Sunday, March 8, 2009

'coz love DOESN'T hurt

She was barely 6 when she saw her kindergaten going sibling being beaten up by Dad for having lost her golden earbobs at school. She doesn't remember doing anything other than crying out loud.
Golden ear-rings are very valuable. Not to be lost. That's the lesson she learned that day.

She was 9 when she saw Dad getting mad at Mom. Mom tried to reason. She was beaten up more. That evening before he stepped out, he warned that if he comes back to see any of them home, he will kill them all. Mom wept till there were no more tears.
She was petrified. She begged and pleaded with Mom to go to their grandmothers place. She didn't want her family dead. A few days later, Dad came to take them home. The first time she had a heart-to-heart talk with Dad.. The first time she saw him cry. He said he was about to kill himself that day, when he didn't find them home. But he didn't.. just for them kids. She felt guilty that day, to have coaxed Mom to leave home.
Hell or Heaven, you just can't run away from Home, no matter what, 'coz the consequences could be worse. That was her lesson learnt.

She was 12 when Dad threw them out of Home in the middle of the night, after another frightful show of rage. Sitting outside the door, she wanted to cry out loud, but wouldn't as she didn't want the neighbours to know about it too.
She leant, Whatever happens within the four walls of home, you need to keep it a secret.

She was 15 when she tried to hold his hands back, from punching Mom. She said "Don't you dare hurt my Mom anymore". He beat her up black and blue. That day she almost got stabbed by an iron rod.
Mom got mad at her too, later. She didn't want her daughter to end up with a broken arm or leg, because she has a long life to live and it would make it difficult if she gets crippled for life.
She learnt, she has to think of her safety, first. It's a long life ahead, afterall.

The next time it happened, she just cowered in her bed, beneath the sheets.. She prayed that it got over soon.. and when the noises would subside, she'll wonder how badly Mom could've got hurt..
She might have to be taken to the hospital?
Could she be possibly dead?
What would she tell the police, then?
Would she tell them the truth?
Will they then take away Dad too? or should she just lie? could she do that?
What if Dad then kills himself too? how will she live the life of an orphan, then?


"Why don't you leave him, Mom?" she would ask Mom. Mom said she's putting up with all this for the sake of them kids. The world isn't too kind to kids from broken families.. more so to girls.
Somewhere deep within, she felt a pang of guilt. "Mom's suffering all this because of us. If we weren't there, she could've lived a li'l more human life."

She was 18 when she tried to kick Mom and hit her, because she got angry with Mom for something. Mom told her: "You're growing up to become just like your Dad".
She learnt what she has got in inheritance, without even realising it. She did everything in her powers to get rid of her bad temper.

She was 21 when she raised her voice to stop Dad from hurting Mom. She was told to stay away from his family matters. It's his Home, he'll do what he wants, he said.
That day, she learnt that her Home wasn't quite 'her' Home.

She was 24 when he came charging towards her to hit her for not listening to him. He slapped her across her face. The whole world was swinging in front of her eyes, before she could try and hold his hands back. You don't quite manage to strike the right balance to stand straight when the world swings around you, do you? By then, the next blow would land on the other side of her face. And the next, and the next..
She learnt that there's only one way to live in a world that doesn't swing. And that's to create a world of her own. Far, as far away as possible, from this unstable world. Which she did, eventually. Somewhere deep inside she knew she was running away, but then, running away is better than fighting a lost fight, right?

At 27, she could never have a steady relationship, and always blamed herself for sending out some jinxed vibes which always attracted the wrong kind of people.. the ones who broke her trust, her heart and crushed her spirit, in their own ways.

At 30, she got a call from home, in the middle of the night. It was Dad, who called up to let her know how Mom didn't obey him and did something which drove him mad. She talked to Mom, who was sobbing and mumbling incoherently. "He woke me up in the middle of the night and started hitting me. I don't know what's happening". Dad took up the phone and told her that he's going to teach Mom a lesson. He's going to throw her out. or else, kill himself. "Only then she'll learn her lesson", he said.. She begged him not to. And prayed the whole night to God, to send his angels around her family and keep everyone safe. Her mind raced back to all those fears which were rooted in her heart since childhood.


How badly is she hurt? Her body wouldn't be able to stand all this abuse at this age..
Will he kill her?
Will he kill her and then kill himself?
How will I deal with it?
Will he throw her away?
Where will she go in the night, then?
Should I go home?
Mom went through all this for me. She doesn't deserve to be put through all this for my sake anymore..

She knew her mind was working insane. She wondered whether she'd ever feel normal again?

And then she decided, she's never going to live in fear.. If something goes wrong, she'll face it when that comes.. She's not going to die another thousand deaths in the fear of one. She had made up her mind.

What would she do to see an end to her misery?
Your guess is as good as mine.

******************************************

True, you wouldn't want to ring the bells and have the offender and the sufferer, both blame you for intervening in their personal matter. Just give a thought to those tiny souls inside who are terrorised to death. They'd sure thank you for atleast bringing a pause to their misery.



Just like anyone of us, even I'm skeptical whether ringing a bell would really bring domestic violence to a screeching halt. It probably wouldn't. But it can surely help curb it. You wouldn't want to talk to them? Then Don't. Just ring the bell and go away. Keep ringing the bell everytime it happens. Being passive about it is as good as encouraging it.

What can we do to ensure that this doesn't become a way of life and gets passed down to the next generation? Make sure that our kids are taught that it's the most cowardly thing to do. For that, we need to set them good examples.. by not indulging in Domestic violence, not suffering it in silence, and by being there to rescue the hapless souls who're subject to it.

Do watch this video - How come, How long?.. A very deep video on Deomestic Violence. If you are one of those people like me, who has ever tried to increase the Television volume, so that the disturbing noises of verbal and physical abuse from the apartment nextdoor wouldn't reach your ears, then this would definitely touch your hearts.

Home is the safest place we have on Earth. No one deserves to live a scared life in their Homes.

You would ring the bell, won't you?

[Cross-posted here at Bellbajao.org for their blogging event on International Women's day]

ps: okay, I know it's been too many video links from this single post.. but I HAVE TO, HAVE TO put up this very inspirational long-forgotten song which I bumped into, today.. An ode to all the women I know who had it in them to break those shackles which bound them away from life.

Happy Women's Day!!

13 comments:

  1. a very sad truth - the DM in our homes.... as you said, the baby steps to prevent DM should start from our home - we should teach our kids that it is the most cowardly thing to do.

    and yeah - that somng - man ke manjeere - am listeningto this and some otehr tracks from subha mudgal for the last few days... :)

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  2. Sad but a very true situation in many homes across our nation. I knew one such girl and you were right about the '@27' part :(

    take care mate.. cheers...

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  3. its a sad truth..
    and you are right regarding the coming generation as well.. i dont know about girls, but a boy coming from such a family will definitely have his fathers trait and this will go on like this..

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  4. @anoop: hey yeah, me too's been listening to Shubha Mudgal songs, since I bumped into this one yesterday.. Wonder why we don't get to hear enough of her in mainstream music albums these days. I remember being sooo hooked on to 'ab ke saawan' and 'seekho na' during those days, that I used to keep humming them all day!
    'Mann ke manjeere' is more special to me 'coz of Mita Vasisht too.. don't you think she looks just phenomenal in the video!

    @arv: hmm.. I have a friend who's into big time psychology studies and a family counsellor by profession. She says, it's a regular phenomenon. Girls from abusive families apparently pick up this trait of being way too submissive, and put up with all that crap, believing that they actually deserve being treated that way... that they must've done something wrong themselves, and that the abuse was warranted. They're always ready to take the blame on themselves and suffer in silence, because it has already become a way of life for them. Another aspect of it is that they believe it's all being done "out of love".. They just accept it as another aspect of love, which is ridiculous..
    Acc. to theory, they generally develop affinity towards getting involved in abusive relationships (emotionally / mentally, if not physically), without even realising it. It all happens apparently at a very subconscious level.

    So, if you have a friend suffering from this syndrome, be there for her.. help to see her the very logical, practical side of things before she dives into another abusive relationship.

    @amal: welcome, and thanks for stopping by to comment!

    what you just said is true too.. Again, acc to theory, kids just assume that it is a "way of disciplining".. Their parents gave it to them, and they pass it on to their kids. The institution of family is such that you just inherit it.. You are born into it, imbibe it, follow it, and pass it on to gen next.

    But if we know anyone who's suffering from it, we should know that this isn't an incurable desease. It's a trait which can be cured with some good introspection, and realisation of the fact that it isn't quite about disciplining, or teaching a lesson, but just an unhealthy way of relieving pent up stress and frustrations, which should be avoided at any cost.

    Life already has enough challenges in store for everyone. We can very well do without more abuse at Home.

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  5. thanks.. i wish to be a regular reader here.
    coming to the topic, most kids take what there parents do as the best or most logical thing and will definitely do them, may it be regarding family matters or something like being dishonest, lying or corruption etc

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  6. usha, that was one of the best way one could pass the msg!

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  7. @amal: very true!

    @sawan: thanks! If the post could communicate the pain, helplessness, anguish and fear, to sensitise atleast a handful of people, I would consider my mission for the post, truly accomplished.

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  8. Kids would do a lot better with separated parents than with those that kill without killing.

    But somehow message is passed to every younger generation that no matter what, you should stick on with marriage, even if you kill yurself - for your kids. Like the kids were happy to see it!

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  9. you said it!
    Kids would be much better off with seperated parents, than deal with DV. The stigma associated with coming from a broken family (as they say) would be comparatively easier to deal with, than suffering in silence and losing confidence in the whole institution of marriage / family, thinking of it as some kind of a life-long suffocating bondage to live with. They get cheated of discovering the unfailing support system that a family is supposed to provide every individual.

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  10. Very well written! Wish there was a helpline to report such crimes. We Indians savour domestic violence as juicy gossip to be discussed next day among our neighbors & not to help the victims. Sometimes the victims are just toddlers who can't even utter a word. Such cases shake our faith in human beings.

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  11. @paresh: The gossip part is sad but true. We all have that sadistic streak in us somewhere, I guess. Wish we could be more empathetic to the sufferings of others.

    This is a link to some of the helplines (citywise) listed at bellbajao.org: http://bellbajao.org/mediawiki/index.php5?title=Main_Page#Helpline_and_Services

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  12. That is one heart wrenching post! Makes you feel so terribly sad.
    Yes, ringing the bell and going away seems a better option than talking to people who will inevitably come up with the 'Don't interfere in our internal affairs' argument.

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  13. @shail: right. what needs to be done, has to be done!

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