Look Up

It is very difficult for someone to be normal in their adult life when they realize that they were abused as a child.

It is beyond heart-breaking to even have to go through something that no one deserves. It becomes even worse when the person who is subjecting you to this torture is none other than your own family member.

It was my cousin. He abused me for two years, calling it a secret game that we both played, and this secret game could never come out. As I matured, I realized it wasn’t just a game. It was devastating. I thought I was the one to blame. I could never share this with my parents because I feared that I would be letting them down. Every single day, a little part of me died knowing that I had to live with this burden.

I was depressed. I hugged my sadness and anxiety as a blanket to cover me from these thoughts. What else could I do? Where could I run? What would be my space of comfort?

But then—I rose up like a phoenix rises up from the ashes. Maybe that is the beauty of surviving. I grew up not only physically but emotionally and spiritually, as well. I took up my favorite hobbies again. I started singing, I started dancing, and most of all I started writing, a long-held passion of mine that was now coming to life.

I realized that my past doesn’t define my present. I realized that I actually had potential, and my parents and my friends helped me realize this, too. I couldn’t be more thankful to them, because without them, I would still be incomplete today.

As for my cousin, he is no longer in my life. I do not hate him. I do not resent him for what he did. Going through my experience just made me stronger. I still dance, and that is for the world to see, but I also write, and that is something that is just for me.

“Look Up”

Tears running down my face
Hanging my head low down
Thinking what a disgrace.
The hands that I thought would keep me safe
Turned out to put me in shame.
Each time I looked up saying bhai (brother)
You took me back into that time.
That closet started to become a safe place.
Mom would have never digested the fate.
You left me shattered with bruises and scars.
For you it just wasn’t enough.
Now I’m 19, then I was 10…
It took time to realize it wasn’t just a game.
I’m not smiling
But screaming inside.
Wiping the floor
Hiding inside.
That was me
Sometime before.
But now I’m all right.
The chains that once held me are broken by me.
As for society, what could they say?
I ain’t your possession. I ain’t your thing.
I am the person who I am called to be.
Showing grace, showing love
I choose to look up
And do what I love.
Not because I am weak
But flawless and unique
Made perfectly
And given an identity.
And I choose to look up.

Previously Posted: https://www.cloverletter.com/writing/me-too-sexual-assault-poetry

About the Author | Seema Seema Chourasiya

Seema Chourasiya is a simple girl who loves the sun and the cold winters. She finds her peace with drawing mountains just so that she can know she still needs to soar high. Seema is a college dropout, working as a marketing professional for a startup and working on her own startup on the side. She is also an artist who does poetry open mics. Seema is currently located in Mumbai, India.

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