Updated: Jun 27
Story by Ruchina Patil
Right after my father’s death, my mother filled up his shoes. I was just about nine then, and since then my mother single-handedly raised both me and my brother. The warmth of her love had filled up the lingering void in our lives. With a little family to cherish, I had been raised with love and sensitivity.
But things took a turn for me when I got married off in Punjab. The dreams that I had seen about my married life crashed down upon me when soon after my marriage I discovered my husband’s drug addiction.
Those four years of married life were full of mental agony and frustrations. Seeing my husband in such a state used to make me cry as if his condition was also taking me down with him. I had no choice but to leave him. When finally, I was convinced that he'd never be able to get rid of his addiction, I initiated the divorce procedure.
Living in a small town has its own complications and I realised that for a divorced woman it becomes more severe. I had been observing those eyes full of judgments being laid on me all the time.
I was continuously being told by people to get remarried as my age hadn’t passed yet. I had been very reluctant about this decision. And with no family pressure and just for the sake of alleviating my family’s concern, I got remarried to a divorced man in Delhi.
I had always thought that divorced men have little sensibility in terms of maturity. But my second chance at marriage completely shot back at me. As it turned out the man had married me merely for the sake of sex.
He was not a working professional, rather soon after my marriage, he made me join an office to earn for him. And what really got to my nerves was verbal abuses that were directed towards me. Verbal abuses led to physical abuses and even got to a point of marital rapes.
I had become lifeless during those days. I had accepted my fate as I had lost hope in my life. But one day I gathered up my courage and decided to stand up for myself. The idea of integrity hit me hard when abuses were directed towards my mother and I decided not to live a miserable life just out of fear of societal judgements.
I told my brother about everything and I was immediately brought back home in such a condition that even my family was traumatised to see.
It took me years to gather those broken pieces of my life and rebuild myself. I only had my family to look up to for the hope to move on with life and they supported me in all the ways possible.
I wanted to take up employment but the thought of working in close proximity to men was not letting me do that. But still, I didn’t want to give up on my journey of recovery as I thought that work could possibly become my way out of that life situation.
I signed up and excelled in digital marketing field and went ahead to establish my own personal brand. I built it from scratch in a very short span of time and in these developments, my education played a key role. I immersed myself in work so much that I had completely become forgetful of my past.
Now after many years, if I ever look back, I wonder how I even made through those phases of life. Talking about it brings tears in my eyes alongside a sense of pride for the courage that I had shown.
It took me years to gather those broken pieces of my life and rebuild myself.