When I first started my blog my aim was to empower and uplift women that are going through abuse. I myself have been through it for many years and I felt that I had made progress after freeing myself from that abusive relationship. However, as the years have gone by I find myself angry and bitter, not just about the violent abuse I suffered but also the childhood memories that haunts me up to this day and literally destroyed my inner peace.
Trust me I have tried to push these bad memories aside and focus on the all the good I have in my life. Yes I have a lot to be grateful for, more than I care to share or brag about on Facebook. But those demons just won’t let me rest. It’s why I have begun writing about my life again. Maybe this will be a form of release for me and enable me to completely heal. I feel like my soul has been destroyed and I am in a deep dark hole somedays. There are days when I feel so great about life. I wake up in the mornings and I am rearing to go. Until I look at Facebook or my family’s Watsapp status and my dream of having a good day comes crashing down. And I wonder why do I give these people, that mean nothing to me, so much power. The power to affect my mood and my happiness. It’s almost as if history is repeating itself, we have to endure the same pain my mum was subjected to. Today I have made a conscious decision to free myself from people that don’t add value to my life and make me feel like I don’t belong. Life is far too precious to be bogged down by things that don’t matter.
I constantly see photos of family at all these gatherings on FB and Watsapp, some of which we haven’t been invited to or just myself and my husband have been invited but only my kids have been excluded and you feel like a total outcast. Almost like it’s being rubbed in your face. The odd function I do get invited to and attend I have to subject myself to being an “alien” amongst the royals. You know those cliques, the “A-listers” where people are handpicked to pose in selfies and some are put on a pedestal, like the queen herself has arrived.
Our Indian society are so consumed by status, that no matter what your moral standing is you have a place in society. You were born with a silver spoon in your mouth so you are a cut above the rest. Those that were raised in those so-called “poor” homes just step aside because that’s your status for life darling, even if you no longer poor. These family members will keep reminding you of this for the rest of your life, that’s no secret. And then there a few that will make an effort to allow you to fit in just for that moment. As if you just needed somebody’s help to blend in for just that one little moment. And you just smile and wave, just to keep the peace.
Ever since I was a little girl I’ve had many fears. I don’t know if I was born that way, whether it was something from my past that stuck with me. I haven’t a clue why I was made up that way. All I remember is that I used to cling to my mum. It was almost as if I feared that if I left her side she would vanish. I think this is where my anxiety, which I still experience today, stemmed from. In the 70’s we never heard of therapists and our parents never bothered to understand the psychological side of things. They didn’t care that we were anxious or troubled. I don’t remember my parents pushing me to do anything that would allow me to overcome my fears. My mum allowed me to follow her trail everywhere and this probably fuelled my anxiety. I also remember I was a rather sickly child, I was often taken to the doctor and I always lacked something. My dad would then try to feed me the right foods to make up for any vitamins and minerals I lacked.
I got better as the years went by. My health improved and I was okay with going to my aunts and uncles homes overnight or during the holidays and I did well without my mum. I loved spending time with my young cousins and I remember those carefree fun days. Some of uncles and aunts treated us well, others not so well. What I also remember is that we had far less in terms of material things. Let me tell you something about Indian people. If you not Indian you probably won’t know this. Indian people have this notion in their heads that if you have a little bit of money, you don’t have to be Donald Trump, you are superior to everyone else. You just have to drive a nice car and live in a nice house. I mean a house that has a little more furniture than your average citizen. In the poor Indian person’s mind that makes you a cut above the rest.
I had two aunts that made it their duty to torment my mum and her kids. Let’s just say if you had a little more money, in their eyes you were God or the Queen. All my cousins that came from these so called “affluent” families were put on a pedestal. My aunts treated them with so much love and kindness and would literally bow down to their families. I on the other hand, I say I because I was the oldest and I was subjected to this more than my younger sisters, was never good enough. I remember my older aunt constantly badgering me about my cousin, who was the same age as me, being better than me. She constantly told me “your cousin helps her mum with chores and why are you so lazy”, “your cousin is so good, she can do everything at home”. I was constantly compared to my cousin who was presumably better than I was. The funny thing is my mum was so submissive she never stood up for her kids. She was actually “bullied” by her sisters and allowed it.
In our home my mum did most of the chores but gave us a substantial amount of chores that suited our age, she didn’t treat us like child slaves . I also remember going to one of my uncle’s home on weekends and my cousin got hot chocolate in bed whilst we got black tea and toast. My uncle was an amazing human being but my aunt was something else. We were also made to clean and scrub the yard and do chores. We were actually abused but didn’t know any better then. What little self-esteem I had was destroyed by the same family that were meant to love us, to the extent that I am still haunted in my 40’s.
We didn’t have people waiting on us. We had to do chores too, only some people didn’t know this. Because my mum never bragged about us. Everyday we got home from school and washed our school uniform as we only owned a couple of pairs. We had to tidy the house. We also had to prepare all the veggies and ingredients for our evening dinner. My mum worked in a factory and my dad had an admin job. They worked super hard to provide for us. But my aunt was so hell bent on making us look unworthy, she felt the need to constantly compare us to our “rich” cousins. This has stuck with me throughout the years and I have tried to shake it off but it’s like a bad rash that wouldn’t go away. I still sometimes question whether I will ever be good enough.
As if the taunts from aunts weren’t enough I had to endure more at school. In primary school I had picked up head lice. My mum made sure we always had a bath and we were clean but obviously I got this from other kids at school. There were many kids that had head lice, don’t ask me why. There was a boy that taunted me for having head lice. He refused to sit next to me and made me feel dirty and ugly. My mum tried everything to get rid of them but nothing seemed to work. Eventually after many months it all disappeared. But this boy always treated me like I was dirty and I had to face him in school everyday until I finished high school. This was something I had to deal with on my own as I was too ashamed to mention it to anyone. I also had a bunch of girlfriends that got so much attention from boys, whilst in high school, and I felt like the ugly duckling. I lacked self-confidence and never saw myself as pretty. This led me to believe I will never be loved by anyone and never have a boyfriend. It’s why I hooked myself to the first boy that ever set eyes on me, to my own detriment. I will share more on that in my future posts.
My ignorant parents made my uncles look superior too. Whenever we did something my parents did not approve of my uncles were called upon to give us lectures and set us straight. These same uncles that didn’t raise perfect kids themselves. How I detested my parents for doing this. But we dared not voice our opinion or speak our mind. My dad over the years become over-protective and almost suffocating at times. There was also constant bickering amongst my parents. I began hating the home I lived in and for me that meant grabbing the first opportunity I got to move out of our home. Only that will be a mistake I will regret.
Growing up in the 70’s and 80’s we never spoke about our fears and what bothered us. My parents never really had heart to heart conversations with us and we had to deal with our issues in our own way. I don’t think I even quite registered that I had real issues.
I also saw how my mum was treated by her family. I wondered why my mum was always bitter and angry and I always said “Ma just be nice to people”. Now I understand my mums pain. She was married off at the age of 15 and had to endure a life of hardship. She was illiterate and ignorant and her family took advantage of that fact. Some of her family members spoke down to her and like us she was also an outcast in most instances. I have watched her very own sisters tear her apart and yet some of their “rich” sister-in-laws were treated like Goddesses. Now that she’s older it is even more prevalent. I don’t blame my mum for being distant and aloof. If people constantly treat you with disrespect you will, over time, become angry and bitter. Especially if you never had a way of dealing with that trauma.
Only I do not want to remain angry and bitter like my mum. I choose not to waste my life on insignificant, insensitive people. I choose happiness, I choose family that cares for me regardless of my standing in society, I choose love and kindness. I am blessed in so many ways so I won’t let my past destroy what I have worked so hard to achieve. I won’t let my past destroy my inner peace. Because I have a choice.
So this was how life began for me…but it’s going to end well! I have faith!
As I share my story it will be more clear as to how the sequence of events from our childhood impacts our lives.
If you find yourself haunted by childhood memories seek the help you need and allow yourself to let it go. Free yourself from the burden before it consumes your life.