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Here she was, thinking and rethinking even to bring a friend home, considering the effect might have on her daughter’s psyche, and he had gone ahead with a marriage proposal without so much as considering their daughter.
It had been three years since Siyona had heard the dreaded ‘D’ word. Life had never been the same again.
When she and husband first talked about divorce, she had had sleepless nights. Yes – they had their issues, yes – she was suffering each day, yes – there were days she did not want to get up and get going on her normal tasks. But never once in her wildest dreams had she thought she would be ‘divorced’. Such strong is the social conditioning since childhood, that the woman can go on suffering in a relationship but never break out of it due to fear of social stigma.
Siyona was scared. She had quit working after her child was born and the thought of getting back to work gave her the jitters. She did not have the confidence to go out and face the world after years of hearing that she was no good. An eroded self-esteem and a non-existent bank balance did not make the divorced life look easy. Somewhere she had lost all sense of self in this relationship and finding herself seemed like a quest.
Finally, Siyona gathered her broken pieces and started building her life again.
Divorce was a long-drawn and painful process which had left her drained physically, emotionally and financially. Slowly, she had started rebuilding her health, taking care of her emotional wellness and gotten herself a job. She realised that she had to start somewhere, and the financial independence gave her the much needed confidence boost.
Finally, life seemed to be getting back together… like a vase, broken but joined together, the scars reminding her of the woman she was today. Sitting at the dining table with her daughter in the morning, sipping her tea, she finally felt at peace.
‘Ma, papa is getting married,’ her daughter said.
And just like that she felt that someone had thrown her into an endless pit again. This didn’t seem fair at all.
Here she was, one who had devoted half her life to this man, sacrificing her career, her desires, her health, only to be left alone and with nothing. Post the divorce, she had to rebuild her life and here it seemed as if her ex-husband had already moved on. Nothing much changed in his life – he had the same job, the same house, he was still a weekend parent and now, he had a new wife too. It wasn’t as if she wasn’t happy for him – she wished him well. But just that all of it somehow did not feel fair. But then, when was life ever…?
Her daughter was now a teenager with her own tantrums and daddy was still the dearest. Being a weekend parent due to custody rights, he got to do all the fun activities whereas the task of disciplining was left to the ‘witch mom’.
‘Maybe I will like my new mom more,’ the teen replied cockily.
‘I hope you do dear,’ Siyona replied calmly, not getting perturbed by the provocation.
The task of making sure that the child was acquainted with the new person in her parent’s life was left to her, of course. Here she was, thinking and rethinking even to bring a friend home, considering the effect might have on her daughter’s psyche, and he had gone ahead with a marriage proposal without so much as considering their daughter.
She had other pressing concerns – how would the custody arrangement work out now? Child care support? Especially if they had children of their own?
Next weekend as her husband came to pick the daughter, she casually (appearing calmer than what she was feeling) congratulated him.
‘Oh, nothing is final. We were just talking, you know,’ he replied fumbling for words.
With a plastic smile still plastered to her face, she asked how he planned to take this forward. Had he introduced him future wife to their daughter? Had he made sure she was comfortable? What was his plan to spend more time with her?
‘Of course, I have thought of all that,’ he replied. She was pretty sure he hadn’t and one more task was going to be left to her.
Meanwhile, the wedding happened. Daughter went, but she didn’t. She did not want to wallow in self-pity that day, so she went about her tasks, stoically but surely.
Once the daughter returned, she asked how the wedding was.
‘It was boring, Ma. Dad’s new wife is nothing like you. I will always love you more,’ she said hugging her mother tight.
Tears which had been at verge of her eyes shed copiously now. All the emotions she had kept bottled, just couldn’t remain inside.
Hugging her baby tight, Siyona replied ‘And I will always love you the most.’
First published here.
Image source: shutterstock
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