“My mother was always conservative — she believed that women had certain limitations and restrictions which were to be followed. I was an average student because a lot of subjects didn’t interest me, but my parents often called me ‘dumb’. When I came ‘of age’ they thought it was best I was married off. I was in love with someone at that time, but they didn’t allow me to marry him — instead, they started showing me boys for arranged marriage. As an act of rebellion, I married a man who worked for an airline and wanted to eventually become a captain.
My turmoil started very early on. From controlling what I wore, to who I met — he made me a captive in my own home. If he didn’t like the food I cooked, he would beat me. He called me an ‘idiot women’ and did as he pleased because he was confident, I would never leave. I gave birth to 4 children, because he wanted a boy — my 3 daughters were looked upon as a liability — he ‘loved’ them according to his convenience. He refused to pay for their basic expenses — I had to plead for every small thing they needed. He had multiple extra marital affairs… he made no bones to even hide them — it was hell.
I was severely depressed and suicidal for the better part of this marriage. I was fearful of leaving him, because what would I do? Where would I go? What would happen to my children? I was on medication and decided to try Reiki — and that’s when I actually found strength within me. As his abuse continued, I began to make plans for my future — what had saved me, was what I felt most passionately about…I became a certified Reiki healer. When I started to get clients and make my own money — he couldn’t take it. He would call my mother to abuse and harass her — he would blame me for sleeping with men who came to see me as a healer. He would threaten all of us, and during this time my mother passed away.
It was then that I decided to leave — and that’s what I did. I stopped caring about what people would say and how he would slander my character… I just wanted to protect my children. I filed for divorce 5 years ago, and it still hasn’t come through — he does everything in his power to continue his torture but I don’t let it affect my children and me. Since 5 years, I’ve been providing for my children all by myself and I feel great about it! I’ve finally learnt that to live in fear is to not live at all. I thought I couldn’t live without him and that people would ‘talk’ if I was a divorcee — but the truth is, you can live without anyone and people will always talk. Today it’s this — tomorrow something else…don’t worry about it. Live for yourself and those you love and if ever anyone is taking away from your peace — have the courage to walk away.”
Reproduced from Humans of Bombay