Born into the family of a man who believed that women are good for just one thing, if not an unwanted child, I am a burden for sure on my father. At least that is what I am made to feel every now and then. It’s not that my father doesn’t love me. He does, a lot, but that is not enough, is it? If not accompanied with emotional security, love does more harm than good, and I am a victim of this INSECURE love. Even though I am a girl, I am my father’s daughter and his first child too. He is against women, but no man can be against his own child. My father loves me but I believe that somewhere, in his misconceptions and hatred towards women, he could not give me the confidence that I can rely on my family and that they would stand by me throughout my life.. My mistakes were regarded as default characteristics of women and not the fact that it is human to err. Every time I did something wrong, I was told that I committed a mistake not because I am a human, but because I am a GIRLa. His words were harsh enough to humiliate me, often cry myself to sleep and above all, to make me struggle for MY OWN SELF ESTEEM, each and every day.
My father never wanted to get married, but changed his mind on my grandmother’s insistence. As they say, a man convicted against his will, is of the same opinion still, my father was always against women and so is he now. Mom faced and still faces the consequences by being a victim of SEVERE domestic violence, verbal abuse and humiliation right since the day she married my father. I have been witnessing domestic violence in my home or perhaps flat, since childhood. I have faced gender discrimination too and I come from a family where the HOLLOW family respect is given more importance than the individual happiness of children, especially girls. The worst part is that my parents follow conservative style of thinking while I prefer a liberal one. I have seen my mother being beaten up for absolutely no reason. I have seen the way her individuality has constantly been disrespected but, my mom, a person of conservative thoughts, believes that honour is in suffering.
I could not shut my eyes to my environment and it was impossible for me escape its effects. Slowly, I became vulnerable, very vulnerable. I wanted to stay from home for as long as possible. The world outside your home isn’t that safe, but didn’t bother, because I just wanted to escape pain. It took 2 years for me to realize that I have to be a victor, not a victim, that only I can claim my life and change it for the betterment.
I never really understood as to why honour lies in suffering? My mom has been living a submissive life right since her marriage; I chose to be different and started acting accordingly. But that wasn’t a cakewalk either. According to my parents, I should learn not to live my life on my own terms, give no respect to my individuality, should be submissive and tolerant JUST BECAUSE I AM A GIRL. What hurts more is that instead of giving me the strength to stand up for myself, she is asking me to get accustomed to suffering, just because I am a girl. I can understand that the strained relationship between her and my father bothers her and makes her feel insecure about my future but is that reason enough for her to rebuke, reject and insult me? Is that reason enough for her to teach me to suffer? I can understand that she gets irritated due to all that she has been suffering for so long but then, on one hand she is taking it all so that her children don’t go through the ordeal of parental separation, while on other she abuses her kids by insulting, humiliating, discouraging and scolding them, merely out of irritation. How correct is it for her show my father’s anger on me and my brother, that too DAILY??? What is our fault? Are we not suffering?
We have seen our mom being abused and rebuked by her own husband. I have had many moments when I pressed myself to the wall out of the fear of the existing domestic violence in the house. There have been times when I felt that marriages are a man’s licence to OWN a woman. I have felt crunches in my stomach while witnessing the violence and found myself engulfed with the mixed feelings of rejection, fear, anger, nuisance, useless etc. Now what is reason for me to bear humiliation and insult from my own mother? Many people think that I have problems with my parents, especially my mother because I don’t listen to them, but, should I succumb to negativity and oppression just because my parents think that I should be doing so because I am a girl? Is being a girl a crime?
The prevalence of domestic violence, gender discrimination and rejection in the home made my home merely a flat to me. Filled with insecurity, I find it hard to trust people. At times, I feel that I should have opted for substance abuse. Yes! at times I indeed do feel that helpless
I know that I am being well loved and well taken care of by my parents but the negativity of domestic violence and gender discrimination is something that no child/teenager deserves. I firmly believe that “No amount of love and luxury can ever compensate for the lack of emotional security in a child.”
– Rupali Tyagi.