Six there is always some discomfort I feel when I see this number. I still don’t know why that is but maybe it’s because my mind has somehow decided it will block anything that happened to me before I was six, except that one memory, Lord why won’t it go with the rest of them? why won’t I forget? I was six when it all started, Six, I was a little girl, it’s all I can remember. My momma died a few years early, I am the youngest, they all are going to after school classes, I am too young to go to after school classes, It makes sense to have a male house help to help Daddy with his daughters and sons, after all they have been 2 failed female house helps already, a man will do, as long as he doesn’t give his babies baths ,it is fine, Dad will do it after work and every morning before he leaves for work. I wish, I am six, I am playing with my friend outside, I get called inside but I want to play it’s all I want to do but I can only go back out if I do what he wants, my friends are calling me and I want to go so I need to get this over with, he wants me to put his manhood in my special place, I do, I need to go, His grip is tightening, I am so so scared but I need to go, my little mind can’t figure out what just happened, Can I go now please, I ask, he wants me to stay a little longer but this game is tiring I need to go, Well, he will let me go only if I promise to not tell my dad about this, done, It’s our little secret I just need to go. He lets me go, I don’t know if I like this game, it happens again, I can’t tell anyone or else I won’t be allowed to play.
I am ten, my dad had to go away for little while, I have to stay with Aunt and Uncle, they have a male house help, and her brother is staying there, She is always there, it will be fine, I need a woman in my life. I hang out with them, they carry me on their laps, it’s okay. She one day sends her house help to visit my brothers and sister, they give him a dress for me, He doesn’t tell her, he tells me, I have to follow him to the bathroom to get this dress, I am ten I like new things I follow him, I have to kiss him to get this dress, I find him disgusting but I want that dress, I need it, I kiss him, I get the dress but I hate this, it makes me feel like I am six. Maybe I can talk to her, No, she hates me, she hates my guts, she finds me stubborn, she hits me when I go out to play, she slaps me and calls me clumsy, I can’t talk to her plus she has already told me to stay away from this guy. I brought this upon myself. I am 11, she leaves to go for my grandma’s funeral, she leaves me behind with 2 men, I am watching TV, they both come in I don’t notice them until one grabs my legs and I protest, I am over powered,they take my clothes off, the other one is ready to rape me, I give up fighting, there is a knock on the door, they let me go, but he has left some liquid on my waist, I use this opportunity to go into my room, I cry my eyes out. I hate myself, I hate my dad he knew this was going to happen and he left me here. I still can’t talk to her.
I am 12, I am still wetting my bed, she hits me every time, I am a stupid little girl wetting her bed at 12, I don’t know why I am doing this, I don’t know why I am always afraid. Her other brother comes for a visit, he is very nice and very kind to me but I have grown into myself and hate people at this point, I am scared of being around men. I just want to be alone, I am not making friends at school. I am sleeping in my room, I close my door but don’t lock it, I am sleeping and I hear my door open, I am going to die, I feel a hand on my leg, ‘can I lay with you? No, please get out or I will scream. He insists and I persists, he leaves, I can’t go back to sleep, He is super nice in the morning, maybe it was a dream. He comes back that night, this time he puts his weight on my bed and tries to get in my bed, we struggle, I am ready, I scream, she hears me, he runs out of my door and knocks, He says he heard me scream and was coming to check, she believes him. she yells at me and tells me to go back to bed and stop being silly. I hate my life, I am struggling a lot. I am 13, I go away to boarding school, I stopped wetting my bed the moment I change my environment, I go back to see her during the holiday, my father is not back, I am playing with our new neighbors daughters, their dad is a pastor he calls us in his study, asks each of them to go get something and puts me on his lap, he squeezes my little boobs and calls me his wife, he kisses me. I hate myself, something is wrong with me. I am clearly responsible for this one way or the other.
I am 15, my sister got married years ago, she has a daughter, they move to Lilongwe from Mzuzu, I go to see her, she wants to buy me groceries before I leave, I get ready fast, she is getting ready and I am helping her with her baby, Her husband comes in, he is looking for his daughter, he closes the door behind him, he leans down and kisses me, his hand gripping my breast, he leaves, I am so so confused, what is wrong with me? she is so happy with him and I can’t ruin it, good thing I leave tomorrow, he doesn’t stop here, every time I go back he makes advances, and touches me ways he shouldn’t, He eventually, explicitly asks me out. He doesn’t want to ruin me but he wants to be with me and help me. I hate this life. I can’t take away her happiness. I am 17 now, `my dad is no more, I meet a guy, I think I am in love, he is angry, he pushes me, he says mean things to me, he once held me by my top in anger, He is so mean to me but I love him, he is my first real boyfriend. I apologize for his anger, I apologize for his behavior, he wants me to kiss him even when I don’t want, he wants to touch me in my special place whenever he wants, I have to let him he is my boyfriend or else he will get angry, I am a complete mess, I am getting angry, I am getting cold and mean. I need to leave him or I won’t remember who I am. I leave him, he wants to destroy me. He changes me, I don’t know who I am anymore, I can’t do relationships anymore. I don’t know what to do. I punch walls, I hate being around people. what’s wrong with me? I have never told anyone about all this.
I am 23, I get a chance to deal with this, I struggle a whole lot, but I must face this, I need a rehab but I am in Malawi, I can’t find any, I need help, I am so mean to boyfriends, I shut down and I struggle with intimacy or communication in relationships, I get on a path to self help, I work on the anger, I work on the resentments, I read books on healing, I do exercises to help me heal from this. I am 26, everyday I have to choose to heal, somedays I struggle, I am better than I was yesterday. I have to continue to work and pursue healing. The abuse changed me a lot, it happened no matter how many times I wanted to pretend it didn’t but it did. I have accepted that and sought healing. I am a work in progress but I am more and I am a survivor but every once in a while I am six again.