Hello All. Gosh, it has been so long since I have been here. Years that feel like decades. It brings back fresh anxiety but I find myself smiling, thinking of how far I've come since those days.
I am glad to let you know my friends that about 18 months ago I stopped calling myself a victim and started referring to myself as a survivor! Because I am! Against all the odds, I made it! And I don't think I could have done it without the help of the generous people at Malesurvivor, Isurvive and Amsosa (Survivor Swindon). No, I know I couldn't have done it without them, and many others. This is why I am here today. I have come to ask for your help once more.
I have finally decided, after much persuasion, to write an auto-biography. It is a very tragic story (as is all of ours) that could potentially create a revolution as it gives voice to the silent thousands that are in the modern Asian male demographic. I want to launch this book from within the survivor community itself because no one has the passion that we have. I want this to be our voice. This is our Voice, silent or not. And if anyone would like to help me, please let me know.
The following extract is not from the book itself but it is a declaration of the book. It will give you a good understanding of the book too. It is a first draft, completely unrevised, with that in mind I welcome even the most ruthless criticism. I can take it, I'd actually enjoy it because it all helps. I call this my burn declaration. Please read it at least once and then decide if you can help me with this book or not. Thank you.
The Black Book Of Jango
For a long time now many people have told me to write an autobiography but have I always told them that I never could because it will burn so many people including my loved ones. I always thought that I would take certain secrets to my grave as sharing them could tear families apart. So why am I writing this now? What has changed? To be honest, nothing, except my perspective.
As you can already tell I donít have the happiest background. As a child I was subjected to many forms of abuse including sexual. But that is not the worst part of it. It is not so much the abuse itself that has been so damaging, so crippling, but the context in which it is carried out within the Asian, especially the Bengoli ďMuslimĒ community.
We Muslims pride ourselves in being the most just and fair of people yet we sweep such unforgivable crimes under the rug as rape and domestic violence. We are taught to tolerate it and even accept it as a way of life and then we expect our communities to thrive when we have cracked our foundations, broken our children. So we must ask ourselves if all of these labels people pin on us today are all lies or have we given reasons for people to say these things about us today. Have we given the world ammunition so that the few of us who truly try to live life as a real Muslim are condemned by the majority who no longer even know what it means to be a Muslim.
The majority of my life I remained silent about all the abuse in my past. Then I met my wife, Halima, the very first person I ever confided in. The most innocent and naÔve person I have ever met. She was completely out of her time and everything I wished to be again, but of course she was everything I could never be again and soon the problems followed like a wave crashing down from a broken dam. My marital problems forced me to accept that I had many pathological issues that needed serious addressing.
As anyone in my position will know, the NHS Mental Health Services is a joke and a slap on the face of anyone who has been truly traumatised. Charity organisations however are a very different matter all together. Most of my therapy and recovery took the form of research into the shady field of child abuse and incest. After a while of researching I found a charity organisation called Sandwell Womenís Aid which was only fifteen minute walk from where I lived. I had to fight and even face a disciplinary to get the time off work to attend regular counseling but I won that fight and was finally able to start getting the help I needed.
After about six months of counseling I had to admit a fact to myself. For as long as I can remember, I have lived in denial, not accepting the truth of the things that have happened to me. But I can no longer live in denial. I have come too far along the road to recovery to be granted that privilege and now I must accept one fact. One of my abusers when I was younger was not just an opportunistic pedophile like the others. He was an active predator who fed on weak children, that monstrous child of the human species that we like to ignore. He would get his victims addicted to drugs or use their addictions against them and then often share his prize with his fellow hunters. And the fact of the matter is that he is still doing this to this very day. Certain leopards never change their spots. This is a truth that I must face. As I can no longer hide behind the illusion of denial I must take responsibility so that my fate does not become the fate of others. With this new revelation weighing heavily on my heart I went to the police, to do what I could to save even one childís life.
I did not do this for justice or revenge, do not misunderstand me, I want justice more than anything but there is nothing that our legal system can do that will deliver me justice. They could lock them all away forever and throw away the keys but it would not undo the chaos that they have created in my life, a snowball that may never stop. They could compensate me with any amount of money but it would not buy me a ticket out of the misery that surrounds me and my family. My curse is that I must live this life which has been assigned to me and live it to the best I can. My promise is that I will be delivered justice, true justice when we all stand on that final plain where we shall face our maker and there shall be no veil between Him and us. Our secrets, our choices, our entire lives shall be laid out in front of us for us to see and we shall be judged by the only one who can judge us. The only judge who knows the root of all our thoughts though we may not know it ourselves and who can take everything into consideration. He who seeís beyond our race, creed or colour. The only one who can hold every man and mankind accountable for his actions. That is when my justice shall be delivered. When the flames shall rise from the depths of hell. My friends think me weak for this philosophy, they would not be able to resist taking justice into their own hands but I have a clearer though more complicated outlook on life and expect a greater justice than any man could ever deliver me or I could even achieve myself. So no, I did not do this for my benefit. I did it so that it may stop other children from being abused in the future.
Four years on and I find myself at a similar cross roads. I see that I must endure the pain that sharing certain secrets may bring so that it may benefit others who as of yet have no voice. I realise a stark fact as I look back on all the years of research that I did as part of my recovery. I joined many survivor sites where I was able to gain some closure from others who had been brave enough to share their experiences. I attended an anti-child abuse rally where I even gave a small speech. I read as many medical journals and autobiographies as I could, eating the words up, page after page, like it was food for my soul. However not one piece of research I found looked into the dynamics of abuse within the Asian community, not even a single survivor that I met throughout the years has been Asian. Does this mean that child abuse rarely happens amongst Asians? I can tell you the answer is certainly no!
Growing up I have known many children who were being abused, many abusers who have preyed on many different children that I have never met. It is as rampant in the Asian community as maybe the consumption of samosas. So if I encountered so many victims growing up why have I not met a single survivor as an adult? Why is there a huge whole in the research of incest within the Asian community? It is because the Asian culture teaches us to sweep the problem under the rug and when we cannot ignore it because it is staring us in the face and wonít go away we like to blame the children. Somehow they have enticed the adults into abusing them and are the devilís children (sounds a bit medieval, I know).
All of this has left abuse and incest within Asians as a taboo subject that is never discussed and has left the victims in an even darker corner where they become mute to the pain and will never speak out. Furthermore due to its highly secretive nature and the context within which it is carried out Asian victims are at much greater risk of repeating the cycle of abuse and becoming abusers themselves (a very real fear I lived with for most of my life until I sought counseling and realised I could never do that to another child) than their more liberated western counterparts where support is more readily given.
For all the oppressed people in any community to stand united there must always be one individual who speaks out, alone, not knowing if he will receive any support or if he himself will be burnt. I realise that this must be me as no one else will do it. Denial deserts me again and I pick up my pen in the hope that I may give voice to the silent screams of entire generations.
So I make this declaration. Many people will be burnt by the creation of this book but itís goal is to give courage to thousands who quietly punish themselves everyday for the crimes of others. This is not acceptable! It must stop now! And if this book can give courage to even one person to break the silence, to start on the road to their own recovery then it will be worth it. To the ones who will be burnt I offer no apologies, it is a fire that you yourself have created. To my family, I love you, every single one of you, even if we have had our differences and hope you can understand my noble intentions and though I do not apologise for it I hope you can forgive me for sharing certain secrets. The reason I have been weary of writing an autobiography is that I cannot pick and choose what I share. I will have to reveal the ugliness within my community and within myself without any reservations or discriminations. If I am to speak the truth then I will have to speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. And the truth will out!
Bull fight critics, ranked in rows
Crowd the enormous plaza full,
But only one is there who knows
And he's the man that fights the bull.