Trigger warning: References to Sexual abuse and violence
Like a regular Sunday morning, I woke up late, and yes, 10 AM was late when I was still in school, in the 5th grade if I remember correctly. It was that Sunday of the month when I had to go get a haircut. I had a bribery tradition which I started because I hated getting a haircut. My parents would have to buy me a comic book after every haircut.
But from this one day, that tradition stopped forever. This was after my parents trusted me (and assumed that a boy can’t be unsafe) and let me walk to the barber shop alone. This Sunday, I was wearing those track pants that had a hole between the legs but were so comfortable I wore them to sleep. I left for getting the haircut, not realising that the pants had a hole. I reached the shop, sat on the chair and I skipped a beat when I realised that the hole wasn’t just there it was bigger and way too apparent to miss anyone’s sight. I sat, with my legs closest than they’ve ever been and I asked the guy to give me a regular haircut.
I wanted to look confident which is why I did not look him in the eye and behaved like the regular customer that I was, trusting him fully, not knowing that his eye was already on the hole in my pants. I was wearing an underwear but this surely was embarrassing.
His hands went on my thighs and I felt his finger on my area and he asked me, “Are you feeling something?” My throat jammed up and I said, “No”. He called one of the other barbers and maybe he just pointed it out to him out of my sight since I was looking down constantly, in shame, fear and so many things that I was feeling then. I even heard both of them giggling. This went on for a few minutes after which I got the haircut from the first guy.
The second guy came to untie the cloth and clean me up when he too, did the same while taking a feedback which I wasn’t able to give with that choked voice. That day, I did not buy a comic book, ran home and took the most silent bath. I asked my parents to find me a new barber shop for a reason I couldn’t tell them.
Today, this incident still overpowers the good memories of childhood days and comes back to me when I see the shop near my house. Fortunately, it hasn’t affected my relationships but sometimes, I do question my homosexuality if this was a trigger. I hope to get rid of my anxiety and depression with the therapy I have started, again, keeping my parents in the dark.
Why didn’t I report?
Didn’t know this was abuse