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Trigger warning: Child Sexual Harassment/Abuse

Last week, renowned author Kiran Nagarkar passed away. Literary circles couldn’t stop gushing about his contribution to literature and how he will be missed. His untimely death had left a lot of unfinished conversations behind. All throughout Thursday and Friday, the social media feeds and newspapers were full of tributes from various literary stalwarts and homage from fellow authors who had worked with him.

Unfortunately for me, his death was upsetting for different reasons. He reminded me of my abuser.

In October 2018, Kiran Nagarkar was accused of sexual harassment by three women. But majority of the posts on social media did not talk about this aspect, which led me to the eternal question—does death absolve you of all your sins?

In October 2018, Kiran Nagarkar was accused of sexual harassment by three women. But majority of the posts on social media did not talk about this aspect, which led me to the eternal question—does death absolve you of all your sins?

As a child, I was sexually abused by a male relative for years before I could finally gather the courage to stop it. It didn’t help telling my family because they refused to believe me, like normally is the case, in such situations. On the contrary, I was forced to be good to him all the years that he kept visiting us, till he finally passed away in 2017. Added to the guilt they brought along, by convincing me that it was all my fault.

Every time I imagined his death as a teenager, I would imagine relief. However, I was battling mixed feelings after his death. I didn’t know whether to be happy or sad. For my mind kept swaying between the eternal lesson taught to us since childhood of never talking evil of the dead and the amount of hatred I had buried inside my heart for years. I knew I had to make peace with this, now that he was gone there was no way I was letting those memories impact my life any more. But the question was how!

Also read: Being A Survivor Of Child Sexual Abuse Cannot And Should Not Define Me

Like most of the survivors, my mind did not remember the graphic details of it all. It only remembered how it felt and that thought alone was enough to make me cringe. On top of it, I was expected to be nice to him not only when he was alive but also in his death. Weirdly though, Late. Mr. Nagarkar had a striking resemblance with him and not just physical, even the age and manner of talking, the love for books and the ability to hold conversations on every topic. Fearing it would trigger my anxiety, I went off social media for the weekend.

Like most of the survivors, my mind did not remember the graphic details of it all. It only remembered how it felt and that thought alone was enough to make me cringe. On top of it, I was expected to be nice to him not only when was alive but also in his death.

I am still coping from PTSD arising out of my (Child Sexual Abuse) CSA experiences and the worst visual flashback has to be the day when I hit him bringing a full stop to all his attempts of touching me. I have been often told—this flashback should remind me of my strength. Sadly, it doesn’t. It reminds me of my loneliness as a sixteen-year-old.

Of how I had to take things in my hands because no one around me wanted to do so. Of how I refused to let him control my life to an extent that I wanted to die.  Though I must add here, after that night, the physical attempts might have stopped but the verbal attempts and abuse continued for a while before I could manage to break all the ties remotely associated with him.

It has been years to it now. Life has slowly started looking better and I believe I am healing well. I am able to tell my story without breaking down. I am no more on that guilt trip where I blame myself for all that happened. I know for one, nothing that happened to me, was my fault. Still, incidents like these, are a harsh reminder of all that was.

Also read: Why Is Child Sexual Abuse Still Considered A ‘Silent Crime’?

The only question that haunts me even now is—if death absolves him of all his sins, will death absolve me of the pain I still hold in my heart?


1 COMMENT

  1. Your facts are incorrect. I am sorry about your trauma however Nagarkar was falsely accused and its sad and unfair that he is being compared to the worst kind of abuser.

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