Trigger Warning: Mention of suicide and assault.
What is unpleasant is that, even today the complications a girl has to face after being physically harassed are infinite. Daily we comb through numerous articles, but nobody gets to see the ‘sensationalism’ of this topic nor how much worse this situation could become.
Even today, it’s strenuous for me to acknowledge what I had put my parents through with all of this. To talk about what I myself was put through and to finally hold back every ounce of what my dad said to me.
Even rationalizing what I’ve been through in the past eight months gives me goosebumps, and writing it down is double the pain.
It all began with having five backlogs in my first semester of engineering, which I now agree was my fault as I took it lightly, thinking it will turn out to be like 10th grade. I can study just a few days before the exam, I thought. Which turned out to be false and I obviously failed.
I had no courage to face my parents and ended up taking half a bottle of my thyroid pills and sprayed insect spray all over my mouth, assuming I would be dead without having to face my parents and not to have them see what a pitiable person I was. This was because I know it takes a lot of determination to earn money, and that I did not get a free seat since it was my dad’s hard-earned money.
When I left the suicide note in the foyer for my mom to read it, it took a toll on me to write things to her that I never thought I’d say. The next day when I opened my eyes and realised I was alive, nobody can relate to how melancholic I felt.
After two weeks of my parents’ talks, I was fine to go to college and proceed with my second semester, assuming that “you can definitely make through this and hit stardom.” And, when I finally made things better for myself, I had to endure the most revolting situation I could ever be in. I was physically abused by a 30-year-old man, which dragged me three steps back to the phase I was previously in.
I came running home and called my best friend, who thought that action had to be taken against this and suggested I take it to the elders.
I was numb and I couldn’t feel a thing. I bit my tongue until it bled and was on mute and didn’t utter a word to my mom. I went upstairs, and the more I thought, the more I felt like killing that ruthless scumbag. It was 2 AM, and I texted my sister, telling her the whole thing.
The next day, my parents knew, and action was taken. It wasn’t easy, we live in a world where everyone relies on ‘proof’, and taking action took around 20 days. Of course, it did give me satisfaction, but it didn’t give enough justice to the situation I was put in.
I couldn’t resist the thought of being such a pain to my parents. Then, I again tried a different way to end my life. But, apparently, my parents never left me alone and came running upstairs after wondering what I had been doing alone for so long.
When I realised how messed my life was, things got worse. It had been months, I had stopped going to college, and had been telling my friends that I had health issues, which I did. This phase of my life has been tremendously sickening, and I was constantly thinking of why I was even alive the whole time.
But, talking about the worse part: when my dad stated, “It’s your fault, you never studied. You take life for granted.” The words reflected what I had told myself: You deserve this.
On what basis can anybody be so horrible after what happened? Was I at fault that someone did that to me? But staying with parents is always nauseating. I’ve zipped my mouth, thinking I’ll stay this way until I can earn my own bread.
My dad hasn’t been an easy person to deal with. It could be because his mindset differs from mine. Being a doctor, all he said was, “Only medicine and engineering are supreme.”
Like Sherlock Holmes, the most successful people shine in different areas. When I took up writing seriously, my dad once again said, “This can be a hobby but not a profession.”
It’s been quite a rough time through all of this, but I managed to write about what I felt and got one of my books published on Amazon. I was told not to talk about what I’d been through, but I guess it’s about time to stop hiding behind the screen, as I don’t see how it’s my fault.
I’ve been working as an intern for a few platforms on Instagram, and I’m glad that I’m moving past this phase. I’ll be rejoining engineering, and I don’t see my life going anywhere. I’m still not clear about how I see myself in a few years.
Finally, I feel the mental health discourse in India has a lot more to work on, in terms of betterment. The education system has partially flipped this year, setting different kinds of rules. But, of course, I haven’t seen any scope for helping mental health. Because, according to most people: It’s nothing, you’ll be fine.
I hope this story of mine doesn’t portray that fact that “I need condolences”. In fact, I just want people to understand the underlying sensationalism of this topic which is unseen even today.