Pritha Sharadi (Translated by Sadia Rahman):
My parents had never hit me. Still, I always have been under tremendous mental pressure from my very childhood. They used to taunt me for every little mistake I made. Whenever my result was unsatisfactory, or whenever I was late returning home, or if I talked longer on the phone; they used to taunt me and compare me with all other people out there. “See that girl, she is a beautiful dancer; that boy is a very good singer, that girl in the neighborhood is a very good student. How are you like this living in the same place?”
I don’t know when was the exact time I lost my self-confidence hearing these remarks all the time. I have become socially awkward and unsocial. The only thing I face is shame on me. Sometimes I feel that it would have been much better if my parents have hit me and show the right way of life instead of nagging and pinching me all the time. I would have learned to get away with the ups and downs path of life. My story could be a different one then. Sometimes I look into the life of that introverted girl who always lags behind and realizes she is already been defeated by life. She’s sitting there like a defeated tigress and life is laughing at her. The girl is mentally shattered.
“The teacher in my college is really a great scholar. He never said anything to me but the way he looked at me was really terrifying. I hated that look. He almost raped me with his eyes. I used to cry alone in my room. I could never say anything to anyone. He looked normally towards others just when it was about me it used to get nasty. I could not sleep at night. Still, I feel uneasy getting intimate with my husband. That teacher’s face tortures me inside. I can feel the molestation. I try my best to get out of that but I cannot. It’s like a nightmare.” She becomes inferior tries to find out happiness in her husband’s arms but the experience leaves her trembled.
I realized the girl is dying inside or already dead. She thinks of herself as raped. No one could tell what was going on with her by watching her face to face. I felt her pain. I don’t know how many times she expressed herself in front of another person.
“It was a really long-term relationship. Suddenly I got to know that he’s been double-timing. I didn’t even get angry, did not force him, I basically did nothing; I just died inside. He murdered me internally. It was better if he stabbed me in my heart with a knife. All the moments became lies. He said, “Things like this can happen. You are still alive anyway.” I also think so. Things like this happen and we just get used to everything. Everything is just in the right places and I am too carrying on with my life. So what if I forget the feel of feeling things.”
I looked at the girl who was charming once and saw dead flesh there. She’s crying all the time and no one’s there beside her. I just couldn’t help admiring her spirit.
“After I got married my in-laws had problems with everything I did. They had problems causes I dint know how to cook; they had problems with my western dresses, my friendliness, and so many more things. The worst part was they used to drag my parents into everything. I was a new bride and I used to cry alone all the time. When I told my husband, he consoled me saying that I should get along with these as he cannot speak against his family. Do you know where this suffering ends?”
I just didn’t know. I looked at her and observed a beautiful lady getting wounded by the sharpness of people’s remarks.
“I have no freedom. He said, “I have money to spend, you don’t need any job.” I am sitting at home with my honors and master’s degree. Once I asked him why he needed an educated wife for. He said he needed an educated mother for his children that’s it. I fought a lot for my rights. My home was about to fall apart; that is when I stopped fighting. I devoted myself to domestic life.”
I asked her if she doesn’t look at herself. She replied she just doesn’t like to look into someone so miserable and caged. The couple is a happy one. They will be in the eyes of others. The wife alone will keep aiding her wounds alone.
“He never hits me. I had a lot of fights and stopped seeing each other still he never hit me.” I felt respect for the husband and told her “you must be really happy then. A lot of educated guys hit their wives these days.” She replied, ‘he tortures me psychologically. I wish he had hit me. That would be bearable.” I was really surprised hearing this. We have campaigned against physical abuse now here she wishes to experience that. I asked her about the problem. She said her husband is into someone else now. The marriage is a burden now.
Before I knew it, it slipped out of my tongue that it is a case of an extra-marital affair; she should disclose it to their families instead of tolerating it. But she said it was her love marriage. She doesn’t feel it right to show people the real face of her lover. Still, she told her family. Her family just blamed it on her. According to them, the husband doesn’t hit her; he’s on good terms with others, so the problem lies with the girl. Her in-laws are stricter in this matter. The girl is digesting all these for years and has no clue when it will end. I looked into her eyes and saw a woman who is lost.
The grass is always greener on the opposite side. Relationships these days are so too. Suddenly they break off. Suddenly a girl commits suicide. A statistic shows 80% of girls out there in our country is a victim of physical abuse. Most of them keep silent facing mild abuse out of shame. If the torture increases then they seek judicial help.
But how many girls have been abused and murdered psychologically? we have no statistics on that aspect. So many girls are around us who are dead inside. We don’t see them. After bearing for years if she screams and wishes to get out we start post mortem of her body searching for proof. When we don’t get that we call that girl by names, blame her for everything that’s gone wrong. Sometimes I wish to know is it always our duty to hold on to and preach happiness?
We never look into their hearts. We are unable to see their wounded injured condition inside. We fail to see they are just living robots who cannot commit suicide just because of family. We fail to see the depression in their eyes.
We never treat women who are abused psychologically. Those who fail to bear those abuses turn into “crazy women” and yes still they don’t get any sympathy. But psychological pain is no way any less painful than the physical one. In some cases, this is the most that hurt. There are few who chose suicide as a path. Others just live with a void inside them throughout their lives.
We get bandages when we are injured, get a pain killer when we have a headache. We get help from others in these cases. Then why a woman does not get any help when she is distressed? Why do people around her blame her always? They choose suicide when there is no other way out. Thus suicide rate is increasing every year. When I walk outside I feel the sighs of so many girls around me, I observe many girls wearing an invisible crown of psychological abuse.
I am an optimistic human being. I wish to see a psychologically healthy girl who has never been abused by this sick society. I know it’s a hard thing to see still my hope for the best.
Life is just one. If you cannot live it in happiness then where is the success of this life?
Alas! When will people get the pain hidden behind your face, when will they notice the shattered soul that resides beneath the smile and the glowing appearance! When will you get proper medication for that?
Stop making your mind accept all the odds. Ask yourself about what you want. Can you get along with the psychological abuse you face?
The original article was published on the Bengali site on March 17, 2017.
To read the original article, click here.
Pritha Sharadi is an architect by profession. In her spare time, she likes to write about contemporary socio-political issues, especially issues concerning women. A proud feminist at heart, she is not afraid to speak against social evils.
Sadia Rahman is pursuing Masters from Rajshahi University, Bangladesh. Other than writing, her passions include writing, debating and anchoring.