Do you remember the time our class teacher had humiliated you in front of the whole class for not submitting your homework on time? You had told me, your friend, that you will never give her another chance to insult you again and you never did! Then what happened 20 years later my friend?
I remember when you were dating your boyfriend, now your husband, once you didn’t reach your meeting place on time and he abused you publicly by calling you a “filthy late bitch.” You were shocked and cried on my lap. I had told you to immediately break up with him. But you were so madly in love with him that you forgave him the very next day when he said sorry.
You were so excited and participated in all your marriage festivities with fervor. On your mehendi night, he called you up and cursed your family and you as he and his family felt you people didn’t match up to their standards of wedding preparations. Even the marriage was a big drama with him and his parents insulting you and your parents at every step. Every time you forgave him because you loved him.
On your first night, his mother had asked you to hand over all your ornaments to her and you refused. I still can’t forget the black mark beneath your eye and your swollen bruised lips the next day when you came for “pag phera” at your parents’ place. This became a daily routine for you. His violent outbursts, abusive language, thrashings, rape, etc. He wouldn’t allow you to speak with your parents, would never let your parents visit you. The demands kept on increasing.
My pretty friend, you became pale and lifeless. You wanted to come back but your parents feared “log kya kahenge” and asked you to adjust. Amidst all these, you discovered that you were pregnant. You felt your husband and in-laws would change now. But you were so wrong. They kept insisting that you bear a son; chromosomes be damned!
I still remember the day your beautiful little daughter was born. Your husband slapped you in that delicate stage. He didn’t take his own daughter in his arms; he didn’t even look at the angel. Your in-laws didn’t come to visit you.
Now your daughter is 2 months old and you are contemplating going back. Your parents are willing to “seek forgiveness” for a fault that you haven’t committed; the fault that is your daughter.
My friend, don’t go back! Be the girl you were 20 years back when you had promised that our teacher wouldn’t insult you again. A father who hasn’t seen his darling daughter’s face, a husband who has slapped his just postpartum wife doesn’t deserve your forgiveness any more. Even if you go back, can you fathom what will be your and your daughter’s condition there? You have tolerated all the abuse and violence for all these years thinking your husband would some day mend his ways. But now do you want your daughter to go through the same ordeal as you? Would you want her to give a life of humiliation and unacceptability? You are the one whom she recognizes now, trusts blindly, and will always depend on, look up to you to protect her, give her strength. Don’t repeat the mistake that your parents are committing now, of not supporting you. You know how much it hurts. The very people who are supposed to protect you, love you; your parents and husband, are nowhere in your support.
But my friend, you are a strong girl. Don’t go back. Your education and inner strength will help you. Of course, the road isn’t going to be easy. But at least you will lead a life of dignity and freedom. You have to gear up for another battle; divorce, societal pressure, parental pressure, hurtful remarks. But remember, nobody is in your shoes. You have had enough, now protect yourself and your daughter. Make yourself strong and resilient, make your daughter strong and bold.
A marriage is a happy one only when there is a bond, not bondage.
Much love and strength to you.
Note: I went through Meena Kandasamy’s blog in this Sunday’s Times of India and was very impressed by her honesty and her fearlessness. Her decision to walk out of an abusive marriage is not a step that still many educated women take till date. That’s why I want to read her inspiring story, When I Hit You,