TW: Rape

“My son had TB when he was 6 months old. His skin darkened, his body turned frail and he even lost his speech. When he couldn’t speak a word for years, it was clear that enrolling him into a normal school was tough. When the then Lyonchen visited our village, I begged him to help get my son into a school a village away from ours. He got in but was expelled shortly after. The Principal said my son was a risk to the girls. I wanted to argue but as a single mother, I hesitated. However, I knew that he’d never hurt another person. Afraid that he wouldn’t learn to become an independent adult, I sent him to become a monk. At the monastery, he was bullied and beaten by a monk who was the lam’s nephew. Soon someone we knew brought him back home. I wanted him to get an education but I wanted his safety too. I wished I could move to Thimphu or Paro so he could attend a school for special kids like himself.

He stayed with me for years after that. One night, he was missing from home. After looking everywhere, I saw him walk back from a forest path. Another village boy was following him.I took my son home and demanded to know where he’d been. Of course, he answered with silence. I then asked a question I dreaded, “Did he rape you?” My heart broke when he said yes. I looked for the boy and threatened to report him. He retorted with a “choe ra gatay kay ru kay da!” (Do whatever you want to). I felt furious and did just that. The police were shocked but thankfully responded with help. They took my son to the crime scene to start an investigation. When the boy was arrested, his parents made repeated pleas. Seeing their worried faces and their claims of how their son was only a boy made me give in. They offered me a small sum of Nu. 5000/- which I took reluctantly before taking back all charges. My biggest regret in life is that my son could not get a proper education. Although I fear the things that could happen to him, I want him to be able to live by himself when I’m not around. I tried to get him into another monastery but the principal asked me to take him back. I hope I can find a place for him someday. That is my life’s purpose now.”

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