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I was circumcized at the age of 8. And In case you’re wondering, I am female. XX chromosome.
Both my parents are well educated. Till date, I wonder what they were thinking.
It was a Friday morning. I was in primary 4 at the time. I was dressed and ready for school. Myself and my 4 siblings were ready to leave for school, when my dad asked me and my sister to stay back. He wouldn’t tell us why. My mum looked like she had been crying, and I remember wondering what the hell was going on.
A short while later, 4 men arrived our house. I only knew one of them; my paternal uncle. After their arrival, my dad asked us ( me and my big sis) to go to our room. He came to our room moments later, told my sister to remove her skirt and underwear, and follow him. They couldn’t have been gone for more than 30 seconds, when I heard a horrifying, heart-wrenching scream from my sister. I didn’t understand what was going on, but I was frozen with fear.
This went on a while. Then my dad came and gave me the same instructions. I had to obey. I followed him to the sitting room. One of the men was cleaning blood from the dining table. My sister was nowhere in sight. I feared the worst. But the little girl in me trusted that my father will not allow ant hurt to come to us.
One of the men lifted me and pinned me to the table. I tried to struggle, but it was a hopeless fight. Another one covered my eyes, while a third one held my legs apart. Then I felt the first cut…
I screamed and called for my father throughout the ordeal. The pain I went through, I cannot describe with words. It was horrible beyond description.
The following days were a nightmare. Every little movement sent cascades of pain through my body. Passing urine was the most excruciating thing to do.
Eventually, our cuts healed, and we went back to our normal lives. Till this day, no one in my family ever talks about what happened. Or why it happened. Its almost like it never happened. It took a really long time, and a lot of reading and research, for me to know what it was, and understand what actually happened to me.
Female genital mutilation. Every time I come across the phrase, I still get goose pimples all over. It’s like I’m re-living the experience. Its been over 2 decades since. I am married now, with a kid. But I haven’t forgotten. I doubt I will forget anytime soon.
This is my story. My name is _____ and this happened to me.