didn’t know it at the time, but I remember the pain. I remember the tears that I held back, and that horrible stench from the manure. I was told not tell my parents, that this game was between him and me. I remember how this went on for a whole week, and than he asked me to do what he had done to him. I was hesitant, I didn’t know what I was doing, but I do remember my brother looking for me. I remember my brother calling my name to attend Friday prayer with him, and as soon as the adhan went off, I remember this friend running away. Since, I have never heard nor seen this friend of mine.
I didn’t realize what had happened to me until I had come to the United States. I didn’t know what sex was, nor did I know that I had been a victim of rape. I was too embarrassed to ever talk about it. I had never mentioned this to anyone, not even my best friend of 17 years who had recently passed away. I am not homophobic, but I do understand why it is that I always yearn to save the lives of others. I wish someone had saved me from those horrendous nights, but no one came.
In the year 2000, I went back to Bangladesh to visit and I secretly had a mission. I wanted to track down this kid, and ask why he did what he did. I was angry; I wanted to know why he chose me. I asked around and eventually found out that he had died from a bus accident. I didn’t know whether to be relieved or angry. I wanted to tell him what he had done wasn’t right.
They say God, does things for a reason. Sex was something that I realized ruined many aspects of ones life and relationships. I also realized that sex without consent took away a sense of self-control one had; and for many people that are victims of rape, sex was just that. I never wanted from that point on to ever lose control of my emotions. I decided that, if I ever wanted to be physical with anyone it would be for a reason that was more than just a lustful moment.
-Anonymous, Male, Age 27