Sunday, 15 May 2016

I WAS REPEATEDLY RAPED BY OUR MAID

My parents were very busy people and were never at home and our maid assumed the role of a “mother” she bathed me, clothed me and fed me from the time I was young and we had developed a bond because she had been a part of our family for a very long time. I was comfortable around her and we shared almost everything that happened in our lives and we often had the same complaints.

She got pregnant and the man responsible decided to send her to his home in the rural areas and so she could no longer work for us and we had to hire someone new.

Our new maid was overly friendly and often said suggestive naughty things and I did not pay much attention to all this as I thought she was just a different person. I had my boxers and slippers on when she told me she was going to initiate me into manhood. I have no idea why she did it, she was really angry and shouting because I had refused to play with her breasts.

I know a lot of people find the issue of male rape funny and unbelievable because they think that men want to have sex all the time, and all men will have sex with anything and anybody, but that is not true, I was only 13 when it happened to me.

She told me it was normal, children have sex with their “aunts” and most importantly she was preparing me for manhood. I could not understand what she was talking about and she came to my room ready with a towel around her and it was just the two of us at home.

There is something about rape that is so much more terrifying than most crimes. It is the invasion of your body. The act of sex, which is supposed to be an intimate connection between two people, becomes a weapon with which to control you and paralyse you with fear.

I understand why people do not want to talk about it because it is an emotive subject. Those who have been victims or survivors do not want to admit it. Those who haven’t don’t want to admit it could happen to them. Unfortunately, I had nowhere to turn for help either.

Friends became fewer and fewer, simply because I became less and less sociable I was scared of telling anyone and at some point I did not know what was happening to me, I was always confused.

People often say the only person who can really help you when you hit rock bottom is yourself. So that is what I decided to do. Nothing else was working, I had quite literally nothing to lose. Something needed to change. I decided to talk. I have taken the power back from my rapist and used that experience to raise awareness and positively impact the lives of others. I sincerely believe that if I hadn’t broken my silence, I wouldn’t be alive today.

She took my manhood and put it in her mouth and started giving me a b*** and then she forced me to touch her, go down on her at the time I was not mature enough to understand what was happening. She then proceeded to have sex with me, multiple times. At that point, I did not know what was happening to me, whether it was ok, whether it was normal.

After that day she continued to do this and would force herself on me until I got so used to it, I would lie down on the bed, just wanting it to get over as soon as possible.

At 13, I began to get raped and my childhood went by having two worlds where I would not remember the rape until something triggered it off and then I would cry endlessly. I never wanted to be at home alone with the maid and each time my parents were away I would cry because I was scared that I would be raped again . . .

I grew up having no self-esteem and I was afraid to tell anyone because at some point I thought it was my fault.

I only initially told my lecturer who had noticed my weirdness and there after it took me about six months to finally open up to close friends. I had a small group of people, three or four, I could talk to and lean on, but they were limited in what they could say or do.

It was when I was 20 or 21 that I began to understand that what had been happening to me for so many years was wrong so one day when she came to jump on me, I kicked her and said no. For the first time in years, I said no to being raped.

When I told my mother, she was in shock — she asked me why I had not told her. I told her I had given her signs, that I had tried but she never picked up on it. She said, ‘‘I never knew such things could happen with boys’’ and that was the time I realised that boys and men are the forgotten gender.

We get abused, but we have no right to voice it because we are supposed to be the protectors. The victims of ‘‘masculinity’’ are men themselves. I have been bullied for many years for my sexual orientation as well, but when I told my story the same classmates who laughed at me became my biggest strength and helped me to cope with my childhood.

A part of me believed that I was gay because I lost interest and never asked out any girl all my college life and I think it was because of the abuse I went through and it devastated me, but I know now that that it was not true.

After facing my demons I took charge of my life and decided to explore my male side and dated. However, I still shy away each time I want to have sex and I leave it at wanting to take things slow.

Having a dominant partner reminds me of that maid and I fail to appreciate any effort a woman takes to try and take charge sexually and most of my relationships have failed because people do not understand why an old man like me does not want to have sex. Truth is I want to but I do not know how to block the pictures that flood my head each time I want to have sex. Busie Mtshede Column, Sunday news

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