Updated: Dec 27, 2020
How difficult do you think is it for a 9 year old to understand the difference between a good touch & a bad touch. How difficult or easy will it be for the same child to understand the same thing when they turn 11. I think, they don't really understand it, but the fear lurks in their subconscious. Something in them warns them to stay away from that person. More often a kid suffers this at the hands of someone who is close to them - a family member (could be anyone). A cousin who stayed over at your place one night and you woke up in the middle of the night because you felt a hand going down on you. You were so scared, you din't know what to do. This so called cousin of yours realised you were awake and ran out of the room and behaved as if nothing happened the next day. You were confused, not sure about what had transpired, and a little scared too. Few years later, you are at your other cousin's place and you both are playing some random games. He is just 15-18 years older to you. He tells you, "Let's play a game! I will pull you up in the air and you have to kiss me." You agree to the game & later he is making you kiss him & NOT in a way a cousin would kiss you. You suddenly start crying and he takes you back to your mom & tells you not to tell her anything. You continue crying but never tell anything to anyone. You were scared. Again!
Couple of years pass by & as you grow up, you realise you have been scared all these years, scared of the dark, scared of being left alone with strangers, scared of sleeping at night, just scared. You do not let people come close to you. You go through this process in your head to understand and analyse how each person makes you feel? Do they make you feel safe? Can you trust them to relax around them and not be guarded? You pick your people, to be yourself around them and not worry about anything.
You also realise, that you have tucked away these instances in your head, buried them somewhere deep inside one of the boxes and now you understand what really happened back then. It makes you angry, it makes you feel helpless sometimes that they got away with it. Sometimes you think you are safe because you are miles away from them. But are you? Are you safe? Are you okay? Are you not scared anymore?