Complaint Under X

Part of my life, I have been a victim of abuses of all kinds: pedophilia, fondling of a minor, assault with a gun for a forced fellatio ... rape, and again, rape. By a student from Central Africa, by an old woman, by a Malian vacationer from the United States, by a young married man who could not get past the flirtation stage, by a married man who wanted to come at any cost... An old woman who would bath me, I, her adored girl, in front of all. And she will end up staining me forever. She took pleasure in pinching me. I would rebel by telling to stop, but too late, her satanic face is engraved in my memory... the unconscious that brings up flashes... the traumatic memories that awaken suspicions first. Forced to undergo more and more, these images would turn into persistent memories and nightmares. Then, I was obliged to finally accept the end of uncertainty, and live with it.

No doubt after a medical examination: "she has not been raped, but there is no hymen." The pain of seeing a mother disappointed that her daughter, barely a woman, could have sex at such a young age. The pain of a mother who thought to have failed. She gave herself no rest to preserve the good education of her daughter. The denial of a forced blowjob that left no trace. The shame of having to live that, at this age, with the being that we love the most in the world, my mother: a strong, dignified, and generous woman, who suffered despite myself. Guilt inked forever. And the injustice that I experienced as a result of the restrictions she imposed on me by fear that I would be hurt. Because in the end, for others, we had been lucky.

Some have not escaped the gang rapes, one of the hobbies of Malian male youth ... The unique notion of family by neighborhood is no longer possible, fear has settled. Parents are suffering without a culprit. Yet, you need a culprit. But how to repel a girl they love as theirs? Is their daughter the culprit? Again a doubt, the provided education had been betrayed.

The harmony is broken. Girlfriends are separated. Nobody wants to see in the eyes of loved ones the pain that is eating their heart away. The past remains in the past, impossible to go back, you have to live elsewhere, warn the future, and forbid it any misfortune. To deflate the future, and impose on it a manifestation of rebirth, cheerfulness, and carelessness that are so much desired. Make new friends to replace the void left by the one who jumped out of the car that ran away and saved me. Our bond was sacrificed. To make new parents in other neighborhoods, to leave those, who saw me grow up, for others whom I would only address by "hello aunty" and "hello uncle". Feeling ungrateful ... to have new values, new principles of survival to replace the old, evaporated by the fire of challenges.

Growing up with what I have, and shaping myself the best I could. Becoming a young woman in Bamako. I left my "flip-flops" for heels. I swapped the jump rope for an Ericsson, dance rehearsals disappeared in favor of fitting sessions to look stylish in nightclubs. I feel myself growing wings. But which wings? I'm asleep with my eyes open. At the age when we become responsible, I fell into a second adolescence, but the expectations changed. I wanted to belong to a group instead of distinguishing myself for my individuality. I wanted to be considered, to be envied, to be lucky.

I am "beautiful," I feel it through others. I am being seduced, and I'm happy to find different ways to push away my suitors. I finally feel strong and free. I'm looking for someone, but deep down, I'm trying to protect myself. I kiss a young man, I'm on a cloud. But he is seeking his own soul far from the capital. I need a strong man!

What is a strong man? He is a respected man. A respected man is a beloved man, a beloved man is a kind person, who loves others, who helps some, who arranges others. He is a RICH man, who has the "x factor." Happy Aïcha! I found him, or rather he found me. No we found each other. He was looking for my beauty, and I was looking for his "beauty". But he was not handsome, his smile was stained. But my eyes already closed, I tore and buried them. What important is beauty in the end? But at this age, it's normal to want a cute "boyfriend". But someone present is better. Anyway, I am strong, and I can force myself to go out with him. And a month passes, I cannot love or kiss him, two months pass, I'm looking for new excuses not to have to sleep with him, all while enjoying the small status I had. But I am getting attached to him or adjusting myself to the situation. I still do not know.

Almost three months pass, and my ego is flattered: "I'm not an easy girl." I am making wait a guy like him. He probably loves me. He desires me. His attempts are constant, he's just waiting for that. But unfortunately, I fell into the trap, because I have feelings for him now, and I'm afraid that after all this time spent trying to have me entirely, he would end up abondonning me. Deep inside I do not trust him, after all he cheats on his wife.

I did not need to make up my mind nor did I have to regret having to give in to be abandoned later. He forced me... He raped me, and I loved him finally. I was relieved to have "passed" this stage that was repugnant to me three months ago. This act that stopped our "relationship" from evolving. I was afraid of losing the man I loved. I told him at the end: hold me tight. What he did. And me? Where was I? Why have I not been disgusted to live with such a traumatic thing? Had my soul fled? Was his friend right to say (according to him): "sometimes some girls have to be forced." We stayed together for one year after that, and I never refused to sleep with him every time he "wanted" to see me. We slept together. Was it fear? Grip? Or simply a lack of self-esteem?

It is a part of my life, just a part. Writing makes me feel good! Now, I can find the words to express a lot of what I felt. To say what one has lived as a woman is important to turn the page, to stop the cycle of abuses, to get out of victimization, not to be internally eaten away, and to expose that plague.

I was inspired by a ray of sunshine, a young woman whose courage has scared many freaks, because by revealing what she lived, she broke a taboo.

I am sharing a part of my life to tell those who have lived "similar" things that they are not the only ones, and that there should be no shame on our end, on the contrary, we are strong. By the grace of the Lord of the universe, we give life, and our bodies are sacred! Only the perverts do not understand it! And they are numerous! But God guides whom she wants ...

Thanks to her, I breathe fully again, I love myself completely again, and I am simply serene again. Thank God.

Aïcha Dicko, Mali