At 15, life is supposed to be beautiful but it wasn’t for me.
My mum was absent for reasons beyond her control, and my father did his best to be around as much he could.
I am the eldest in my family, I must be dignified. I have to stand tall. I smile, I greet but inside I'm empty. I long for love and seek attention.
To some of you are who are reading this, thank you for having loved me – loving me deeply.
Surrounded but yet alone when this young man, 19, got interested in me – I’m just a teenager ashamed of my body, I felt new. ‘finally, life smiles at me’ I told myself.
He makes me feel alive, almost beautiful. He spends hours playing cards games with me, telling me stories of his past and his life at the boarding school, I am fascinated. He is handsome and considerate.
When proposed me to watch a film, I become excited, I accepted despite my father’s restrictions, and my brain that tells me ‘you are only 15, he is 19, you don’t have life experience” as I looked forward always to spend time with him. I see him as a caring a big brother – whom I crushing on. In the middle of the film he took me in his arms, I let myself go, after all, what did I know? Little affection felt nice.
Everything was fine until he started kissing me. At first, it was not bad although strange when he started touching my breasts I said “no”. I resisted, I Begged him to stop but refused. I felt paralysed as he continued to touch me everywhere, I would not say ‘caressing’ because caressing in my head means something nice. With his hand in my pants, touching my privacy parts, I felt desperate, I closed my eyes not knowing what to do.
“Everything is going to be okay” – he whispered, as he fingered me. My tears run down my face but his is above me, penetrating, and sweating. Until now this image is blurred in my head, maybe because I tried so much to get rid of it. The image is gone now but the sensations are here – the fear, the pain, the anger, the shame ...
After he finishing his business, he asked me to leave, I put back my clothes as quick as possible, I left without looking back. Once at home, I took a shower and I went to bed. As it was in holiday no-one was concerned about me being In the room. I cried for hours. I did not mention anything to anyone because of I feared to be blamed or not believed.
For weeks, I cry in my bed, I avoided going out too much in the street, my family was happy – what wise and obedient girl, I have become, they thought. But simply I am afraid to cross him.
One day my parents tell me that we are leaving Rwanda not especially for a better life but personally, it was a miracle. I was relieved.
I hoped that I would no longer be scared every time a guy approach me, I would no longer have to fear him. Except that, nothing changed ... I changed a country but I had an impression of seeing him everywhere, I had nightmares, I felt alone.
I closed myself off emotionally. I have always been shy but since then it worsened, I couldn’t look at the others in my eyes – I was ashamed.
I had that kind of a shame that hardly leave you – or never. As if it is one’s fault. As if I had provoked what happened.
At school, in Belgium other girls talked about their boyfriends – me, tetanized. Yes, I smiled at the boys, I even let them approach me but as soon as it is too close, fear took over, as ever.
But I met a timid, handsome man – an artist with a tender heart , I was 19 and he was 20. He tamed me despite my resistance, he made me confident, and he gained my trust. a few months later, finally, I was able to put the words on what had happened, it was a RAPE.
He listened to me carefully and attentively, consoled me, became my best friend. He is the father of my son, even if we are no longer together – he saved me.
Today, I sincerely think that I’m myself, again – with my qualities and flaws, my strengths and my weaknesses.
I did not write all of this to tell you simply that I'm fine. I especially wrote this for all young teenagers who are living the same situation; Impose yourself even if you feel alone some people do not deserve your love.
Learn to say ‘no’ – it is what I did but couldn’t impose myself. And, if all of this has happened to you, know that it is not the end of the world: you are stronger than your experience, do not be disgusted in men because personally one of them has made me a new woman, and more confident.
One day, you will wake up, you will feel again the flame that used to animate you.