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I was a vulnerable young girl who depended on others for strength. However, after a toxic relationship, I learnt to love and value myself!
I have been brought up by my mother, the sole breadwinner of our family, with my elder sister and younger brother since our father died when I was 10. Ours was a very difficult journey and the repercussions of being fatherless still affect me in various ways.
I recently learnt about the ‘fatherless daughter syndrome’ and figured out that the things I did in the past weren’t my mistakes alone. For example, I always searched for security and struggled to make decisions.
I sought external emotional support and it was mainly from boys since I felt I didn’t get it from my mother and even when I did, it wasn’t enough for me. However, she did everything she could and had to in order to cope with her insecurities and fears along with the three kids she had to support.
I was a naive, vulnerable and helpless girl coping with fears and insecurities who was only surviving. Plus at that age, I hadn’t heard about empowerment or feminism of any sort.
The boys with whom I shared my worries, took it to the next level and would call it ‘love’ or a ‘relationship,’ which I didn’t resist. For them, I was a girl to have fun with or a girl by their side to evade boredom (for example sexting).
I also got into an abusive relationship but recovered from it via meditation. The last of my relationships were exploitative, the guilt of which still haunts me for my passivity. But then, I learnt to say no.
It was after all this that my journey into inner self-started. And I also started learning about and becoming empowered as a mission. I found happiness and enjoyed independence after getting temporary jobs. Soon, I started to listen, understand, love and nurture myself and is learning to forgive myself.
But empowerment is never easy for me, each step is difficult and hard. A lot of pressure is required to cope with new situations. And as I reflect, I understand how far I have reached and how much inner strength I have that lay deep within me.
Empowerment for me is getting in touch with the inner strength, forgiving and embracing oneself. There is no dead end to it rather it is always a process of learning and unlearning and a path for betterment.
Picture credits: Still from Bollywood movie Lipstick Under My Burkha
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