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The project aims at looking beyond the smiles of the next person, to see what’s really beneath, what’s really going on? How people really need help and won’t bother saying anything about it but would rather cover it up with a façade of strength, with a smile.
It’s time to look beneath the smile and lend a helping hand. People are going through real things, these are their stories.
We hope that you’d be kind enough to leave a comment. Your feedback is important to us.
Today’s story was sent in by one of our readers who has asked to remain Anonymous.
This is her story.
The ‘Beneath the Smile’ Project.
Funto, I hope my story gets told, you’re my only option. Thank you.
It took me a while to finally decide to tell my own story, I was not sure if I could gather up the courage to, but finally I did.
It all started in April 1999, I was but a child barely 6 year old. As usual, I was a happy little girl who was loved by her parents and siblings. One faithful day, my parents went out with my siblings but because I was not felling fine, mum left me to the care of the housemaid and I remember mum telling me assuringly “I will be back soon dear…be strong” and with that they left. What happened next was one of the worst things in my life.
The laundry man then, comes around to iron the clothes. Besides my parents practically considered him family, the maid let him in and then she goes to her room unaware of the dangers of leaving a little child at the mercy of a grown man.
At first, he approached me pretendIng to want to play with me, I was but a little girl who just felt it was okay for him to play with me, just like my parents and siblings, but before I know what was happening, he starts to pull my clothes, I tried to scream but he gagged my mouth and raped me all this while, with the housemaid inside, asleep. Afterwards he tried to bribe me with some sweets saying I shouldn’t tell anyone.
I was scared that I ran and hid in my room.
Till now, I’d never told anyone, not even my parents. The memory, lingers fresh in my mind. I can barely even hold a relationship. I don’t know what to do.
Since this happened, I always thought that once, was going to be the only time but I was wrong.
The madness continued, whenever he got the chance to see me playing alone, he will always come unto me and he will threaten to kill me if I told anyone. I was just a child who believed that he could actually kill me and no one will know and for that reason I kept quiet and suffered the torture.
After what seemed like eternity, my parents relieved him of his duty because mum said he was becoming incompetent. At that point I felt relief and thought I was free but I wasn’t, the memory stuck with me all the way. Like that wasn’t enough, while at my aunt’s house, her driver also attempted to rape me.
I grew up to hate guys, except my brothers but I’m still working on that. I have improved on being friendly with guys too but I still keep my distance from them. Now, everyone believes me to be a friendly, caring and nice person that I have grown to be, but no one really understands what’s beneath my smile not even my parents or siblings.
Funto, thank you for listening… it feels good to finally share this and get it off my chest.
• • •
Don’t just read, say a prayer.
A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS?
N.B. The project goes on with Tomorrow’s ’His Story, X’ by An Anonymous writer
You can still send in your own true stories to firstname.lastname@example.org
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