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This Is What Happened When I Ended My Casual Relationship With A Guy

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This year has been quite an unusual one for everyone. Life has suddenly come to a standstill because of the pandemic. So, this year was tough for me as well. The pandemic and one of the toughest years of my life ever has taught me that nothing in life is certain. I came back to my hometown for my Holi vacations from Delhi (where I’m currently studying). And here I am, still at my home after nine months (because of the corona-led shutdown of colleges).

I was ecstatic at first. I was getting to stay at home for such a long time after two years. I was clueless that this vacation would change so many things in my life. Five years ago, I was madly in love with a guy. We were in a relationship. Though many people had warned me to stay away from him, I never believed anyone.

Three years later, he told me that he never loved me. He was in a relationship with someone else even before we had met. I completely broke down, left him and never talked to him after that. I always believed that one can’t force someone to love them. That is why I didn’t say anything to him. Yes, it took me some time to process everything, but I didn’t share this incident with anyone. It was hard to face anyone who had warned me against him.

I really wanted to share it with someone but I had no courage. This was my first heartbreak. In the process of forgetting my heartbreak, I entered in a relationship with a guy who loved me (as he used to say). It was casual from my side, I was not serious at all. And this turned out to be the biggest mistake of my life.

This casual fling turned my life upside down. This guy wanted to know everything — from where I was going to whom I was talking to, etc. I was not happy about it, but couldn’t say anything. This year, when I went home for my Holi vacations, we started fighting a lot. After that day, I thought it’d be the end. I didn’t call or message him. Honestly, I didn’t even want to. I really felt free that day, after so long!

Unfortunately, I was wrong. Very wrong. It was not the end. it was the beginning of the worst phase of my life. My punishment for having a casual fling as a girl was about to start. During lockdown, I started talking to my neighbour (my crush at some point in my past). I was sure I didn’t want any relationship. Just friendship. He told me that I was his crush too. But I never accepted his request on any social networking site.

The frequency of our chats increased, then began calls and video calls. Surprisingly, he baked a cake for me on my birthday. Our chemistry was awesome. We used to talk till 3 in the morning. We started sharing everything with each other. Now, I wanted him badly in my life. I was unable to control my feelings. I was falling for him more and more every day. Though when he proposed to me, I didn’t respond to him. I demanded some more time to think.

The worst happened then. My lover, who had now become so abusive, started sending me our private chats and disgusting messages about my body. He started threatening me to share it on social media. I told my crush everything. They both started fighting and this made the matter worse for me.

Representational image.

I apologised to him several times, but he wanted to take revenge. I don’t know what he told my crush, but he left me suddenly. He left me without giving me any reason.

Second massive heartbreak. I was completely shattered.

After four months passed, I somehow gathered the courage to message him to ask him about the reason for our separation. I told him that I still love him so much. But he chose to not respond to my messages. He doesn’t even look at me now. It’s been seven months, but that guy often threatens me even now. My family don’t know anything yet. They have been my biggest support throughout. I couldn’t have borne this had I been staying alone in Delhi.

Honestly, my relationships and heartbreaks have badly affected my mental health. I feel guilty for being in a casual affair, but I can’t change anything now. This has made me realise, no matter how hard you try, people leave. Now, I just want peace in my life. I deserve it. Everything will fall into place one day.

As they say, “This too shall pass!” A piece of advice to anyone who is reading it: Don’t lose yourself. Don’t forget yourself. You have only got one life. Live it to the fullest because nobody knows, Kal Ho Na Ho!

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

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A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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