Trigger Warning: Depression and Rape
It all began when I had just passed my Class 12 board exams. One of my close friends was suffering from anxiety and depression following her father’s death. She projected everything on earning good marks. However, consciously or unconsciously the fear she had, affected me too. I gradually began to become cautious about how much hard work I was putting into studying for the upcoming exams. This led to my unhealthy habit of pushing people off and becoming a closed person altogether. Having most of my time to myself, I started spending it in a closed room with a television full of movies and TV series.
Hence, a balance was created, study while everyone was there and binge shows whenever I was alone. Somewhere, I was failing to realise that this was a turning point in my life and the subsequent events would equate my isolation with comfort.
The day my results arrived, out of fear, my friend ran away from her home. I was woken up by a phone call from the police rather than my excitement of the board result. Since I was on talking terms with her, the blame somehow was put on or assumed to be on me that I might have given her the idea of doing the same. The incident instilled in me the feeling of being apprehensive and scared for a lifetime. That day, even though my result was good, I termed myself as a failure.
Following the incident, I had locked myself in my house. The time after boards when you rejoice due to your results and hang out with your friends. My mind refused to step out and become comfortable with the world again. The namesake friends I had from thereon were just to fill in the limitedness in my approach to seek long term friendships.
This disinterested attitude towards people started affecting everything around me. Incidents in my life weren’t so pleasing either that made me love or feel good about me. Somewhere, all my actions were driven to prove myself innocent and not a failure. The circumstances around me tested me so much that, instead of recovering back, having an image of carrying a dynamic and strong personality, I felt weak. All these incidents were such that it brought in more fatigue than the feeling of pride in trying new things. In the end, I felt trapped in the arena of darkness.
This continued for a while, but what shocked me wasn’t this feeling rather the fact that I had made a home out of these feelings. The career I pursued, didn’t offer the practice of the teachings it preached. The students, teachers, college and the system became the enemies I was supposed to respect ideally. They practically made my life hell.
My achievements were thrown back to me as insults, my knowledge was made fun of, the multitasking was used as the throne to manipulate others and my marks. Technically, whoever I befriended at that time was marked the bad and over the period of time left me without closure.
The bad phase didn’t end here. While I was managing to juggle with my graduation, life had other plans for me. The darkness exhausted me to the core and its first effect befell when I was in my last semester. I was experiencing something which didn’t have medical reasons. Still, I wasn’t suggested with the right help and was made to take a bodily test which was uncomfortable and uneasy.
There was no one to hear me out. I used to cry the whole time. My then-boyfriend too changed sides. He became the biggest enemy whose fear I still live with. You must have realised by now how traumatic this experience must have been for me. Hold on. The pain still has an untold story.
I struggled to finish my graduation, I had planned that I will no longer stay in the city. Otherwise the panic attacks will make it worse for living a normal life. Thus, I deliberately failed my entrance exam to Delhi University and moved out. The idea was to live a safe life. But, as we say, when times are bad, nothing seems good enough. Within a month in the city, I was raped.
Questions, identity, self-love, self-care, emotional management, everything came to a standstill. A pause hit so hard that I was numb from all senses for a good while. I kept quiet. I didn’t have any power left in me to argue or fight. All I required was love at that time or maybe comfort or even care and lots of concern. I demanded everything soft at that time. This made me appear rebellious, stubborn and insensitive. I had given up on life now.
My second boyfriend or friends with benefits entered my life then. I was again used and thrown over. I was not only alone now, I was lonely with a hollow soul and a shallow heart this time. With some mere efforts I made a decision to convert what I was pursuing into practice. I made a phone call to book an appointment with a counsellor.
Sadly, until 2019, I was finding the right therapist who could lend me a ear to be heard. It took almost 4 years to find the the right care. I was pushed for medicines twice which affected me with memory and speech-related issues.
Depressed, affected with trust issues, influenced by traumatic experiences, I live a dual life today. Wherewith recollection of strength and education I run my own business, I go back home with an empty heart and lonely body. I have earned respect from my family and my better half after I confessed everything to them. They now encourage and motivate me for regular therapy sessions and celebrate my big and small achievements.
Besides this, without revealing my pain, I mentor young students and make them strive for attaining heights and par the hardships with pride.
I do the same through my organisation which works around the theme of mental health. I curate and design programmes with my professional knowledge with the dip of experience which talks of important mental health issues, how to serve the society given their relationship with mental health and make the place more comfortable and accommodated for mental health issues or people with the same to exist.
I hope you’ll be inspired. Inspire others by realising your power to make change happen.
Note: the writer wishes to stay anonymous.