Me against the world

I read about a girl in Hong Kong, who posted a call for help in the Facebook group, 名校 Secrets. She wrote that she was continuously sexually abused by her father from when she was a young child. Last week, she finally found the courage to speak up about it. First, she told her mom, but she was told to shut up and keep quiet about it, to not tell her brother and sister. After a few days, she couldn't take it anymore, not understanding why her own mom wouldn't help her. She used WhatsApp to inform her siblings about everything. She thought that because they are close in age, they would understand and help her. However, she realised that she imagined the world to be more beautiful than it really is. Her brother kept questioning her story, pressed her to hand over some solid proof, and told her that even if it is real, what happened, already happened, that there is no use in bringing it up. She angrily exclaimed that it is impossible to have proof, when you are sexually abused by a family member in your own house. Just because it is something in the past, does she have no right to get justice? No need to tell right from wrong? Even though she is the victim here, the one who is unhappy, she gets the cold shoulder from her very own family. She expressed sadness and disappointment. Nobody cares about what she says, even her own family members don't believe her. The whole family just defends that beast, nobody even thought of helping her, and nobody treats her like a human being. She is having a hard time and is feeling exhausted. At the end, she asks what she can do.

I have thought hard and I normally always come up with a solution, when I am asked for advice. But this time, I really have no answers. I did look at the comments and they advised:
- Go to the police. This is the advice that most people come up with first, but it isn't as easy as you think. You will have to be strong enough (after all that harm) to undergo heavy questioning (like you are the criminal) by the police, the opposite lawyer, and the judge in the courtroom. Those people won't be nice to you and automatically, be on your side, as it is their job to be objective and strict. You have to be prepared to put your father in jail (no matter how much you hate him, it is still your dad, and it will hurt) and fight against your family members who are protecting them. That is, if it even gets to court. Most cases are suspended, because of lack of evidence and the perpetrator refuses to admit guilt, so it is your story against his. Also, I am not sure if it is that safe to go to the police on your own, when you are a severely (mentally and physically) wounded minor with nobody to support you. No matter what place you go to with your story, never let anyone know that you have nobody (it is like the closed cards with poker, bluff your way out). I am not saying that the police cannot be trusted, but even police officers are merely human. They face a lot of extreme cases on a daily basis and it is possible for them to be biased (they mostly meet people who lie about rape, as going to the police and have a coherent story is difficult and most victims just suffer in silence, so they might get the wrong idea that most people lie about it) or they might fall for temptation due to all the stress. Not to scare you, but just google "woman raped handcuffed by (Hong Kong) police, in police custody, or intoxicated".
- Go talk to friends, trustworthy adults, and social workers at school or at (child) sexual abuse, self-harm, and suicide organizations. First, it is hard to make good friends, when you hate yourself, feel dirty, need to hide something from them, and cannot even trust your own family, let alone strangers. If your friends are very young, I am not sure how well they will react. Hopefully, they will tell their parents and they will reach out to you and help you. But they can also think that you are a liar or even dirty and avoid you (yes, people like this exists). Trustworthy adults are really hard to find in the small social circle that children have, as with the low pay and the high demands, only really motivated people and people who are too interested in children become teachers. Also, people with bad intentions think social worker is a dream job, as it gives them direct access to vulnerable people (easy targets). Most organizations are bound by rules (not sure what kind of directives there are to determine a case severe enough to remove a minor from their direct family) and mostly, they can only listen and talk to you (nothing too out of line). Some mental support is nice and all, but you need to be protected and the abuse need to be stopped asap.
- Some people offered to chat privately. Some may actually be genuine, but I have learned it the hard way that not everyone can be trusted, that people take advantage of vulnerable people, and even though they know you have gone through a lot, they still don't hesitate to harm you even further.
- One of the commenters mentioned the Hollywood movie, Precious (2009), where the mother knows of the sexual abuse and instead of protecting her own child, she looked the other way and did nothing against it. To feel better about herself and make sense of that strange situation, she blamed her daughter for stealing her man and the affection that belonged to her. It is the victim's fault, not mine. When she stood at the crossroad of deciding to save her own daughter or not, she was selfish and chose herself. She wanted to keep her life as is and not lose anything important to her, even if it meant sacrificing her daughter. Not doing anything is easier than fighting and risking all. I cannot help but wonder if this is nature or nurture, as it seems to happen often (even with Ellen). In documentaries, I saw mother animals biting their own children to death to feed the other children, when there isn't enough food. Is it an animal instinct thing to be able to shut down all emotions to act rational enough to save yourself and other children? Or is it that her own mother wasn't protective and warm? So, she could just be mirroring what she saw how a mother should act in those kind of situations. Back in the days, a woman is financially dependent of her father and the dad passes that responsibility on to her future husband (hence, the walking down the isle thing at weddings). We learned to keep quiet and endure everything, such as beatings, mental abuse, and sexual abuse. (Note: a woman can be raped by her husband. It is not like she is his property, with which he can do whatever he wants with). It is scary how little has changed. This kind of thing still happens. I knew it was hard to change things in an old and big company (learned it during business classes), as you need to get one or two influential people on board first, when you have a new idea, and it is a human thing to cling to the old and safe and fear the new. So, you need to gradually introduce change. This is most likely the same in the society too. One or two people need to be brave enough to take the lead and push the change through, advocate it. Someone needs to take the first steps. There is nothing scary about loving only one woman with all you have, to be fully, emotionally present, and to be vulnerable, risking your heart to be broken in thousand pieces. To let her become the person that she wants to be instead of locked down and chained by rules and ancient customs. To let her be your equal, not only her adjusting to all your whims, but both adjusting to eachother, working equally as hard. Knowing all this, may make the victim feel a little bit better. Forgiving her family members might be too much to ask for, but understanding it a little bit, may make things a bit easier for her. Stick to a female family member, preferably a sister or niece, very closely and make it a win-win situation for both to stand up against the father and support each other. Do great at school, so that investing (emotions, beatings taken in your stead, time, money, etc.) in you will pay off in the future. Mostly, the women around manipulative men are easy to persuade and don't have a strong will of their own.

To be honest, all I could think of was that instead of depending on others, who might or not be willing to save you, it is better to do something yourself. Generally, a rapist is like a drug addict, once they planned to do it, even a potato knife in his stomach won't stop him (similar to programmed, brainwashed killer zombies, who you just cannot kill). Strangely enough, once the psychosis wears off, some do seem to turn to normal and walk away without doing something. In a book, I have read about a guy who planned to touch his non-biological daughter inappropriately in the bathroom, but she said she already showered at school. Another time, she hid in a closet somewhere and refused to come out for hours. Nothing happened afterwards. Maybe, he ran out of patience and planned something another day, but that day, she was safe. So, when you can stall the attack long enough or prevent what he had planned, you might be able to avert it entirely. As the victim is a young child and not strong enough to fight against an adult man, I thought it was a good idea to carry weapons that doesn't require strength, such as an electric mosquito zapper (like a tennis racket and I can tell you that it hurts, so imprint in his brain that rape equals pain), spraying or rubbing peppermint, wasabi, pepper, onions, garlic, chili peppers, and ginger in his eyes (no mood anymore, after washing his eyes for hours), pretend to cooperate and kick him between his legs when he least expect it, use ear wax to push in his mouth or teeth with your pinky finger (the bitter flavor will make him very grossed out), rub tiger balm in his private area (it is going to sting for a long time), a long string or scarf that you can tie him up with (after a few hours, he should be too sore to try anything), and use a cactus to prick him. Wear ten layers of clothing which nobody can undress, unless you suck in your belly yourself. Only sleep, when he is at work or at other engagements, where he cannot suddenly escape from midway. Learn to deep sleep instantly, whenever you find an opportunity to sleep. Carry a potato knife (that size does not kill someone) in your sweater sleeve (sew a small pocket or elastic band), to threaten to cut him or yourself in the arm, if the situation calls for it. Better yet, throw a whole bottle of animal blood (from the butcher or something), pee, puke, poop at him, the stench and gore should do the trick. Disturb his sleep, as sleep deprived, he will not be as strong. Sneakily cool down or heat up the room to temperatures unpleasant to fall asleep. Hide alarm clocks, kitchen alarm clocks that ring at different times and are so deeply hidden that it takes a long time to find them. Decrease his testosterone level (sex drive) and increase his estrogen level by making him eat a lot of soy products. Make him paranoia by moving things around like a ghost did it and tell him that he must be imagining things. Strong scents like perfume, rotten fish, garbage cans, etc. disturb sleep too. Put him in constant stress, by hitting him at the back of his head at any moment of the day (quick and swift sneak attacks and run away quickly afterwards) and preferably out in public, where he has to keep his good image intact. He might beat you up badly in return, but it will eventually wear him down. An adult with a stressful and fulltime job can never beat a child with limitless energy and speed and seas of free time to recover. His tactic might be to beat you up very badly once or twice a month to keep you in check and make you too scared to stand up against him and be under his control, but he doesn't have the energy to beat you up many times a day. But all this can make the father more agressive and angry and it may end badly, so I am too scared to advise this to her. The best defense is still not to be alone with him and be outside, when he is in the house, which may be difficult in the current quarantine. I think this is already what she knows, but cannot do, so I am stating the obvious. All I can do is pray that a guardian angel is out there to save her. Even if nobody saves her, she can still leave the house when she turns 18 and live the life that she wants. The damage will be hard to repair and many things in her future might trigger some bad reactions, but if she keeps holding on to the little hope that she has left, she can make it through.

Another 21-year old person wrote in that same Facebook group that he/she believes that being born is his/her fault. Growing up in a single parent family with a father, who is mentally ill, and four siblings of which two have ended their lives themselves, has been difficult. He has developed depression and a borderline personality disorder, because of various reasons. The past seven years were filled with days that he wanted to die for no reason, sleepless nights, and uncontrollably being overtaken by sadness and pain. It hollowed him out and he is too tired to go on. He wrote that there may be no place for him in this world, he said goodbye, and he promised that he will protect everyone from heaven. Hoping that there is no next life.

My Chinese is not that good, but I hope my reply will motivate him to keep on trying.

人生是辛苦多,幸福少,稀有所以珍貴。有人好過你,都有人情況更差。無不勞而穫,時間只會使傷口減輕疼痛,不會完全消失,人人仍然每天都要努力。早上每天好好看鏡子裡的自己同大聲說出你是一個了不起的人,你會努力的。當沒有人愛你時,你需要更加愛自己 。不要想太遠,一步一步來。多運動,食健康食物,對自己好點。一日有笑過一次就足夠了,美麗的夕陽,可愛的小狗,有趣的電視節目,好看的書或漫畫,慢慢增加。學習新事物,幫助有需要的人。就像在遊戲中一樣,每一個挑戰都使你變得更加強,有一天,你可以用來幫助他人。

Translated to English:

Life has more difficult than happy moments, it is because they are so rare that they are precious. There are people in better situations, but also those in worse. There is no gain without pain, time will only make your wounds less painful, it won't go away entirely, every one of us keeps working hard every day despite our scars. Every morning, look yourself in the eyes in the mirror, and loudly speak up to tell yourself that you are an amazing person and that you will work hard. When nobody loves you, you need to love yourself even more. Don't look too far into the future, take one step at a time. Exercise, eat healthy food, and treat yourself better. Trying to achieve to smile once a day is enough, a beautiful sunset, a cute puppy, a funny tv show, a good book or manga, slowly add more. Learn new things, help people in need. Just like in video games, every challenge makes you stronger. One day, you can use your experiences to help others.

These two people reminded me a lot of my childhood. It was me against the world and it was a hard and lonely battle. In the end, I was not able to get the justice that I wanted, but I have learned that not all things go the way you want. There can also be a different justice, giving another meaning to my sufferings. I can help others with similar experiences and I can try to make this world a safer and warmer place. A place, where there is room for everyone. A place where hurt and damaged people are helped and not trampled on even more. A place with less hate and more love.

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