I was enslaved to sex and alcohol for 10 years
Posted Tuesday, July 24 2012 at 19:00
- Titus Ndiritu was seven when he was first sexually abused by a househelp. The abuse would later lead to sex and alcohol addiction
Not many people would be courageous enough to freely talk about their tainted past, especially if this past has to do with alcoholism and sex addiction, taboo subjects in our society. And yet 32-year-old Titus Ndiritu has done exactly this.
His troubling past is recorded in his memoirs, What I Never Told You: Memoirs of a Recovering Addict, a book that is a must-read for parents who have to leave their children in the care of house helps while they are at work.
Ndiritu’s is a heart-wrenching account of a little boy who is introduced to sex at the tender age of seven, but is too ashamed and scared to tell his parents, both teachers, about the abuse.
It began in 1987 following the arrival of a new house help. She would make him fondle her inappropriately, as she did the same to him. And if, as happened during the first encounter, someone walked in on them, she would spank him to make it appear as if she was punishing him for some wrong-doing.
“She always abused me behind a mask of kindness, always encouraging me to touch her first, as if it were my idea. Though it was terrifying, it made me feel special…it made me feel pleasure,” Ndiritu writes in his book.
Ndiritu and his five siblings were usually left in the care of a house help, since his parents went to work.
“Maybe if we spent sufficient time with each other, they would have observed the change in me. If they had asked me, I would have told them,” he says.
What the househelp did to him —undressing him and fondling his genitals or having him look at her as she bathed or dressed — gradually hooked him to something he had no business experiencing at that age.
By the time she left 15 months later, the damage had been done. Ndiritu would re-enact what the househelp had taught him with the young neighbourhood girls. Somehow, his actions went unnoticed.
He had his first sexual experience at 15 years, while in form two, with a student he met during the schools drama festival. From then on, there was no stopping him.
“I developed an uncontrollable sexual urge. Anytime I saw an attractive girl, I wanted to have sex with her. If I couldn’t, I would masturbate,” he says.
By the time he completed secondary school, he had started to sleep with multiple partners, mostly girls at his school and those he went to church with.
But his sexual encounters always left him feeling ashamed, such that when a couple of his classmates introduced him to cigarettes, bhang and alcohol in form one; he gladly embraced the drugs, the alcohol especially, when he found out that it numbed his conscience.
“Although the drinking started in small doses, by the time he completed secondary school, Ndiritu had become a heavy drinker.
The first sign of trouble emerged in 2001, when he decided to drop out of college. He was studying accounts at the Kenya College of Accountancy, and had just two more sections to go to become a Certified Public Account.
“It wasn’t for lack of school fees, that much I can tell you,” he comments.
Soon afterwards, he got a job as a school bursar in 2003, only to be dismissed a year later due to heavy drinking. All the while, he’d have casual sex, sometimes unprotected, and then he’d drown the shame in alcohol. When he lost this job, he went into rehab, determined to cure his addiction to alcohol.
“I never thought, not once, that my preoccupation with sex was a disease,” he says.