July 2, 2015

Here is another excerpt from my book “Father Figure – My Mission to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse”:

I have a very important message for every child reading this who is currently suffering in silence from sexual abuse, and it has to do with secrets. Even though I was fortunate enough to not experience sexual abuse in my life, I feel as though I have a unique understanding and appreciation for what those of you who are experiencing it are currently going through.

This is because I, just like you, have spent a significant period of my life concealing a terrifying secret from everyone. From the ages of sixteen to twenty-one, I suffered in silence each and every day of my existence. Though my secret wasn’t sexual abuse, it was living with a mental illness that I believed would destroy my future if revealed to anyone. Though I was suffering in silence with the symptoms of severe Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, I didn’t know what was wrong with me and honestly believed that I was going insane, and with my mother herself being a licensed psychologist, I was haunted by the irony of how this could possibly be happening to someone like me!

Worst of all, I was certain that if my parents ever learned about the bizarre obsessive thoughts I was having and the bizarre things (compulsive behaviors) that I was doing, that I would immediately be committed to a mental institution where I would spend the rest of my life. Not only would I have lost my freedom, but I imagined that everyone I knew would then become aware that I had gone crazy and been sent to the nuthouse. I feared spending my days locked in a rubber room by myself, all alone. There would be no friends, no girlfriends, no college, no job, and no future for me whatsoever. This fear was so intense and paralyzing, that I kept my mouth shut and told no one. No one. Not for five miserably long years of my youth.

My experience of concealing my mental illness for five years has given me a sense of appreciation for what others must go through, who have also been forced to live a long time with a secret; whatever that secret may be. From what I’ve read and understood of child sexual abuse, the feeling a silent victim experiences seems quite similar to mine.

© 2017 - Sumi Mukherjee
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