Not in the Name of Love

Tamanna Yasmin

TW: Pedophilia, Rape, Abuse

“Can’t you do this much for me, I thought you loved me,” said my 20-year-old boyfriend as he was mercilessly ripping the skirt off my skin. The 13-year-old me had no clue what was happening. The highest knowledge of sexual intimacy I had, was a kiss.

Why didn’t he stop even though I had made it absolutely clear that I didn’t want it? How could he force himself inside me when I was in tears begging him to stop? These are some of the questions I ask today. But back then, all I could do was blame myself for whatever had happened to me.

The blame and the shame had been a part of my identity for years. Although he insisted on coming over to my place in my mum’s absence, I was the one to open the door and make it happen. I had allowed him to do this to me. I wanted to scream for help when he was raping me but even at that moment, all I could think was — people will blame me and my family’s honor will be doomed forever. After a point of time, I stopped struggling and let it happen.

Hold on! I’d be lying if I say I let him do that just because of the reasons mentioned above. There’s one more reason that I should be truly ashamed of. I let it happen because I was scared that if I didn’t do that, he’d leave me. “I love him, I’ve to do this for him,” I said to myself, even if it meant living with trauma and scarring my body and soul forever — not being able to fully feel or enjoy any romantic touch in the future.

I know it sounds pathetic. How can someone be such a fool? — you must be thinking. But that’s how I’m made. When I love, I love limitlessly. I don’t know where to stop and I hate myself for it. More than half of my miseries are because of this self-destructive behavior when I’m in love. I’m not that meek 13-year-old girl anymore, I’m stronger than anyone I’ve met.

I’ll definitely not allow anyone to force themselves on me but I do let people I love hurt me in terrible ways. No one but I am to blame for it. Maybe someday I’ll be able to break this cycle and stop blaming myself like I’ve stopped blaming myself for the act of a rapist.

I’ve digressed a bit, but I couldn’t help sharing, because everything is connected. Anyway, let’s get back to the story.

So, the rape was not even all. I had missed my periods for two consecutive months following the month he raped me thrice. I was almost convinced that I was pregnant. I was even planning how to take my life. In our country, buying a pregnancy kit is barely an option for a 13-year-old girl. Well, it might cross your mind that my so-called boyfriend could’ve bought it for me. Hah! He bought a morning-after pill, with my money, that too after a month, when I told him about my period.

I didn’t take it because I knew it would’ve been useless. Do you know how I came to know? Those days, I used to read about pregnancy online with the very limited data pack that I had — 250MB a month, in case you’re wondering. And when the pack was exhausted, I felt my last resort was gone — now, I’ve no other option but die.

There is more to it, at the end of the second month when I told him that I might be pregnant while crying in his arms, he sternly said, “What are you doing? My shirt is getting wet. I’m not here to rub your tears. If something happens, I can’t get involved in all these. I’m leaving now. Call me when you have dealt with it.”

And just like that, I wasn’t a 13-year-old girl anymore. I didn’t share this with a single soul. Mum became persistent on visiting our physician but I was stalling it until I couldn’t anymore. All I wanted to do was just disappear. And then it was the day. Mum was taking me to the doctor. And then again, just like that, I didn’t feel like dying anymore. I was ready to face whatever life would throw at me. Fortunately, it was an ovary infection. But it could’ve been much worse.

I keep thinking what if I were pregnant? What if I had continued with that toxic, rather criminal relationship? Thank God for Mum found out about us (of course not everything, all she could gather was that we had a crush on each other), took my phone away for a while, and advised me to stay away from him. I wonder if I would’ve let him rape me again and again and again, or do other terrible things to me in the name of love?

My hands shake as I’m typing…

Anyway, if you’re angry at me for not lodging a criminal complaint against him, I guess you’ve your answer in the second paragraph. However, karma served him well. He is pathetic right now. I don’t want to get into the details because I’m not a person who’d joyously explain someone’s suffering even if that person is someone who had ruined my childhood and most of my teenage.

But, GOD FORBID, if something similar happens to you, don’t wait for karma, BE THE KARMA. Let them taste their own medicine, let them suffer. I beg you to do what I wish I could do. Lodge that complaint. Name him/her. Shame him/her. And most importantly, keep your head high. You’re not to be blamed, you’re not at fault. It’s them, not you. Never let them make you do things you don’t want to do or hurt you, in the name of love.