My name is Jane, I’m 20 years old soon to be 21 and ten years ago, I was raped. You see I was a normal 10 year old; a happy girl who had everything she wanted. I loved life.

That night I went to sleep quite peacefully. Only to be awoken late at night with a knot in my stomach as I opened my eyes to see him trying to undress me. Even though I was wearing a short, above the knee night gown, he still attempted to lift it all the way above my head.

At first, I was very confused. I didn’t understand what was happening. As I realized it was my grandfather, I was frozen in shock. I’ll never forget those few seconds right before he did the unforgivable deed. He whispered in my ear “I’m doing this because I love you, because you’re my favorite.” As he forced himself into me, I realized he was no longer the person I thought he was. He was a monster who has just destroyed a very precious part of me, a part that was right before then, pure, untouched by the darkness, untouched in body and soul.

Tears ran down my face as every time he forced himself onto me I thought it would never end. This continuous feeling of violation mixed with betrayal, sadness and confusion that a 10 year old could never comprehend let alone accept! Those feelings that most people in the world hopefully will never know were just too much to handle. I could not believe how someone so close to me, someone who was supposed to be like a father to me, could do such a thing.

I remember a few moments before it finally ended, all that was going through my mind was: what just happened? Why me?

When he finally finished, and as he was leaving the room, he turned and looked at me as if he was back to being the grandpa I had always known. He smiled and just said: “shatura jiddo, hek beddi eyaki” (good girl, this is exactly how I want you to be) and simply left the room.

I spent the next two or so days crying and throwing up. Nobody knew what was wrong with me and I told no one. I was too afraid of what might happen. Will they believe me? Will they hate me? Will they be on my side? And many many other questions.

All these mixed emotions caused me to eventually cave down to depression. I became this sad pessimistic girl who hated everyone and trusted no one. I hated life! I constantly wondered: what’s the point? Why do I deserve to live?

Now, here I am 10 years later, a grown up “lady” taking my very first steps towards the future. I’m still as hurt as ever. I have told a selected few  about it but not my family and I live with the struggle of knowing that I’m hiding this from the closest people to my heart. I think I have developed a phobia of all grandfathers and I know it sounds funny but it’s true. I am oh so scared of the idea that one day I will eventually have to get married and engage in physical relations with an individual who may or may not understand my concerns. I am a broken, confused and paranoid little girl in the body of a 20 year old woman who is trying her best to survive in this ugly, horrible and dark concoction of living things we call life in hopes of making it to a brighter future.