When you are in India, mental health is scoffed at. Especially if you are a girl. And more so when you complain of a marital issues.
Come on! You are not depressed!! Find a job? Why don’t you pick a hobby?? Better still, have a baby! I cannot tell you how many times i heard this. And guess what, i followed the advice too! I picked up a job, but the Narc would not have me being financially independent. I picked up several hobbies and got obsessed. And finally there was a time after he beat me up for cutting my hair, that i gathered enough courage to run back to my parents house. Now you would imagine the patriachal head- my father would put his foot down and pull the plug. No. I was sent back with the advice of having a baby. After all a baby changes lives…
Months became years and i was stuck in this roller coaster. No, the baby changes nothing. And in India it makes sure that you are forever more stuck in a abusive relationship. I know because i still am…
And finally the time came when i could not take it any more. You see, a marriage with a narc is a lie. Parenting with one is a bigger battle. I finally after years of acute migraines, extreme acidity, binge eating, binge starving gave in to a nervous breakdown. I could not move. I lay in bed and stared at the walls. I contemplated taking my own life. I even tried. I cried non stop till my eyes would swell up and i could not open them in the mornings. Now the mothers would understand why it all happened in the night. Because the child would be asleep. Mornings i would have a smile pasted on my face. I was the only stable factor in the child’s life and i was not going to take it away from him.
But then how long can a human being live such two lives. I finally visited a therapist. Now i hope you remember, in Indian patriarchal system, such issues are a joke and invalid if you have a child. My therapist although confirmed that i was living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) but advised me to turn a blind eye and to pick a hobby to make myself happy… after all a single mom cannot fight it out in our society.
Everyone made my child sound like the biggest mistake i made in my life. The made him sound like the albastross around my neck.
Women in India still have a long way to go when it comes to equality. A long way because no matter how qualified, learned or miserable you are, your worth is always measured by your husband. Fathers are supposed to protect. To be the wall between the child and the world.
As my world came breaking down, i now must come to terms that my father too because of his conditioning ceases to see the damage that has occurred in my life.
if in the end the abuse does not kill me, i know patriarchy will.
Now ask me, if i am really depressed…