[ Content warning: This post discusses suicidal ideation, self-harm and domestic abuse. At the same time, it is a story of the discovery of inner strength and recovery and is filled with hope. In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-8255. In the UK, the Samaritans can be contacted on 08457 90 90 90. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is on 13 11 14 and In India, the crisis support service Lifeline is 914424640050]
8 February 2013, I was standing at the Saket Metro station, I was thinking of jumping on the train tracks when the next train came in, but then something pulled me back. Maybe it was the thought of my parents or of my nephews, who I had not been allowed to meet in the past one year. I had stayed at my in-law’s house. I had been staying with my parents since the last two weeks.
Standing in a shabby Kurti, hair untidily flowing out of the clutcher with sad eyes, I was continuously thinking what did I do wrong? Didn’t I satisfy their egos? Didn’t I try enough to be a good daughter-in-law despite the fact that I only got criticism for what I cooked, where I went, my curly hair, my skin, my flawed figure, my not-so-thin waist. I was always told that my parents didn’t do enough, they did not make my in-laws happy and the list goes on. I stood there, still thinking that I have done something wrong.
Today, I am heading the Medical Operations of a company, Healthcare Consultant to multiple healthcare start-ups and also modelling for not so well known Brands but getting there slowly. This part is mainly to boost my low self-esteem, my inability to see myself in the mirror and feel good about myself. Proud parents, doting nephews, excellent work atmosphere all add up to a happy face of a strong woman, who made it because she knew she could as she wanted to. The woman who did not end up spending life in a house where no one loved her, where her marriage was a lifetime stamp for a miserable life, a life where permission was needed to even breathe.
In my marriage of one year, I had tried hard to get love, I would be lying if I say he never gave me love. He would, if the conditions were in his favour if his parents were happy, if I was performing, If I looked hot post 9PM, If I was cooking, If my hair were straight. There would be an overflow of emotions, If I was not thinking about my parents, If I was not ambitious, If I allowed him to hurt me or twist my wrist or drag me out of the house if I hadn’t cooked well, If I took orders well & did not revolt, if I let him call my parents & humiliate them ye kaisi ladki hai.. lejao isko..kuch sikha ke bhejdo. This list goes on. My confidence was shaky, self-esteem was in pits, I was tired of the fake me, tired of trying to be the perfect daughter in law & yet not getting the love & respect that I deserved. After I left that house, I didn’t know what to do. Log kya kahenge, this killed me more. Move out of the country, hide somewhere , do not go out too often, People suggested all kind of things and life became even more difficult but not giving up was the key. I faced it, stayed here, didn’t run away, answered everybody’s questions, and trusted the future. I gave back the engagement ring which was so heavy that it pulled me down. I could not take the burden, it didn’t let me fly, it didn’t let me dream & above all, it didn’t answer my need for love & companionship, so I took it out & returned it.
These 3 years have been amazingly different for me. From a simple down to earth, happy with the usual and not very ambitious person to a highly energetic, dreamer, believer, and performer kind of a person. I thank my stars I didn’t jump that day, succumbing to pressures that had been imposed on me. I would not have not seen this life which is so beautiful. Marriage is important, but the right way is to dream big, fly high, know your dreams & then fall in love in the process. The imposed way of society is not the best way. Life today, has no limitations to become what I want to be, to get love which is based on compatibility and happiness. So, I want to convey this message that Stay Hopeful & always remember this too shall Pass.”
Submitted By – Prachi Bhutani
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