I don’t know where I need to start. Back in the days, I could just dust off all the sad, hurting and violent incidents and happily live my day. And then, I didn’t really have any friend. It was a constant battle to call even one kid as a friend but still, I could deal with all those “problems”. Maybe that’s the beauty of childhood!
I’m 21 now and Life has been a roller coaster ride all these years, breaking me into multiple pieces. The memories from the past, whenever hits hard at my mind – all of them together, a volcano of pain erupts inside. And to this day, I do not know how to ebb that. Close people around me keep promising that “Everything will be okay” but it never does. Maybe it never will. In that case, I’ll have to learn to live with it. That’s what I told myself – the last time I’d my back against the wall and presumed that life couldn’t stoop any lower. I’d created what I call as “My circle” with people who I knew for sure was worth it. I’d believed that after knowing what they know, they’d never require me to prove my dedication and care for them, anymore. And above all, they wouldn’t hurt the way the rest of the world does. Most of them were my family and they’d tell me thousands of times how they’d always be there for me; that I shouldn’t care what the world says. And though it had come with a price, I’d believed their words. Coz they were family!
Till one day, they’d failed and held me responsible for stuff that I cannot do, even if I’d my life on risk. They – the family members, I was pretty close to (or at least I’d convinced myself to think that way) had shut me out for things that I hadn’t done. And I was not even given a chance to explain. NOT ONE! Instead, I was asked not to be a disturbance anymore in their life. What’s important to mention here is that my family (that’s my mum and I) are in a bankrupt condition and has to be aided by the rest of the family, which is why I feel, our lives are chained and monitored. They feel free to insult, misunderstand and speak ill of my mum in front of me (they have done that even when I was a child); accuse her of stuff that I know she could never have done. My parents had their own troublesome life and they never wanted to be a “GODLY” figure in front of me. They were very much human, making terrible decisions and facing consequences – some of which were too difficult to sort. Moreover, after dad had passed away, my mom has completely lost her interests in life. The bereavement of her husband, her mother and her one of her sisters, on top of that the accusations the rest of siblings has on her, has finally shot the zeal of life, down from her body. So, I normally say that I’ve lost a parent to death and the other, to the cause of it. Talking about my dad – he was a broken man and constantly tried to be a good father but was a horrifying husband (let’s not get into that). But, now when he is dead, I find an answer to all his behaviors and violence, etc. My mum and my dad were caged into this marriage – Literally. Arrange marriages, that’s the term they’ve coined for such occurrences. And had to have me by force as well – the social pressure, as I am told. So, yeah – that’s the perfect word “Caged” for them. (We don’t have a single family picture!) I hardly had the chance to share the confusions and troubles I was facing in my life all throughout my teenage life or early days in school. But I understood their helplessness. They were so done with their own lives that they hardly had time for me until my dad had retired when I was in my ninth grade. But then, I’d started to have a very busy life with extra school hours and tuitions and cultural programs – in short, I’d learned to live without them and it felt safer that way. Only get good scores in the subjects and praises by the teachers on my behaviors – that was enough for them to be more than satisfied. But dad by the end of that term had begun to force into my world – correct what he called an as bad lifestyle and put my life in good discipline, which usually triggered all the fights. Till one day, he’d completely given up on being a father and approached me if I could consider him a friend – just older and wiser in life. I don’t know why and how I’d led my guards off and began to open up to him. I could joke and play and get angry – in general, emote about everything to him. But it was mostly him confessing about what he’d done wrong and what has hurt him more and how people didn’t realize what he felt. I had finally started to feel like I could rely on someone. I was worth something and nothing gives me more happiness than drawing a smile on their faces, especially dad. Even though, my fighting and normal struggle won’t stop; my family wasn’t perfect – I, at least felt like we were beginning to be one. Till 17th Jan, 17 – I had my head on the ice cold chest with hands which wouldn’t come around me despite the tears that were running down. I had lost my father to cancer. It was a long and expensive battle which we lost and mom since then takes the blame on herself. But deep inside, I, at least know that my father was responsible, himself. And the fact that he’d lost his father at a tender age too, (which had his world tumbled down at his feet and still, he chose to be this unconcerned reckless) – angers me. What hurts me more is how he made me open up to him, show me the way to be emotional and groomed my world, making me learn to trust parents – JUST THE PARENTS, and then be gone, like forever, ripping apart mom as well. It’s like pushing a sword through the chest and drawing it back and leaving the victim to bleed on the ground. That’s what I’m now and have been ever since – scraping through life.
This is just one side of the story. I have a cousin – a brother, my “complete friend” as I used to call him. He was priceless in my life. He was there when my mum and dad were busy with their lives. He’d do the part of the understanding parent and console and help me see the causes for my parents to be the way they are, which why I think I still can forgive their ignorance and all the hurt they’ve caused me. My brother knew every nitty-gritty of my life – of every day I’d lived. Anything good that used to happen would have first reached my brother’s ears. He was such a support in my life even when dad was gone. And by support, I also meant financial support. I couldn’t do without him. I can’t. He has been a lifesaver and I mean that literally – coz I’d made several attempts on my life when I was a teenager. Till one day – 5th of Feb, he got married. It was about including my sister-in-law in our circle. Before the wedding happened, we spoke of things that we’d do but hardly did I know, that life was about to spin for one more time. Soon after he’d got married – my brother didn’t fade away; He had completely SHUT ME out. It was not like 10 calls a day to 5 calls – it was more like, no calls at all. People in my very family, I believe, has created such misunderstandings between brother and sister-in-law and me, that I personally don’t want to make an attempt to clarify. Plus, I understand that’s it’s a new life for him. He has a responsibility now – with his wife and now, a newborn daughter and also, his aging parents. Life just got real for him so I’d thought I’ll leave him to figure it all out. I wouldn’t be a trouble, demanding his attention and sharing my troubled tales. I would make this occasional calls to check if he’s alright but it felt like I was disturbing till one day, everything had stopped altogether. It’s too late now to get back and I surely have a brother now but have lost my “complete friend”. His views after the marriage had become so misogynistic and chauvinistic that I fear even his shadows these days. It’s a common trait in India, by the way, where men are considered as the guardian of the woman. They make the choices which are best for you and you obey. I could fight the rest of the world for this but not him – not my brother, my “complete friend” – who I knew was so much better than this. I don’t know what has caused this sudden change in him and don’t want to know.
The third thing, maybe the only hope in my life are my friends – very close ones, I only have a handful of them. Thankfully till date, they haven’t been misunderstanding me or getting irritated at my random phone calls where I struggle to even breathe. They do their best to put me in place and eventually, make me live. They do it irrespective of what’s going on in their life. Yeah – I’m selfish that way. But I know I’ve wronged them in the past, in many ways. That may be because I was too young to understand the magnitude of my act, but yes – I’ve done those stuff. And yet, they come out as the only life support, especially my bestie. At times, I’m shocked at my own ruthlessness – how I call vent out my anger over issues which I’m dealing with for years and not even ask if she was okay the day throughout. That’s me – spineless support, even to my bestie.
Back to the main plot then (these fragments of my life is necessary to explain – very sorry for the long post) – that very night when I’d come to know how I’ve been misunderstood and held responsible for the kind of stuff that no one who had known me for such a length of time (I assumed) to believe – I was flustered. It was 1 in the night and I was crying so hard, especially recalling how they’d promised me to be there for me. I’d rung my best friend first. After a few dials not received, the obvious feeling of emptiness crept inside. My mom was seen to be crying quietly as well, pondering over the helpless situation. Those people would send us financial help, just to be human – they’d sent their words via uncle to mum, but wouldn’t like to have her presence in their life and it was followed by a hell lot of false accusations. We couldn’t react to them – we need the help! Mum needs it and she was sitting there, killing her conscious mind and her instincts to hurl a befitting reply to them. She was bearing all of this – to keep me alive, to help me complete my education in spite of such a nerve-wracking situation. I left my room to put her back to bed. I’m not good at consoling but my firm voice gives her hope – I’ve seen. I made a few firm statements like – “We’ll get through this”, “It’s just going to be a phase, mum and once we get over all this, we’ll leave them for once and for all”. As the night got deeper, I think, she’d fallen asleep.
But here, meanwhile, when I’d come back to my room – I’d contemplated on those exact words that I’d said. Why give false hopes to that lady who’d already been through enough? I’m a shitty useless person – broken and damaged. 21 and still crying over the past and shitting my pants whenever a difficult situation came. Dad wasn’t like that neither was mum. They had a difficult childhood – it was hard for them to feed themselves but they had got through it, without being like me. Besides the rising pain is always making me gasp. I don’t want to live for myself and honestly, she too feels it’s over for her and the only reason she’s alive is because of me. People keep blabbering at her ears about how she should be a good mother. She was forced then, she’s forced now and she doesn’t stop being submissive to what we call as a society. The only way to end it is by ending my life – futile as ever. Well, I have debts to pay. They are people’s blood and sweat but I’m selfish anyway. But it didn’t happen that night. Another friend of mine returned my call and hours of conversation, wailing and complaining, had made me go through the night. Both mum and I had woken up with red, swelled up eyes and then quietly indulged in getting ready for a new day, which had the dent of the past.
My friend, who’d spoken to me that night, had put light on certain things about me which was true. The truth which I’d denied to accept. It’s a fact that I crave solitude but I am a people-orientated person. I simply have to learn to get a grip on my life and be without the TOXIC people. So, yes- I’d gone to the bed swearing that I’d make no effort to stop a person from leaving me, be it for what reason and once they leave, they are NOT WELCOMED back. And moreover, just make peace with the fact the PEOPLE LEAVE, COME WHAT MAY. It’s more important to be emotionally independent and not be easily hurt. The choices of my Life always are laid in front of me and I’m responsible for what happens to me. And the picture changes from that day.
But I don’t like this version of me. I hate being this girl who lets people misunderstand her. I’m surprised to see the people leaving me and it rips me apart to not hold them back. Adding to this is the blame game still floating around the family and this defenseless condition which doesn’t allow to answer back. It’s bloody hard to forget every good thing they’ve helped us with but the price I’d to pay, still aches my head. My life has been somewhat very shaky and too much for me to handle. I’m like this soldier put in the middle of a bloody battlefield with a sword but I don’t know to use it or defend myself. So, I’m all wounded, panting and dying slowly. In a weeks time, I didn’t want to get out of my bed. (That’s normal for me every day, but I kind of force myself out). I have always hated morning – the very light that enters my room, the noises that the birds make and every noise of life that gets louder as the day grow. But the hatred grew more and more and I’d realized how miserably I was failing to live by the wise words of my friend. I’m a bloody disappointment. I’ve no direction in my life – don’t think I’ll ever survive in a job, especially anything which involves my field of study. And let alone everyone, my caring, hopeful friends who have such high hopes are constantly being failed to. And I’ve done them no favors in the past to receive such patience from them. I do waste a lot of their time and emotions. All these thoughts rushed into my mind and I remember not feeling my legs. There – there, the episodes where I go breathless and it did get worse in a moment. Should I call and yell at them? How could they have imposed such accusations on me or mum? How dare they interfere? Does lending out few bucks mean that you manipulate our lives as you please? Why the hell should I understand every time – the cause of their misbehavior, their death, and disappearance? Why every time? I got so desperate that I did dial their number but neither aunt or uncle received my call; instead after a couple of repeated calls, they had started to reject it. This is where Dad you’ve left me, I thought, it was indeed him. I got up from the footpath and had run towards the college classroom. One single human interaction would cause me to burst I knew and so I directly went to the workshop area. Meanwhile, mum called to know if I’d reached college. And obviously, she found out something is wrong. She had got all worried and I had disconnected her call. I was down by then on the floor, weeping in pain. Would dad come – I was in pain? Would anyone do? Couldn’t call any friend at this hour coz everybody will be at their college and why bother them if anything wasn’t going to get better? So, after a while, I stood up by myself, even though I was shaking but accidentally the soldering iron fell on my arms. Yeah – a burn, pain but less than what I’d felt inside. Rather it was calming the storm inside. So, yes – I’d hurt myself once or twice more with it ’cause I found it to be numbing the emptiness. Plus, I had a good reason to explain to my friends why I was crying. These days any conversation regarding any of past erupts a gigantic wave pain and I feel breathless – as if I’m locked in a poisonous chamber. And a cut or two overpowers the pain somehow.
No! I don’t want to die I guess. I don’t fear death, though. But I only want to kill the Pain. I’m weak for these battles and I don’t want to linger here for long.