TODAY I WENT THROUGH HELL. AND I WON.
It started out innocent enough. I was on my way to visit my cousins, whom for easy identification I shall call sister Olga (she is like a sister to me) and brother Kirill (we spent a lot of time together as kids, growing up, and I always considered him a brother). I was excited. I haven't seen them for three years. And I was also worried. I dreaded the talk to turn to my father, and them avoiding it, as since I confronted my father about sexually abusing me when I was a child, about seven years ago, my close family has ostracized me, and it's only my cousins who stayed in touch with me at first, before my sister Nastya surfaced (she had a lot going on in her life back then), and then my mother and stepmother, my other cousin and my aunt. But it was Olga who fully supported me. Kirill never quite believed me and always shrugged it off as "the business between you two," meaning me and my father.
As soon as I got out of the elevator, I saw Kirill smoking, and I rushed to him to hug him. He hugged me back, we walked to Olga's apartment where she was cooking and Kirill's wife Natasha was with the kids. After he closed the door and we got done with the greetings, I started taking off my coat (everyone was already undressed, waiting for me). I took off my bag, my scarf, and handed them to someone, can't remember who, because at that moment Kirill exclaimed, "Well, look at you! Let me squeeze you!" And then he groped me. He grabbed my ass and squeezed it. Then my waist. Then my boobs. I was shocked. I COULDN'T BELIEVE IT WAS HAPPENING. He kept saying something, but I'd didn't hear him. I stared at him. He looked so much like my father. And the thought that went through my head was, "Not again." I was in the middle of my worst nightmare. Then I unfroze and slapped him, but not hard, playfully, as though it was funny, following the same pattern I've followed for years—normalizing abuse and laughing it off—my survival mechanism. After that I looked at Olga and Natasha watching it happen and laughing too, like it was no big deal. I realized they probably didn't even perceive it as wrong. Did they? I hope I'll get a chance to ask them, talk to them. Were they hiding their reactions just like I was? Were they used to it just like I was? To this kind of behavior that was normal in our family?
That was when I knew without a doubt that my father sexually abused me. I always doubted myself, having only hazy memories of the incidents, as my body desperately tried to get to me to listen to it, screaming its pain.
Today this doubt has vanished, replaced by cold certainty.