“Sometimes, in life, we might find ourselves lost in the abyss of someone else’s tyranny.”
^ Now, that’s something I know to be true. I come from a family that has constantly seen instances of domestic violence. My mother and father’s relationship has never been good. And the pain that comes from seeing domestic violence in our homes can only be comprehended by someone who has been a witness to such a thing in their life.
Please don’t feel offended by the above lines. I know there might be people out there who would still comprehend the exact same pain as I do. I just haven’t found anyone come closer to understanding it.
We all have some stories…. Here’s mine :
So, my mother has been arranged marriage to a man for 26 years of her life… A man who, according to me, had been nothing but violent, since the first day of the marriage.
It is hard to recall the times when there was love in my family, because I feel, there NEVER. WAS.
Even though the world is fast changing and people have adapted to new morals, but back in those days, it used to be hard for a woman to walk out of her matrimonial home…. Even difficult, was for her parents, to take her in. Especially, when she had three kids to be taken care of.
There were days when we woke up to shouts and screams coming from downstairs or from the other room…. Days, when we’d see mamma being hit and beaten by my father. Sometimes, the ordeal lasted even an hour or so. As kids, it was hard to comprehend everything. We could know something was wrong, but what it was, was the question our hearts feared to answer?
Out of societal, financial and familial pressures or her own lack of belief, I believe, maama feared to walk out of this man’s house. Whatever her reasons were, I just say, “According to me, she’s a woman with immense strength, even though she’d never want to believe it.”
To walk a daily nightmare so that your children could live their dreams… To make sure that they don’t head for the same life as “SHE” did… Takes orb of courage.
People often questioned her, “Why she couldn’t make the choice of leaving?” I may not be able to know what she felt but sometimes, choices are difficult.
I don’t care if people call her weak, frail now…. Because, at some point of time, these were the same people who told her… ‘COMPROMISE… HE WILL CHANGE… HAVE A KID… LIFE WILL FALL IN PLACE.’
I wish somebody looked past that and told her…. “SAVE YOURSELF… SAVE YOUR SOUL… IT’LL BE HARD TO LIVE WHEN THE PAIN WILL START BREATHING ON YOUR LUNGS, MAKING IT HEAVIER TO BREATHE.. THAT, LIFE WILL SCAR AND DAMAGE YOU…THAT, THE CHILDREN YOU’D STRUGGLE FOR, WOULD BE ROBBED OF THEIR HAPPINESS, EVENTUALLY.
Because, that’s what really happened!
I wish people didn’t have to see violent acts to believe in a woman’s testimony. I wish there never was a need to ask, “What makes this man go violent?”
I wish people tried to look past the mask of goodness my father wore and believed us.
But, ALAS! Everyone is so busy in their own affairs that nobody wants to be in other person’s mess.
Life isn’t served to some on a silver platter. Clearly, she deserved better… Somebody who’d appreciate a woman for the honor and love she brings to her house.
We’re cursed to suffer for people who are important to us. And this kind of suffering, has its own place in the scheme of things. It serves a purpose even though the one who suffers may be entirely free from the taint of sin… Among the gentlest and sweetest souls are sometimes found those who suffer much.
That’s how it was and has been for mamma and us.
A woman’s heart is a deep abyss of feelings unseen and unheard. Even if she’s breaking on the inside, she has this tenderness that guards her…it keeps her sane…it’s her bravery that despite the million things that tore her apart with each passing day, she spoke of nothing but happiness (of her children) and in that, she found her own happiness.
I wish my mother could be a little selfish and thought of, only herself, for awhile.
From everything I’ve learned… In initial years, my mother believed giving this man a chance…Every time he’d start an argument that my mother is robbing him off, of his money.. He’d pick up a fight… Say hurtful things… And then, to make it up to her, become a good man again.
THERE’S NO ‘GOOD’ in that. Ladies, if you think the man will ever change, he won’t. Even if he does, it’ll be too late… Because, the damage would be irreparable… You would have been already humiliated beyond repair.
Being good and trying to make love to you after a physical assault is the mentality of the sick.
It’s been five years…. We, kids have lived through the violence… Because, ever since we intervened in the fights… Out loudening our voices against our father… He never spared us.
There’s some rage in him… An aggression…The look in his eyes during a fight is enough to scare you enough to believe that the man might even kill you, if he didn’t have the fear of his reputation and ending up in jail (which, in fact, is his rightful place.)
Such words triggers a surge of anger in the minds of some people. They’d tell us kids, “HE IS STILL YOUR FATHER…BECAUSE HE GIVES YOU MONEY, HOUSE.!”
Well, I hate to hear that shit.
Wanna know what my father is ? HE is
A person who’d beat his wife when she’s pregnant and tell her he’ll kick her in the womb and kill the child…
A person who’d tell his wife that the kid must be someone else’s…
A person who’d beat her eldest daughter 7 days before her marriage…
A person who’d beat her second daughter and tell her, “She was better off to have been thrown out of house and should beg on roads… Only because she’s revolting.”
A person who’d pick up a knife or whatever his hands can possibly find… And put it near his son’s neck… And tell him, “Talk to me properly… Or I shall kill you.”
A person who curses and abuses my mother’s mother… Calling her indecent, for she was DARING ENOUGH to walk out of an abusive relationship herself… And be with a man who honored her… Who promised to never have kids of his own…. And made the vow to raise the kids my grandma had from her first marriage.”
A person who curses the MAN who didn’t even ABANDON somebody else’s seeds but nurtured all of us with love and care… Raising us like mothers do….A man who loved my grandma so fondly…that he misses her EVERY.SINGLE DAY.
A person who cursed my mother’s brother and wished death should come to him, when uttered the sinful words, “That’s why he is lying on the DEATHBED.”
To recall this incident outrages me…. As it did back then… Because my uncle was no less than a father to me…. I called him “Daddy.” I don’t even remember when was the last time I called my father so.
My uncle is no longer with us, on the physical plane of life…. After his eleven months battle with a disease that was so rare, to make us believe… That he was one in a million and that, GOD only takes away the best.”
My grandmother and uncle were the two pillars that she felt would be there for her rescue when she’d decide to take a step. She did take a step back in 2000, and left the man. For one year, she had to fend on her own and my brother was just a three year old baby back then. I was only 7, my sister was 11. With only a lakh rupees in her hand, she sustained. She toiled, had sleepless nights. Being in her parent’s home, she’d often stay without a meal so as not to burden them. Her’s was a small house, and she’d sit all day in a corner with my baby brother in her laps… Trying to suppress his cries… So that, my grandma doesn’t get disturbed.
She tells us sometimes, “that there comes a time when a woman has no where to go back to….She’d become unwanted in the same house that she once took care of… She’d have to hide her pain from same people she once laughed and lived for.”
She holds no agony against anyone and I salute her for that. She believes her mother wasn’t in a financially sound position herself. She only remember the days when her mother toiled day in and day out to give them a decent life.
Her two pillars are now gone… My grandma and my uncle. And with little or no money, men trying to take advantage of her (distant cousins, in her case) …. And my father trying to reconcile, she decided to move in, because she believed my father would be able to gie us a better living.”
It’s easy to forget the pain that we live with now…. But it’s so hard to imagine what it was like, for my mother, to have been alone in this journey in the years when we were growing up. Together, we are now, ONE!
Time and again when the water went over the head, we’d approach lawyers, they’d ask for high fees. It was hard for us to go any further with the case. More so, it was hard to find a decent advocate who’d guide us with sincerity. “Earlier, when people started out with law, it was more of a profession, and your worth was determined by the service you provided. Now it’s become more of a business, and your worth is determined by the fee you’re able to collect.”
Some suggested, let your daughter get married because she’s of marriageable age, then maybe things will get better. My sister is married for 2 years now and being married into a a family of different caste, her in-laws made life for my sister. It feels like she’s heading for the same life as my grandma did, my mother did.
… And things have only worsened… Because he feels mamma robbed him off of his money… He doesn’t stop his violent acts… Fighting over expenses and other crap.
At times, it feels like there’s only room for sorrow, gloom and despair. We feel helpless because my father has money, contacts.
I’m left with one year of law school life and my brother would finish his school around the same time. With our hopes held high and dreams of future, we all would wish to move out of this house by 2015.
Untile then, it’s all wait!
But, today, on Women’s Day, let me just celebrate this woman… And Thank GOD for her.
As much as I feel I don’t want to be defined by the family I come from, I truly wanna be like my mother. And if someone ever asks me who my father is, “I will hold my head up high and tell them, “MY MOTHER WILL ALWAYS BE MY FATHER.”
Also, I wanna let the brave women out there, who are in the grasp of this suffering. You’re stronger and braver than you’ll ever believe. And even though , kids who grew up seeing violence (physical and verbal) will struggle to make peace and happiness within themselves, they’re givers (because they’ve known the feeling of not having.) They may be scarred or damaged, but most grow up to be strong, independent and productive, kind, compassionate, loving, and so many more adjectives to describe them.
Our mothers wrap us in the gift of love when we’re born… They shower us with love… And that very love will remain our gift to this world!
There’s something I want everyone to see and correlate with :