Raped @ 12

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Dear Mr. X,

Hi. Call me Angel. Not my real name of course.

Hindi na ako sa Pilipinas nakatira. Pero Pilipino ako by birth. Hindi ko na lang babanggitin kung saang bansa na ako ngayon in order to protect my identity.

I chance upon this column kasi mainit na mainit ang isyu ng eleksyon dyan sa atin ngayon. I’m not a voter since iba na rin ang nationality ko. But Philippine news will always interest me.

I can’t hide my disgust on that story of a presidential candidate who made fun or should I say trivialized a story of an Australian missionary who was gang raped and murdered during a hostage drama in a prison somewhere in Mindanao.

May kumirot na sugat sa puso ko yung news article kasi I know how it feels to be the subject of ridicule for being the weaker gender by the macho men and worse, for being a victim of a horrible crime called rape.

I got so interested that I searched that video on YouTube and there it was. Mas shocking yung video kaysa story itself. Kasi naririnig ang tawanan ng audience as that guy tells the story about the unfortunate girl. What did he say, “Dapat Mayor ang mauna”?

Kahit po ordinaryong tao o lalaki ang nagsabi n’yan, that’s deplorable. Hindi kasi dapat. Hindi tama.

I was raped when I was 12 years old. Dito na sa bansa na tinitirhan ko ngayon. Napakabata ko pa noon. Hindi ko naiintindihan kung ano ang ginawa sa akin at kung bakit ako ginanon.

Malaking bulas kasi ako. For a 12-year old, parang dalaga na talaga ako. We were partying at a friend’s house. I was with my older cousins. We were drinking and really having fun.

Lasing na lasing na kaming lahat. I think I passed out. When I woke up, I was naked. Katabi yung kaibigan ng pinsan ko. He’s 25. Also lying naked next to me.

Masakit na masakit ang buong katawan ko. I had a throbbing headache because of hangover. Pero mas masakit yung nararamdaman ko in between my legs. Parang pinunit yung organ ko.

When I checked on it, may dugo sa bed.

Hindi ko alam ang iisipin ko. I knew then that I was violated by someone twice my age.

Nahihiya ako. Nagagalit. Gusto kong magsumbong sa mga pinsan ko. But how? Ano ang sasabihin ko, hindi ko nga alam pano nangyari dahil I was so drunk that I couldn’t recall what really happened.

Ang sure ko lang, Mr. X, this is not how I wanted to lose my virginity. Gusto ko, like any other girls, is to do it with the one I love. Lalo yung very first time. Saka I was just 12. How could anybody sexually abuse a kid like me?

Still confused, nagbihis nako. Ayoko na nandun ako pag magising sya. I was secretly wishing na sana hindi niya makuwento kahit kanino yung ginawa nya sakin.

Natatakot din ako sa Dad ko. Sa Dad lang kasi stepmom lang naman meron ako. Hindi ko na natatandaan si Mommy. I was just 3 years old when she died while giving birth to my youngest sibling. Nung nag-asawa si Dad dito sa foreigner kong stepmom, ayun na-petition kaming lahat.

Unang kasalanan ko ke Dad that night is the drinking. Hindi naman nya alam na marunong nako nun e. Kaya kami sa friend’s house nagpa-party palagi para makainom kaming mga minors. Basta ang deal is hindi na kami uuwi dahil lagot kami pag nahuli sa daan.

Try to imagine pano ko yun dinala. At that very young age, na dapat umiiyak pako sa elders kapag may nanakit or umaapi sakin, I can’t and I didn’t.

Andami kong concerns. Pano pag nabuntis ako? I was 9 when I had my menstruation. Kaya din siguro fully developed na ang breasts ko and may curves na at 12.

After that tragic night, I’ve avoided my cousins na. Ayoko kasi makita ulit that guy who took advantage of me. Ni hindi ko kilala name nya. Nakita ko lang sya na kasama nila Kuya Sonny, one of my cousins. Parang he’s with a girl pa nga at that time.

Pero me isang time na may occasion sa bahay tapos dumating yun. Bisita sya ni Kuya Sonny. I was uncomfortable the whole time and nahahalata yun nung Dad ko. At some point nga, he asked if I’m not feeling well. It was a good alibi kaya sabi ko oo.

Nagpaalam nako na aakyat na sa bedroom ko. Pero nagbanyo muna ko and when I opened the bathroom door, andun siya. Nakaabang sakin.

She grabbed me by the arm and started kissing me. Natakot ako. Hindi lang sa ginagawa nya. More on baka may makakita samin. So sabi nya, aakyatin nya ko sa room ko.

Kahit ayoko, Mr. X, I felt so helpless. Bakit ako ang natatakot e sya yung gumagawa ng masama? Napaka-powerless ko talaga. To cut the story short, ilang beses pa niya akong nagawan ng kahalayan. Almost one year din yun. Naputol lang when he moved out.

Ang kwento ni Kuya Sonny, may nag-file daw ng complaint sa police against his friend although he didn’t elaborate.

Mr. X, malalim ang scar ng repeated rape na yun sakin. By the time I’ve reached 15, hindi na mabilang ang lalaking dumaan sakin. Iba-ibang nationalities. I used them the way they use women. Just sex. Fun. Nothing else. They’re all my boy toys! Giving me pleasure “my way”.

Nakailang treatment din ako ng different kinds of STDs. I don’t care, as long as it’s not HIV, I’m fine with it. Then I met this German. We got married and had 2 kids. I tried everything to be faithful but it was boring. For 12 years, I made love to the same man and it’s no thrill.

Hindi nako masaya kaya nakipag-divorce ako. Dahil malalaki na ang kids, they get to choose kanino sila. Pero syempre, I’ve insisted to keep may daughter. I want to make sure she’ll not end up like me.

Proud naman ako to say, napakalaki ko ng maayos ang daughter ko. Kahit na iba-ibang lalaki ang nakikita niyang partner ko, she’s grown to be a fine woman. Exact opposite ko nga.

Now she’s married. I should be expecting an apo anytime soon.

One time tinanong ako ng anak ko, bakit daw kami naghiwalay ng father nya e we seemed like a perfect family.

Sabi ko lang sa kanya, I need to find myself kasi. Hindi ako pwedeng maging selfish na ikulong sa marriage ang tatay nila e hindi ko na mabigay yung deserve nyang relationship.

My unhappiness made him unhappy, too. Hindi na rin alam ng ex-husband ko kung pano pa ko masasayahin. We’re financially very stable. Good provider kasi yung ex ko. Pero hindi nga ako masaya.

Sumaya lang ako ulit when finally, I was free again to do what makes me happy and that’s having different men in my bed.

I know I’m sick. The rape left me a wound deeper than the physical one. I guess hindi ako naka-recover kasi I kept it to myself. Galit ako sa mga lalaki at gusto ko ginagamit lang sila.

Akala ko yung marriage will finally heal me. Lalo na nung nagkaroon ako ng dalawang anak. But it didn’t.

This is the first time, I’ve open up to someone. Hindi biro ang ma-rape. It is not fair. I didn’t ask for it pero nung paulit-ulit pa rin niyang ginagawa sakin, tinanggap ko sa sarili ko na siguro masama akong babae kaya nangyayari sakin yun. Kaya ginagawa sakin yun.

That’s what I become eventually. Everyone’s prostitute. The only difference is hindi ako nagpapabayad.

Every rape story is the same. Iba-iba lang ang pangalan, ang gravity ng assault pero pareho ang sugat na iniiwan sa pagkatao ng mga biktima.

I just want to share. Tulong na rin siguro sakin na finally, maikwento ko kahit sa total stranger and under an alias.

Thank you for your column and more power.

Angel

*****

Dear Angel,

I was speechless reading your letter. Sinusubukan kong ilagay ang sarili ko sa iyong kalagayan pero sadyang mahirap maabot ng isip kung anong uri ng sakit ng damdamin at kalooban ang pinagdaanan at patuloy na pinagdaraanan ng isang rape victim.

Tunay na nakakabilib ang iyong tapang. Isipin pa na wala ka pa sa tamang edad nang mangyari ang kahalayang ito.

Bagama’t sinasabi mo na hanggang ngayon ay naririyan ang sugat sa iyong pagkatao ng pang-aabusong ginawa sa iyo ilang taon na ang nakakaraan, ang nakikita ko lang ngayon ay isang babaeng matatag. Higit sa sugat, lakas at pag-asa ang nakita ko at naramdaman sa iyong sulat.

Matapang kang indibidwal. Marami kang matutulungan kung gagamitin mo ang karanasang ito para magbigay ng katatagan sa mga tulad mong biktima ng rape. Salamat sa iyong pagsulat.

Maaaring sa iyo ay simpleng pagbabahagi lang ito ng iyong nakaraan o isang anyo ng outlet na maikwento ang matagal mo nang sikreto, pero sa maraming mambabasa, ito ay inspirasyon.

Inspirasyon para patuloy na lumaban, ano man ang pinagdaanan o pinagdadaanan sa buhay.

Saludo sa iyo, Angel, ang pitak na ito. Pagpalain ka nawa ng Maykapal.

Mr. X


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