My name is A and I was 22 when I got married. Pretty young an age to get married, some would say. But it didn’t matter to me what others thought or said because I was in love…madly in love with M. My parents, my siblings, my relatives, almost everyone I knew were against my marriage. My side of the family couldn’t pull it all together to approve of my decision to spend the rest of my life with M…so I was left with no choice. I did what I had to – I got married to the man of my dreams against my family’s wish. They tried everything in their power to stop me from going into wedlock with M, but when they realized nothing was going to work, they gave up…as a daughter, as a sister, as a niece. And that marked the end of one of the most beautiful chapters of my life – my family, my parents, my siblings.
M and I were very happy with our determination to be together. We had dreams about us, our future, and our family. M was very supportive of every choice I made…he did everything he could to make me feel better every time I missed my family, he worked extra hard (so did I) to save money when I told him about my desire to continue my education, he backed me up on my decision to not have kids at least for few years after marriage. As much as I missed my family, life didn’t seem to lack anything after marriage. Both of us worked hard, we had our fun; our bond grew stronger by the day. To every outsider we were this picture of a perfect couple…and it made my day when someone pointed it out to me.
3 years after our picture perfect wedding we found out that I was pregnant. We were happy, yes, but we weren’t sure if we were ready. We spent days talking about it, we spent numerous sleepless nights discussing how this was going to change life as we then knew it and we decided that we were ready – financially, mentally and what not. M was extremely considerate and caring throughout my pregnancy. He fulfilled my every craving, he took care of me like I was his own, never gave me a chance to even think about missing my own mother. And months down the line we welcomed our first baby, a boy.
Life isn’t always rosy…who doesn’t know that. So yes, even our happiness, our picture perfect relationship, our bright life hit a major speed bump during the months after my baby was born. M was hardly home to spend time with us and when he did come home, he was usually too tired to be able to carry on any proper conversation. I never questioned him much because he was a good person and I easily assumed that the change in his behavior was only because of the monetary stress (with me not working) and that it would get better with proper planning and managing of finances. But things only went downhill from there.
M started getting too possessive of me, for some reason. Even a light conversation with a friend of mine (of the opposite sex) would provoke him. His fury took the form of verbal abuse most of the times, but there were a couple of times when it turned to physical abuse. I let it go because of my naïve assumption that he was still under some kind of stress. I always knew M to be the kind of the man who was caring, responsible and sensible, so I couldn’t get myself to see the utter reality I was facing…I thought that this was just a phase, that this too shall pass, and let it be. Life went on…M took control of the finances, I didn’t mind the less responsibility, given I had a toddler and was expecting another baby. As long as M gave me enough money to run the household, I didn’t poke my nose into his business…that seemed to work well for both of us because these days every question I asked seemed to aggravate him somehow and that wasn’t something I enjoyed.
After my baby girl was born, things only got worse. With every passing day, it seemed like M only came home to criticize my parenting skills, my culinary talents (which he used to praise to no limits before), my “ugly fat” look (not that I was overweight by any means, I was this extra slim person pre pregnancy and the few kilos that the pregnancy added to my body just made me a bit plump) and what not. He was never satisfied with anything I did or said. The verbal and the physical abuse happened more frequently…but everything I put up with for one single reason – he was a great father, he loved our babies and I didn’t want to take them away from him for no reason. And so, I never let the secrets of my life go passed the four walls around me.
Life, in its own twisted ways, had decided that I wasn’t going through enough and shocked me with news that M was having an affair. When I confronted him about it, he coolly accepted the fact and told me that it was my fault…my looks that repulse him, my words that stress him. I was shattered. I had no idea what was in store for me next. I had no clue what my next move was going to be. All I wanted was my babies’ well being, everything I went through because I wanted my kids to have a good father. But when he was proving to be just the opposite, I was ready to walk out. I just needed a few days to free my mind of all the million confusions.
In the meantime life had other plans, yet again. On my way back home from shopping, one fine evening, I met with an accident. I was rushed to a local government hospital. As M rushed to the hospital, the doctors there had decided that they needed to move to me to another facility asap as they didn’t have the proper equipment to perform the required procedure. And by the time everything got around to happening, it was too late. I was no more.
I died when I was 31. I had so much to look forward to in my life, but my life was over. In a flash.
Now, here I am, telling you the story of my life and death. Why? Because I want you to try and learn from my mistakes. Because I want to spread the word of awareness. Because I want you to set limits. Because I want you to know that people change. Because I want you that even a little abuse is NOT ok. Because I want you to not ‘forgive’ or let go any kind of abuse. Because I want you to understand that there are always other options…there’s always a way out.
I miss my babies now. It doesn’t make me a happy soul that I won’t be there to see them grow up, to cherish each of their milestones, to shed happy tears on their every success, to guide them through their troubles, to hold their hands, to hug them tight, to wipe their tears, to melt in their love. I don’t know how much about their mother they will remember when they grow up and that makes me sad. Had I spoken up, had I walked out of the relationship earlier, I would probably be alive today playing merrily with my children. But it’s all just my unfulfilled dreams now. Why? Because of my ignorance.
I never understood what triggered the caring person in M to become that abusive monster. I never will. I’m extremely scared for my children’s well being. What if he abuses them? What if he takes his anger out on them? What if he changes from being a good father to being a bad one? The what if’s are killing even the already dead me, but there is nothing I can do now. Keep in mind that people change, for good and for bad. Don’t wait for things to get better, like I did. Take action right away when it’s all out of control.
I know I’m not alone. There are many of you out there who are going through the exact same thing I went through. But please, unlike me, you need to stand up for yourself. Remember, you always have a choice…to walk out, to say Stop, to speak up.