‘My abuser was a woman’ says Maame

Illustration: daniel_oito_eros

I am very passionate about issues of Child Sexual Abuse because of my own experiences as a child and also because growing up has not been particularly easy.

What I realized when I finally talked about what had gone on to my “loved” ones, was their reaction to the fact that my abuser was a woman. Their initial disregard of the fact that that can traumatize me as much as if it were a man was worse than the memories I have had to deal with.

I was hurting, confused, angry, bitter and not sure if my attraction to girls was normal or my eagerness to give myself to men just to prove that I can like men. I hadn’t talked of it to anyone.

But when I did talk about it, the feeling right after was regret – I shouldn’t have.  Now I do not know if they just did not know how to take it, or were not able to show how they truly felt about it but the truth is I felt no love. What I got was an accusation and a warning to stop blaming my rebellion on something as mild as that…something that happened almost two decades ago. But I needed help. I was having nightmares, I still do. Vivid dreams in which I kill people and I enjoy it. I was near suicidal because the pretense was killing me. Trying to appear normal, to be happy, it was killing me!

Since that day I told them. Not even once, has any of them asked me how I am now. Well if they do I might have to tell them I still like girls, but I like boys too. And that will be another storm at home, so maybe I don’t want them to ask.

Yes I suffered sexual abuse at the hands of a woman. I did not even know it was not normal, what she did to me, till I was old enough to understand. But I am confused. Do I like girls because of what happened? Or I would have been like this even if the abuse had never happened.

The trauma of the abuse is one thing, having to deal with what it does to your psyche is another, but once the abused person comes out to talk, for Christ’s sake, they need to be understood, they need to be loved, hugged, kissed. Cry with me, be angry with me! Then help me heal. Help me understand what is going on with my body, my mind. The emotions…let me share them.

Hmmm…this little thing I’m writing self has got me crying. Truth is I haven’t slept a wink today..its past 4am and I’m here venting somehow. I really want to share this.


13 comments On ‘My abuser was a woman’ says Maame

  • Maame, thank you so much for being bold enough to write this. It will dispel the myth that women can’t be sexual abusers, they frequently are. When I wrote a research paper for my uni on sexual abuse (in GH), I interviewed a cross-section of Ghanaians & a substantial portion didn’t believe that women could be molestors. I’m sorry you had to go through all you did & that people haven’t been supportive. Lots of people just don’t know how to support abuse survivors. As for the liking women because you were molested bit, I’m tilted towards thinking that’s not true. I’m beginning to think that we just like who we like, you know? Ironically, I also wondered whether I liked women cos I was afraid of men because I’ve been abused by several men. But that’s ridiculous cos I like men too so hey! I really, really hope you can get some professional help (a therapist) because that has helped me soooo much.

  • First let me say I’m sorry, and I know you’re hurting. It hurts even more when you finally take the brave step to share your pain with your family and they respond in a way that is even more damaging. “Ah. But that was 20 years ago. You should have said something then!” or “Ah. But how can a WOMAN abuse you? Don’t be silly and stop talking nonsense!”

    I just don’t think that Africans are well versed in how to handle the topic of abuse, suicide and mental illness. We make all kinds of excuses. Your cousin didn’t throw himself from the balcony…he ‘stumbled’ to his death. It’s hard looking at the monster in the mirror, you know?

    Get some professional help as Ekuba said – even if it’s just finding a trusted circle of people to talk things through with – and know that you’re not alone. I’m glad you shared your story with us! I know someone reading will draw strength from it too.

    • Malaka,
      I don’t blame them much. It is true. Lot’s of people do not know how to handle this. This has been good for me…sharing this. The understanding and the love.
      Thank you.

  • Oh wow. This is sad. I’m pretty sure this is not just an isolated case, many tragic instances like this happen to both boys and girls, but go unreported. After all, such crude behavior is supposedly gender specific.

    Nana, eh, you don’t have to answer this but are you bisexual or bicurious or biadmirer (this one I just formulated in my head because I well rounded nyashes)

    • AM, i believe strongly that it is not. People don’t talk, they don’t how to even begin to talk, and they don;t know who to trust cos they might have tried and all the got was judgment instead of support.

      Is the question directed at me? I am bisexual.

      • Maame, thanks for your reply!! 🙂

        The gender specific comment was sarcasm…I said that because, we-Africans tend to just examine what we know and not go beyond. Same with how we only identify sexuality as heterosexual and not open to it being fluid-albeit their being strong research showing homosexuality is not a foreign import.

        No, the question was directed to aunty Nana-who at this point is prolly getting ready to kill me.

        • Lol @AM – No I’m not. Your last but one comment made me realise that I had also filed this under my own user name not the guest profile so I understand the confusion. *Hugs*

    • When I first read the comment I thought the latter part was directed at me then thought, why will AM ask me about my sexuality on a post about abuse? Yikes.

      But just in case it is AM, I sleep with human beings. No Aliens though.

      • @ Nana,

        Jesus on the cross! Nana, are you not the one writing the story? I saw up thread Ekuba saying Maame, but I thought it was an endearing Ghanaian tearm, like my dear. My APOLOGIES Maame. I honestly thought this was Nana. Sorry, sorry, sorry. Ignore that question. lmao @ human beings.

  • Victims can either go on to be abusers themselves or remain the abused for anyone who comes along. It takes strength to break out of the cycle and heaal. I am so sorry this happened to you. So so sorry.

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