END THE ISOLATION – Abhhydday Paathak

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Sometimes the very wounds that cripple us hold the key to our healing. So here I am, breaking the silence.

I was born in the family of defence personnel and grew up in the wild secluded spots of various cities where my father was posted. Most of the children around me, were older, and didn’t really connect with me. So I found solace with roosters, and rabbits from the Nature park, I often went to.

In the attic of my childhood , I lost the child within me. I was 5 , when my fairy tale turned into a nightmare. Like the caged , mute , animals, digging canals to escape the predator, I too found myself, dodging the predator who terrorized my body and soul almost every day. Ironically, he was an officer charged with the responsibility to safeguard me. I know rationally , that none of it was my fault . But , the threats  then, didn’t allow me to see otherwise .

I thought, ‘I gave in’, ‘I was the Bad Person’. So I withstood repeated rape over a period of two years to avoid discovery, because it was imperative that no one found out my secret, not even my parents. The park that gave me so much joy once, has never been the same since then.

For years, shame, anxiety, insecurity, and guilt filled me. Trust didn’t come easy. But today I am not my scars. I am who I choose to become. I hold both strength and fear inside me and I see- saw between the two. However, I have learned that i am beautiful the way i am. I want to make a difference in the world. I can’t change what happened to me, but I can help educate others. I am Abhhydday-the strong one.

For many years of my life I was a victim but today I proclaim , I am no longer a victim .


Abhhydday Paathak, 21 years, student at CGMA, Pune



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