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Who gives them right to disregard and disrespect women who wanted nothing but a happy blissful life with their partner? They don't hit their parents, friends, outsiders; why the wife?
Trigger Warning: This deals with domestic violence, intimate partner violence, and parental neglect, and may be triggering for survivors.
Rita was trembling and crying inconsolably. Yet another day when she was slapped, kicked, verbally abused by her monster of a husband. She was assaulted day in and day out in front of her now 12-year-old daughter.
Every time he slapped or hit her, she would think, “What have I done to deserve this treatment?” Then she sarcastically smiled to herself and answered her own question, “You are a woman and hence you deserve this treatment.”
The first time her husband hit her was 2 months after their marriage. She had forgotten to add salt to the dal and he threw the bowl of dal and hit her hard. She was shaken. She didn’t know what to do. Her conditioning stopped her from complaining to her parents as she was always taught that no matter what it’s a woman’s duty to keep the marriage going. Since the time she was young she had heard her mom tell her how to adjust, how to please her husband and in-laws, how to prioritize others before herself.
After repeated incidents of domestic violence one day she tried to convey this to her mother, but her mother simply brushed it off stating, “You know all this is part of married life. Once you have kids everything will be fine.”
Her blood would boil when she would see her parents pampering her husband and treating him like a royalty. What had he done to deserve all this? And her parents, despite knowing that she wasn’t happy, continued with their “social duties.”
Sometimes she felt more than the boys’ parents, it’s the girls’ parents who are at fault. The boy has always his parents’ support, but funnily he also has his in-laws’ support! Rita smirked, “The privileged gender!”
In 2 years’ time, she had her daughter. She looked at the cherubic little face and cried her heart out. The little angel was her only hope to happiness now.
Years went by and the husband became even more horrible, more chauvinistic, more dominating, more violent. Rita met and read about many other women like her who in the eyes of their family and society were “happily married and settled”, but in reality they were dead from within.
Her little daughter also was growing up in a toxic environment. Her little hands would wipe Rita’s tears, give sloppy kisses, console her. What the elders couldn’t or wouldn’t do, her little girl would do; understand her, love her, pamper her, console her, respect her.
With every slap, every kick, every abuse; a part of Rita would be shattered, would die. Her confidence, her self-esteem, her self-respect were buried somewhere within.
She would often wonder, “Why do such men get married in the first place? Who gives them right to disregard and disrespect women who wanted nothing but a happy blissful life with their partner? They don’t hit their parents, friends, outsiders; why the wife?” She would keep asking these questions to herself and get no answers.
That rainy night Rita and her daughter were sleeping when suddenly Rita felt something sharp hitting her leg. She woke up startled, and saw her husband standing with a belt. He yelled, “How can you two bitches sleep when I am unable to sleep?”
He leaped towards their daughter and was about to hit her with the belt when Rita could no longer take it and caught the belt. She yelled, “Not my daughter you brute!” The man became infuriated and out of control, and hit Rita black and blue. Rita could see her daughter crying bitterly and begging her father to stop.
That was the last straw. Rita decided to walk out with her daughter. She wouldn’t allow the angel who gave her all the happiness, to rot in that hell. She went to her mother’s place.
Her mother said, “Show me the marks where he hit you.”
Rita smirked and said, “There are numerous marks, some on the body and most of them in the heart and mind which are not visible. The marks are there on my respect, self-confidence, self-esteem, trust, love. The invisible marks hurt more Maa. Those invisible marks are present even when there is no physical abuse and only verbal abuse, but most of times they are ignored as they don’t bleed. You ignored them too Maa. You can see my bleeding body now, but always ignored my bleeding heart. But I am not going to let my daughter have any of these bruises. She already has scars of trauma in her little heart but not anymore.”
Time for another round of battle…thought Rita.
Image source: a still from Anamika/ Pocket films
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I am a travel expert by profession and an avid blogger by passion. Parenting and women's issues are something that are close to my heart and I blog a lot about them. read more...
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
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