I’m not quite sure of how old I was but I couldn’t have been older than six or seven when Uncle Shina first sexually assaulted me. He was my father’s brother, his step brother as I was later to discover.
Uncle Shina came to live with us at the age of 17, when his mother died. Father said his mother was the last wife of their father’s many wives. When she passed on, my father, being the firstborn son of the family felt obligated to provide a roof over his brother’s head; more so, father is more than 20 years older than uncle Shina.
Growing up, there was nothing like sexual assault, at least it wasn’t an expression I was used to and the fact that we were all boys must have slackened my parent’s concern about sexual assaults. Mark you, my parents were both educated; they met as students in the UK and got married there. They had my two elder brothers there but I was born here in Nigeria. That very fact has always been the reason every member of my family attributes to my being the black sheep in the family but in truth, the rape by Uncle Shina caused it all.
I should start by saying I was a bed wetter. So anytime I wet my bed, Uncle Shina would help clean the room and spray air freshener. He would clean the sheets and tell me it was our secret. My brothers shouldn’t know or they would tease me sorely and my parents shouldn’t or they would flog me silly. So I had a friend in my uncle. He was my hero.
Then one day, in the afternoon, I soiled my bed again. After cleaning me, Uncle Shina asked me to pay him. I told him I had no money, of course, where would I get that?
He then took me to the bathroom, pulled down his trousers and asked me to caress his thing.
I stupidly reached out and caressed him, I was stupefied by the size of his thing. He told me it was our secret. So we kept two secrets from my family; my bedwetting and me caressing him. Many times he would wake me up under the guise of taking me to the bathroom to ease myself so that I won’t wet my bed, after peeing, he would bring out his thing and I would caress it. He then began to caress mine as well. Over time, I began to have a hard on and this seemed to excite him.
Then he would ask me if I wanted to suck him!
I was seven years for goodness sake! But I was also more frightened of my parents finding out about my bedwetting than them finding out about his odd request. But I did it. Then the frequency of his requests, I think with the benefit of hindsight, made me bed wet almost every night!
My parents were furious, my brothers teased me ceaselessly, it was only uncle Shina who offered respite.
Of course, over the years, we became close, we shared a secret that as I grew, became something I knew I couldn’t tell my parents. I knew my bedwetting was no story compared with what Uncle Shina and I had been indulging in for years. We had become sexual partners.
I could never say no whenever he came to me and I could never tell anyone.
I suffered mental breakdowns several times at the university because although at that time I had been free of my uncle, I wasn’t free of my demons. I was always angry. I took to drugs to help me feel normal. I do not even know if I know what normal is. Many times I have stolen from my parents and have caused them so much hurt. It was my mother’s earnest wish before she passed on two years ago, to see me succeed like my elder brothers, the pristine sons who could do no wrong because they were born abroad.
I have no relationship with anyone, I do not even like boys, I just want to smoke my ganjam slowly and watch time pass. That was what I was doing with some of my friends at the motor park when police swooped down on the area.
I haven’t committed any crime, yes, yes, I know, I’ve picked a few pockets, stolen a few phones in exchange for coke, nothing serious to warrant being chained like a murderer. But here I am, no thanks to Uncle Shina.