“My father had schizophrenia, which my mother knew about and still chose to marry him. But when I was 3 and a half years old my mother set herself on fire, in front of me. I remember being so scared that I peed myself. In that moment I lost both my parents — my father was sent to a remand home, and I went to live with my godparents.
It was a lot to understand, let alone deal with. It was a terrifying reality. There was also this sudden feeling of emptiness, loneliness. I coped by living in a bubble, not dealing with my feelings and hoping that everything would be okay.
So when I was 7, and my domestic help raped me while playing, I didn’t tell anyone. He pinned me down on the floor and forced himself on me. I was too young to understand what was happening. All I remember from that day is sobbing while washing the blood off of me.
I didn’t confide in anyone because I’d blame myself for everything — for this, my mother’s death… A few months later, my cousin molested me. It started with him coming on top of me while we were playing cards, but then he started feeling my breasts, touching me inappropriately — and yet again, I didn’t know how to say no.
Soon after, my elder cousin sister started using me for her gratification and I didn’t know how to get out of this either. But when she tried doing the same with my 3-year-old cousin, I drew the line. I couldn’t protect myself but I wanted to protect her.
All of this took a toll on me — I felt disgusted. I starved myself because I thought I was fat. I was depressed, I had periods of extreme behaviors — I’d eat till I couldn’t breathe and then throw up or starve myself. I would sleep all day or not at all. There were times when I didn’t take a bath for months.
But I soon found my light at the end of the tunnel. In college, I found a passion for dancing. I felt more confident and at peace with my body. But as luck would have it, I injured my knee and the doctor told me I couldn’t dance anymore. I’d fallen into a black hole of loathing.
It was only after my boyfriend cheated on me and fell out of love with me, that I finally realized I needed to heal.
Each time that things looked better, life threw me another curveball. But this time, I knew it was time to make peace with myself. Accepting yourself is never easy, but it’s worth it. Because self-love is the only thing powerful enough to pull you out of that whirlpool of hate.”
Story Courtesy: Humans of Bombay
She is a motivational speaker and is vocal about her experiences of dealing with rape, abuse, and depression, and is passionate about breaking the stigma in society that surrounds these topics. She is also a trained yoga teacher and self-professed ambassador of positivity and love.