Just a Tiny Pin Prick

Trigger warning / “A Part of Me” campaign:
This story could contain potentially sensitive and/or triggering material, especially for victims of female genital mutilation. Please remember to check in with yourself as you read and to stop reading if it gets too overwhelming.

I was in sixth grade.
I got home one day,
And mama told me
“Go take a shower.
We’re going out.”
I thought we were visiting a relative.
I asked her where to,
“We’re going to the doctor.”
She explained circumcision to me,
“It’s a simple process.
It’s like a tiny pin prick.
It’s for purity.”
I don’t understand how this is considered purity,
When it only hurts girls.

“Girls in Europe don’t go through this,” I told them.
“Shut up! Do you want to grow up to be horny?” they asked.
They don’t know how much I think about it,
And how it makes me feel weird.
I’m afraid of sex and relationships in general.
I sometimes masturbate.

I was scared when they took me to the doctor,
I kept crying.
He was both an internist and a surgeon.
Baba and mama came with me,
And another woman I didn’t know.
He gave me six injections,
And then used something like a laser device.
I could smell smoke coming out of it.
He asked baba and mama,
“Is this enough? Or should I cut more?”
“That’s enough. Good job,” they told him.
It’s as if they were cutting up a piece of meat.
When the procedure was done, they wrapped me in a bedsheet.
My father and uncle carried me.
And they took me to my room.
Everyone in the street saw me.
My grandmother was happy,
But I was in so much pain.

I wish I’d die instead of having to think about it.
I don’t feel very confident.
I don’t have a good relationship with God.
I’m scared of being in a relationship.

When we went to the doctor he was surprised that I was in sixth grade.
He thought I was too old,
And they should’ve brought me in when I was younger.
“Our girls have to be circumcised.”
“Do you want to leave her until she becomes horny and unruly?”

Until now, I’m scared to go to the doctor.

Warning The stories on our story archive could contain potentially sensitive and/or triggering material. If a story causes you discomfort or pain, please remember to breathe and check in with yourself before continuing or stop reading completely if necessary.