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Cecylia arrived Winnipeg with her little girl and husband in February 2014. Talk of a baptism into the Canadian cold. She soon learned that her town is jokingly referred to as “Winterpeg” by many people.
Born and raised a devoted Catholic, she grew up in rural Poland where everyone knew everyone. It was a really closely knit community.
She remembers spending most of her summer playing on a village farm with Hanna and Elżbieta. Elżbieta’s dad was the High School principal.
“Mum, it’s 12.30pm, can I go out and play with my friends now?” Cecylia’s daughter jolted her out of her reminiscence.
Cecylia sighed, looked at her daughter and as she glanced at the clock, her eyes caught the calendar – it was July 14.
She is yet to get over the pain of that dark evening – Friday, July 14, 1989.
She caught her thoughts drifting away again. “It’s okay darling, promise me you’ll be okay and be back here in two hours.”
“I promise. I promise.”
As her daughter closed the kitchen door behind her, Cecylia once again felt the July 14 emotions. Elżbieta’s brother who was 16 at the time had taken advantage of her and Hanna. They were only 10 and, being very close family friends, no one suspected Jan.
And in a village of less than a thousand religious people, who could have imagined anything of that sort happening?
Jan had on multiple occasions looked at herself and Hanna lustfully — always focused on their chests when they played. They didn’t understand it and when he had the chance — which happened frequently, he would rub himself against them and seize every opportunity to hug them tightly.
Sadly, that fateful Friday evening, Jan crept under their living room table where they sat playing a game and violated them with a pencil. Initially, she felt a hand in her skirt and was startled. Then the pencil. And the strange feeling.
Horrific. She was too shocked and scared to shout or discuss anything with anyone. While the experience felt strange and painful, even initially leading to her inability to hold her bladder after the experience, she did not comprehend it.
Unknown to her husband, that trauma is partly why she made the decision to move to Canada, away from that neighborhood, which was a usual trigger of the painful memories.
Unfortunately, a move to Canada has not eased the psychological pain. And on every July 14, she would literally go through the same emotional shock again.
Little wonder she is becoming a helicopter parent and scared of having more kids in case she ends up with more girls. She continues to struggle with social isolation and a lack of trust in others, further complicating her integration hurdles.
Cecylia is now getting help to overcome the trauma, but to every parent or guardian of a girl she says, “get close to your daughter, create an open atmosphere of free communication and teach them boundaries at a very young age.”
At Thrive Conference 2021, we have a specific session that will be addressing this and more about women and how to take back control! Register here.
Written by Dapo Bankole.
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