*Trigger Warning: Abuse, Suicide*
Since my childhood, I have witnessed a lot of domestic violence in my house. Growing up I always felt detached from my family because of it, but with all the internalised patriarchy, religion and the belief that I owe everything to my parents made me overlook the flaws of my parents until it became this toxic bond of hyper-attachment that I have with them right now.
I have witnessed both physical and emotional abuse frequently from a very young age. Back then, I never had the safe space to be myself, which made me vulnerable to further abuse from the outside. Things worsened as I started growing up because I was subjected to slut-shaming for everyday decisions I took; physical violence over little things was now a routine.
So, I started acting out and taking a stand for myself and my elder sister, which helped both of us a lot in many ways. We got the education we wanted, the career we aspired to have, but just then when I was doing good and maintaining peace in my family, the constant cycle of violence made me highly adaptable and understanding in nature.
Then the pandemic happened. During this time, I have had major mental breakdowns because of the emotional abuse I am still facing and finally it has crossed all limits—as for now, I am extremely suicidal. All of this hinders my mental health as I am also struggling to find employment due to this pandemic and the economic violence that I have been subjected to is getting worse with every passing day.
I didn’t see this coming, that being locked down with my own parents would make me confront the fact that all my life I have been abused not by my toxic relationships but my own parents. They were my abusers all along and those toxic relationships were just the by-product of my constant abuse.
I was abused verbally, manipulated, tortured, gaslighted. All of it makes me feel guilty for standing up for myself and pushes me towards suicidal thoughts. As a result, I am unable to process anything in my life anymore.
My brain doesn’t work, my body is close enough to a shutdown, and all I can think about is just getting a job and being free from all the emotional abuse I am going through. Unfortunately, people are dying outside and to be honest, I am just wondering how to get out of the house and be self-sufficient to stop the control.
I also keep pondering about the people who are dying daily due to different kinds of domestic violence, and how our own families can be perpetrators and push us to the verge of dying. I know one day the Covid-19 pandemic will be over, but what about this pandemic?
I keep overanalysing and get overwhelmed by thinking that I don’t know who to blame and where to go. Should I blame the patriarchy, my abusers’ unhealed childhood trauma, the religion, the whole brown parenting culture, the government, or just me? Whom should I blame?
I keep asking myself what is the solution to this kind of pandemic? When will this end? And even if it comes to an end, will the survivors of domestic violence get the cure to get over the trauma they faced for years?
If I recall the abuse I have been through even from a very young age, each abuse with its scar is still fresh. Nothing seems to fade away, like that battering I got when I applied his perfume and how teenage girls should not roam around with any kind of fragrance because then I will attract men or religion doesn’t allow it.
How do I let go of the violence when they caught me talking to a male friend and how I was beaten up in the middle of the night for 3 hours. My throat was choked with a cable wire, my stomach hit by their kicks and my head banged against the wall, not to mention the verbal abuse.
I remember how each fight forced me to self harm my body. How every slut-shaming, gaslighting and yelling led me to destroy my body. How do I forget when my tuition bunk was caught and I was beaten up with a stick till I screamed my lungs out and was unable to move and to add on how it all made me feel physically and mentally unfit to perform in my daily life.
Moreover, the trauma still haunts me and I am sure many women and children go through the same emotional exhaustion daily. Most people adopt destructive coping mechanisms because not everyone has the luxury to seek therapy and file legal suits against their loved ones/abusers.
What about the dilemma people like us face and the constant hardship we put ourselves through? We manage continuous challenges without any aid from the State for our emotional well being because therapies and even awareness about mental health issues caused by domestic violence are overlooked. And the unsafe spaces in our society make it even harder to speak about our violence.
So, tell me, when will this pandemic be over? How are the survivors of domestic violence going to get vaccinated against the virus hidden in our homes?
For domestic violence resources visit Ask Foundation