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Who is a good girl? The society has its own standard. But do these standards truly make one good? Maybe not. This story tells us what’s to be a good girl.
This post is part of a two day special on Survivor Stories, where we share and celebrate the stories of women who believe they are survivors.
I know the story of a Good girl who was the apple of the eye of her parents. She studied well, spoke the correct words, did the right things and was always flawless in character. In her youth, she fell in love with a boy who loved her equally. Good girls were not supposed to fall in love, were they? She hastily ordered her stubborn heart to behave.
She obeyed her parents to the T, as she was a Good girl and married the guy they chose for her. Her parents’ choice was certainly not ‘the one’ for her. He abused her physically and mentally. Good girls always had a happy marriage, didn’t they? She clung to the marriage desperately.
She quit her job to look after the many kids that were born in the loveless marriage, where she couldn’t help being raped daily by the man she had married.
She quit her job to look after the many kids that were born in the loveless marriage, where she couldn’t help being raped daily by the man she had married. Good girls obeyed their spouse, didn’t they? Good girls chose family over career, didn’t they?
She didn’t leave him as many of her friends advised her to do. She was a Good girl. And divorce was not a thing a Good girl endorsed.
Her in-laws and relatives made her their slave. They made her toil daily to finish their household chores. She cleaned for them, baked for them; baby sat their kids and even looked after them like a nurse, sacrificing her own free time and health. She couldn’t refuse anyone. She was a Good girl, wasn’t she?
Daily she died a little, daily she ate the poison of regret and guilt. She soon forgot what it was like to be happy. To be truly blissfully happy. Every day there were more sacrifices lined up for her, more orders coming her way. Very soon, she fell into deep depression and was on the verge of a suicide when one of her friends came into her life like an angel.
Her friend made her realize that to be selfish for her own good was not bad.
Her friend made her realize that to be selfish for her own good was not bad. It was the only thing that had the power to bring her happiness. She taught her to be assertive, to fight for her life and rights. Most importantly, she taught her to listen to her heart. She taught her to start loving herself and let go of all regrets and guilt.
It was as if a veil had fallen off. The Good girl recognized the fact that she was not being good at all. By living according to the set guidelines of society and by doing all the things that the society had professed as ‘good’ was in fact turning her into someone’s doormat. She had forgotten to live, seeking to look good in the eyes of the people she didn’t even care about. In the meanwhile, she had quashed her dreams, her career and even love.
She understood that she had equal rights as anyone else, that she needn’t do anything unless she really wanted to do it. She decided to follow the messages of her heart. First, she quit her abusive marriage and resurrected her career. Her kids loved her and supported her endeavors. It was very difficult initially. The society turned against her and her parents disowned her. But she fought hard. For a chance to live happily, to breathe in peace and to be independent. Then, there came a day when she found herself smiling once again. She was beginning to live a happy and satisfied life.
Now tell me, was she not a Good girl anymore?
I believe that she became the real Good Girl only now.
I know there are many such Good girls among us who have forgotten to live. May be you know one of them or you yourself is one. Open your eyes and look around.
Ask yourself whether you want to be that Good girl!
Remind that girl, who walks in the shadows and hides her tears, to cease to be that Good girl. Give her a hug and a shoulder to cry on. Tell her that she should allow herself to live. Give her wings to fly!
Young girl sitting image via Shutterstock
Preethi Venugopala is a Civil Engineer by profession and an artist and writer by passion.
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