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Friday, July 12, 2024

Devaan says…My mother’s benefactor and brother has been touching me

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Dear Ma,
My situation is shameful. I am 19. My mum was put in the family way by a man who promised to marry her and encouraged her to get pregnant only to disappear as soon as she actually got pregnant. As far as I am concerned I am fatherless. My mother was disowned by her parents and had to survive and raise me almost totally by herself except for the assistance of her immediate younger brother who started helping her financially as soon as he could. Because of his help, my mother now runs a thriving business and practically worships the ground he walks on. Because apart from financial assistance, her brother has remained very respectful to her, never questioning her judgement, always there to lend a helping hand even with physical work where necessary. He would do school runs,  take me to hospital if she couldn’t etc. He passed his first salary to her instead of their parents and has been a father figure, older brother, etc to me.
There is a problem. My uncle started fondling my breasts the minute they started growing. I was about 11. The first time it happened I was sure it was an accident. The second time was in hospital. He took me for a routine check up and suddenly burst into the room as I was dressing up under the guise of helping me. The third time he approached me in the kitchen and pretended to pick a speck of my blouse and brushed my nipples. Since then it’s one thing or another. When it’s not my breasts, it’s my bottom, my thighs, my hair.
I don’t know what to do because it always seems accidental but I know better. No other person touches my private parts by accident so much. I am fed up but I really don’t know what to do.  I love my uncle the way one should love family. I appreciate how he helps my mum. But I am truly tired. I don’t want to break my mums heart by telling her. They are like twins. It would break her heart to know this because she doesn’t play with me either.
To his credit he has never gone beyond all this touching but I am starting to resent him and feel uncomfortable around him. I truly don’t know what next to do.
Please help.
Devaan says…
Dear Anon,
Weirdly enough your story is neither strange nor rare. Most women are sexually molested or raped by people they know, even family members and not strangers as many assume.
First of all, stop finding yourself alone with him in any circumstances, even if it’s in public spaces. Avoid the man like crazy. I am not even playing. Avoid him.
Secondly, I want to believe you are relatively close to your mum. It seems so because you know so much about her past life. Sit her down in a quiet moment and explain the situation to her. I feel bad for you already but she needs to know that as marvellous as her brother is, he is also gravely flawed. I thank God for you he never went beyond touching. Tell her you really don’t want to destroy her relationship with her brother but this is what has been happening. I am assuming you only stayed quiet this long because it’s a very awkward situation but I still think your mum needs to know. She will know how best to navigate her relationship with her brother while also making sure you are protected from him and any other men that might be coming into the picture subsequently. If you are a spiritual person fast and pray at least 3 days so that God will guide your tongue and help your mum handle the situation with wisdom. 8 years is a really long time to have dealt with such a situation alone and I feel your confusion. I wish you all the best dear.

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