Andrea. Remember what I am about to tell you. Open your eyes and mind and soak it in. The going will get tough. But you will get through. I know you will. I am living proof that you will find a way to survive.
When you first meet him, smile. Say hello. Shake his hand. Nod your head. Respond to him positively.
When you first start class, listen to him. Do everything he says. Practice every single music piece for at least 30 minutes every day. Don’t think bad about him. Make him proud.
When you first get your results, thank him. Know in your heart that you owe a lot to him. Make him a ‘thank you’ card if you like.
Wish him Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Say goodbye to him when he leaves. Never fail to be polite.
When you need help, never hesitate to ask him for help. For he will be more than willing to do so. He wants the best for you.
But don’t be fooled- that is not all that he wants.
When he first pats you on the back, hand lingering on your shoulder, move away at once. And frown. Cross your eyebrows together, turn that smile upside down and stare hard at him. Make him move away at once.
When he first hugs you, push him away. Make a sound. Any sound. You will be scared and confused. Make sure it’s loud enough to scare and confuse him.
When he first kisses you, bite back at once. Make him bleed. Make sure he never thinks about touching you again.
When he first lifts your dress and presses himself against you, fight back. Tear his hands away from you. Lift your hand and hurt him. Don’t stop hurting him until he stops hurting you.
When he first touches you, touch him too. With your fists and nails and legs and elbows and knees. Touch him with every ounce of strength. He plans to leave a mark on you. Make sure you leave a mark on him too.
You will feel different. You won’t feel dirty at first. But you will later.
When you turn 11, you will realize what he has done.
When you turn 12, you will find it hard to accept.
When you turn 13, you will try to forget him.
When you turn 14, you will realize it is impossible to forget him.
When you turn 15, you will realize that there will never be an end to the tears.
When you turn 16, you will think that it’s too late to tell anyone about it now.
When you turn 17, you will make peace with it. You will never forget him. You will never move on. But you will find some sort of twisted peace- a sort of common ground between apathy and breakdown.
You will still bear the scars his hands seared into you but you will learn to hide them well. You will find your thoughts slowly wandering and you will find yourself in tears at 3 in the morning. But remember. You are strong and you are not at fault. You are not a victim. You are a survivor.
This I promise you.
So to save yourself this trouble, do as I tell you. You don’t need to keep it a secret. You don’t need to bottle it up inside of you. You don’t need to spend sleepless nights crying. You don’t need to lock yourself in the washroom and cry with the tap running. You don’t need to wake up in the middle of the night with the memory of him inside your head, his hands on your thighs, his lips on your face, his tongue in your mouth. You don’t need to face anxiety or panic attacks. You don’t need to feel ashamed of yourself. Of this secret. You don’t.
You will not spend the rest of your life wondering about him. Hating him. Hating yourself. Feeling lonely, lost, and dirty.
Remember Andrea, only you are capable of saving yourself. Have a strong mind and heart. And do as I have told you. You know what awaits you. And you know what you have to do.
I wish I had.
Written by Andrea Xavier Gonsalves for MTTN
Edited by Mihika Antonia Dean for MTTN
Featured image from Pinterest
Artwork by Helena Perez Garcia