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Women need safe spaces where we can speak about what bothers us the most. What happens when you can speak up anonymously?
Our negative lived experiences, as women, often range from upsetting to harrowing, and social conditioning silences us. We’re often unable to speak up, as ‘good women do not speak of such things’. Their surroundings, people around them often discourage them to open up. As a result, women fight for it alone, and many a times, without any support, they suffer endlessly.
But women need to speak of these things, both for their own selves, as this can lead to healing, as well as for the greater good of creating awareness around issues that affect them on a daily basis.
It is imperative, hence, that safe spaces are created, where they can talk of their experiences.
Recently, we asked our readers on Instagram – “If you want to confess something, what would it be?”
The replies poured in. Respondents had a variety of confessions – ranging from experiences of sexual harassment to emotional abuse. We have carefully curated some of the stories. These are not mere stories, they are tales of pain and agony.
If any of you have gone through something similar, it’s best to open up and seek help or take actions.
There have been stories of girls being harassed in public places – even in holy places. It’s unimaginable how some culprits take advantage of the situation even at such places, in spite of the victim’s family being around. And most of the times, they escape quite easily without being noticed by dissolving into the thickness of the crowd.
A young girl writes to us her story how she was touched inappropriately in a temple queue. Before she even realised what was happening, he was lost in the crowd. She writes, “This incident robbed me of my dignity and innocence”.
While she was trying to digest this and accept what had happened, another similar situation occurred a few days later – in a Gurudwara close to her house, when a person who held a respectable position in the holy place tried to misbehave with her. When she tried to open up on this, all she received was a sorry from him. She says, “I don’t believe in going to a place of worship to connect to God, I have lost my faith in these institutions”.
Many times, young girls fall in love. Everything looks so perfect in the beginning, but then, sometimes when things turn sour, it becomes very difficult to come out of that broken relationship.
Relationship abuse is very common these days and a girl faces many challenges during her exit from such a relationship.
This 21 year old girl was in a relationship, but later they broke up, and ever since then the guy has been blackmailing her that he would inform her parents about everything between them. She now realises that he used her only for his physical needs. In fact when she tried to approach him and request him to end the relationship, all she received was verbal abuse. She was called a slut for being in love. She expresses “I’m very numb at the moment due to a traumatic relationship and now that my college has started I can’t really interact with people because I have developed major trust issues”
In a patriarchal set-up where they are not valued for themselves, women often fall prey to emotional abuse within their own family.
Krishra writes under this pseudonym, and wants to share her tale of emotional abuse with us.
She writes, she earns, she finds this as an accomplishment, but she isn’t able to share the same with the rest of her world. Her husband finds it useless. Her in-laws aren’t supportive. This achievement is thus hidden from her in-laws and husband. She proudly shares with us “Writing liberates my soul. I don’t feel trapped”.
Sometimes, when in love, we tend to do whatever the person we love wants us to. Our thinking ability fails, and we often get blinded in love. This story of manipulation and emotional abuse is about a woman who just cannot recall how it all began.
She was with a guy who had been a great friend. She just kept doing anything that he asked for. On his insistence, she kept harassing her friends for their photos (some being intimate ones) and shared them with him. The guy convinced her that he was just asking her friends to be bold by sharing such photos of theirs. She didn’t realise for a long time that she was harassing them.
Slowly she realised what all this meant, and she wasn’t able to accept herself, neither has she been able to digest all this even to this day! She finally did end her relationship with him. But she is unable to forgive herself for what she did. She confesses and writes to us “Thankfully I could end that relationship, but it was too late. I cannot forgive myself. I haven’t talked about it to anyone so far.”
Divorce isn’t the solution to everything – Yes, I agree, but sometimes, it’s best to stay away from the problem – or the one who is creating it.
A mother of a 2 year old child opens up how her relationship with her husband is at stake. She’s been married for 6 long years. Her husband’s house isn’t a home for her. She says that she is unable to find happiness there. However, she finds divorce a dreadful idea. Living separately would be the best solution to it – so she thinks. As she has a decent job and a good pay, she believes she will be able to stay strong financially and take care of herself and her child single-handedly.
However, she realises her biggest challenge and shares with us, “But I don’t know how to convince others – my parents, friends, relatives and most importantly my husband. I don’t know whether they’ll understand me.”
Do you have any stories to share as well?
Image source: Flickr
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