When I was in my early teens, a distant relative tried to sexually assault me. It was an incident that shattered my illusion of trust, safety and family bonds. Alone and insecure, at that delicate age, I found myself struggling to make sense of the said person’s repeated advances. I kept it to myself. I was afraid to share these incidents with anyone in my family. I was scared of being ridiculed or shamed. But over the years, the memories kept disturbing me and gnawing at me from inside. I felt alone, scared and, in hindsight today I realise, extremely depressed.
“It is easy to drown yourself in the monsters that your mind creates, but talking to those closest to you and those who understand you, helps you dispel the numbness and resurface to reality”
Noticing the evident changes within me over the years, my mother kept prodding me. Hesitant at first, when I was in my mid-teens, I finally gathered the courage to tell her everything. It was like a giant load being lifted off my shoulders. Almost immediately, the relative was questioned and brought to task. The way my family rallied behind me and supported me really changed my outlook towards life.I remember wondering then, even as a child, that I just had to speak to those closest to me, and everything seemed to fall into place.
Over the years, whenever I found myself in situations that would potentially upset me or adversely affect me, I took recourse to this teenage incident of mine and always poured my heart out to my loved ones. It is easy to drown yourself in the monsters that your mind creates, but talking to those closest to you and those who understand you, helps you dispel the numbness and resurface to reality. I’m sure what helped me tide over my depression may help a lot of others too. So I would always suggest reaching out to your loved ones as soon as possible in times of any emotional or mental distress.
(As told to Veenu Singh)
From HT Brunch, June 30, 2018
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