Behenchara

Diary Entry – 18/03/2020

Art by Aziza (@wowhotawhat)

As hard, as I try, I can’t remember the night I was assaulted.

Don’t get me wrong; I remember enough from that night. I remember the clothes I was wearing – a favorite shirt that was loose enough that I could wear it at home without worrying about being policed, a lose pajama that helped me relax after a day full of work. I remember what was playing on TV and I remember that no one else was home. I remember where I was sitting and every single emotion I felt in those seconds that felt like hours; but for the life of me.

I can’t remember the night I was assaulted. 

Was it winter time? Was it summer? What did the sky look like that day? How did I feel the next morning? How much did I cry myself to sleep? All of those memories are lost to time. All the pain I buried deep inside me for the better part of a year, not telling a single soul. This is what tears me apart. I was violated. I was robbed of consent. I was objectified and dehumanized. I was nothing then. In that moment, I was flesh. And the thought of that fills me with such intense shame, with such guilt, that I worry nothing will ever be the same. And yet, that is not what sticks out to me about that night.

I can’t remember the night I was assaulted.

What if I made it all up? What if it wasn’t real? But what about the way I instinctively wrap my arms around my chest when I’m around other people? Or how I pull my hands up to my lap when I’m sitting next to someone because I’m scared they might grab it? Or how it took me months to learn that touch can be something loving and kind too? And yet the nagging voice at the back of my head – it is their voice – it tells me I’m a liar. That nothing happened. But I know it did. And yet–

I can’t remember the night I was assaulted. 

 

Amal : Amal Awais Chughtai is a hardcore feminist, astrology enthusiast, and cat person, and is currently working at a local NGO working for gender minorities. Visit her instagram at @amalawais! https://www.instagram.com/amalawais/

 

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