I had a pretty good childhood until around the age of six, that was when I was raped for the first time. I was a kid, I didn’t tell anyone and I didn’t know how to handle the trauma. I turned to smoking at that young age. We had a security guard in the estate and he introduced me to it. The assault didn’t stop at the age of six and by the time I turned ten, I’d been raped two more times by different men.
We moved from that area to a different state, but I was already hooked to smoking (I went on to smoke for about ten years); maybe it was a coping mechanism for me.
I was ten. I knew I was depressed and became suicidal as well. I tried to kill myself but didn’t go through with it; I guess, despite it all, a part of me wanted to live.
When I got into grade 10, I had a really bad time there, which forced me to look within myself. I realised, my life was a mess but I wanted to be better; I felt that I could do better. I overheard my parents talking about a colleague of theirs who was a psychiatrist, so, I stole his contacts and called him. We talked on the phone and he fixed an appointment for me. All of these, I did, without the knowledge of my parents.
I was diagnosed with depression and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He put me on medications but I never took them; Compliance to medication is not my strong suit.
Still, I kept on seeing him once every week. It was liberating, talking about everything without feeling like everything that happened was my fault, the rapes were my fault. I was fortunate to have a great psychiatrist.
My parents didn’t know I was seeing their colleague as my Psychiatrist, and so, one time, we met in public and my parents introduced me to him as their daughter. We exchanged greetings and he pretended he didn’t know me. I loved that he did.
I kept on seeing him secretly until I graduated from high school, I never went back after that. (I’ve been thinking a lot about going back now ). Although now, I can say that I learnt what I need to do for myself and how to take care of my mental health.
Still, I have so much anger bottled up inside about our attitude towards mental illness, molestation, child abuse and just things like these- I mean it is right there, happening before our eyes, but we just don’t see it. People think that if you are depressed or traumatised, there’s this somber image you fit into- but I wasn’t. I was the noisy bubbly child, the people pleaser and did not fit into “that image” at all. We are so self absorbed that we never pick up on the little things.
I find it brave of people who put a face to their mental illnesses and the trauma they’ve experienced.
So, this is it, my story. The journey of a child victim to an adult survivor and warrior.
This week’s Mental Health story is about someone who requested to remain anonymous and I respect that. Thank you very much for sharing the story of your bravery and for reminding us once again- Rape is NEVER the victim’s fault.
To everyone who showed up every friday to read these personal stories of our journey with mental, thank you very much for supporting this; with your stories and your emails and your likes and comments and shares. It is a blessing.
If you’d love to contribute and share your story on Mental health Friday, I’d love to have you. You can contact me on My email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.