Tuesday 20 December 2011

‘I was tired of explaining my bruises...’

Got this article from Bangalore Mirror. A true and heart-touching story of a woman. Not many dare to come up openly in public with such issues. Hats off to the courageous lady. Read the story to laud the bold step of her.

I met Paras in 2010. Tall, handsome and charming; I wasn’t surprised when I found myself agreeing to go out for a coffee with him that very evening. And that is how it all started. What followed was a whirlwind romance. I will not deny it, but it was the best time of my life. He would drive  to my place in the middle of the night just to let me know that he missed me. He would send flowers over to my office, take me to the most expensive places and buy the most extravagant gifts. What made me fall in love with him was the person he appeared to be -well-spoken, intelligent, an absolute gentleman with my friends, caring and all the things I had ever wanted in a guy. Three months into our relationship, he proposed marriage and needless to say, I was thrilled!

My parents and my best friend hated the idea of me getting married. My parents thought we needed more time to know each other,  while my best friend thought 24 was too young to get married. But I was in love and adamant. And I was scared. I thought, ‘What if I never meet anyone else with whom I am this comfortable and compatible’. Now that I think of it, I guess a part of me agreed to the marriage because that meant that he will be mine and he won’t be able to walk out of my life.

Now, that very thing is making my life crumble around me. I got married in November 2010, against my parents’ wishes. My best friend stopped talking to me. I convinced myself that she was jealous. My parents  had no choice but to accept me. However, they made it very clear that they would not support me if I decided to walk out of the marriage. 

Three months into the marriage, I began to realise why my parents had asked me to take more time to get to know the guy. I always knew he drank. I enjoyed my own drink so, I never saw anything wrong with him having the usual peg with dinner every time we went out. But once married, I saw that his usual peg was generally 5 pegs everyday. The fights started when I asked him to slow down. At 26, he was convinced that he was invincible and went out of his way to prove that I was wrong. 

Gradually, the fights started getting bitter and he started using filthy language. Within a week, he was abusing me and my family. I tried to be patient, but one day I snapped. I slapped him out of anger and frustration, which infuriated him terribly. I still remember the look in his eyes when he looked at me and said, ‘I’ll make you regret that’ and he did. Verbal abuse turned into physical abuse. But whenever I threatened to walk out, he would do the loveliest of things to make me change my mind.

One night, he left me with a black eye, the next day, he took a day off work, cooked and pampered me. But the violence didn’t stop. Nine months into our marriage, I gave up hope. I was tired of explaining my bruises to my colleagues and friends and tired of living in constant fear about when I would get beaten up next. But I could not just walk out. I loved him. Even after all of that, I wanted him. 

In October, our fights reached a whole new level. I was determined to make him see that he was wrong and he was determined to win. One of these fights got exceptionally violent. I threw an ashtray at him which cut his cheek. He was livid and before I could realise, he had twisted my arm enough to break it. I knew I couldn’t stay any longer. I called up a women’s helpline. The counsellor told me that I was one of the very few educated women who sought help when faced with domestic violence. Apparently women like “us” preferred to live in silence, lest the society points a finger at us or people think that we have morals to enrage a man enough to hit us. The reasons were innumerable. But it didn’t  matter to me. A month ago, Paras agreed to go in for therapy, anger management classes and to a counsellor to deal with alcoholism. My parents now want me to move back with them. My in-laws want us to get separated. My best friend is not only talking to me, but screaming at me everyday about how stupid I am. Yes, ‘walking out’ is an easier option; easier to put an end to the domestic violence. But it is also easy to try to get help for someone I deeply care about. I am someone who stayed at home and fought to change our lives. I believe Paras can be helped. And I know he will change. 

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