13th February, a day that I can never forget, the day that I got married.
I was married to my so-called prince charming at the age of 25. Despite the differences in our religious beliefs, I chose to get married to him. Little did I know that he was deceiving me all along.
I wish I had listened to my heart but there he was with his fake promises and an oath to ruin my life forever.
All the promises that he made before marriage, about religion, life after marriage or my career; everything was a huge lie. In fact, I saw his true colours on the very second day after my wedding.
I’d always been a happy, self-motivated and independent girl despite having a rough teenage.
But when you get married to a person who does not respect you and makes you feel nothing more than a maid, you give in initially and ultimately give up because you can’t bear it any longer.
I was married to Mr Y for 4 years during which I sacrificed each and everything for him, my friends, family, career and even my habits. The only reason I stayed with him for this long was my daughter who was born within the first year of our marriage.
There was no room for family planning; in fact, it was a topic that couldn't be raised by a married woman is what I was told when I tried speaking to him.
But wasn’t it my body? Would it have been wrong to say that we were not ready for kids?
Not that I did not want to have kids, but things were going too fast and I wanted us to first understand and trust each other before we could responsibly dive into parenthood. Yes, there were other ways that I could have avoided pregnancy but I did not want to lie to him.
I went through with my pregnancy with a positive attitude, hoping that things would change after we have a baby. This is what our so-called elders always tell us, but please do not fall for this. If you don't share a healthy relationship with your partner, it will only complicate things further and make your child's life miserable.
One should have a baby only if both the partners are 100% sure and committed.
Gathering the little courage I had left and with an optimistic mind, I gave birth to my angel who means the world to me. Things were never right between Mr.Y and me but I was willing to give in and face his emotional torture only because of my daughter.
With time, I got so busy looking after my daughter and Mr Y that I forgot to take care of myself, which gave him another reason to abuse me and even call me ugly.
He was ruthless enough to say that he was staying with me only because he pitied me and not because he loved me.
I broke into a zillion pieces from within. Things kept getting worse but I still respected and loved him because he was my daughter's father and he loved her very much.
His mother was no more and he always said that our daughter reminded him of her. He shared a special bond with our daughter.
I was fine with bearing anything but my daughter also started treating me the way he did as she had picked up most of his qualities.
I struggled to teach her what is right and explain to her that it was important to be nice not just to me but to everyone around. I always told her that we were a family and had to stick up for each other until the end, no matter what happened.
But for them, I was nothing more than a maid to tend to their needs and when it came to my basic needs, I was ridiculed and made fun of.
The girl who once was so confident and brave in front of the outside world was nothing but a doormat for her own family. I would often question myself and wonder if I’d done something wrong to deserve this.
I was lonely and helpless but I managed to keep myself busy and learned to get better at household chores. I even enrolled myself in a stitching class and learned to sew clothes for my daughter.
I chose to occupy myself with other things and ignored the fact that I should have gathered a little courage to stand up for myself whenever Mr Y put me down. Things became so bad that we were nothing but two strangers living under the same roof.
The only thing we both had in common was the welfare of our daughter.
Both of us loved her equally and she was my only reason to live. We even tried to work things out only to find out that I was pregnant again.
The shocking news was that this time, he was not ready and wanted me to abort the baby.
Several thoughts flooded my mind as I recalled my first pregnancy and the time when I’d told him that I was not ready for a baby. He made me feel so guilty about it. And now, when he was not ready for another baby, he convinced me to get an abortion.
I succumbed to his decision but found myself under a great deal of depression. Nothing seemed right.
I tried talking to him about my depression but was abused for overreacting and behaving like a drama queen.
I hated my life so much that I tried to commit suicide. I consumed a high dosage of tablets but woke up the moment my daughter tried to wake me up. It was shocking because the pills had no effect on me.
Ultimately, I decided to stand up for myself and asked him for a divorce, as I could not live the life he chose for me. Then came his cunning part where he wanted the custody of my daughter.
I told him "no" but he kept saying that I was financially incapable of taking care of my daughter.
He threatened not to give me a divorce if I did not give him the custody of my daughter. I felt so helpless and did not know what to do!
He emotionally blackmailed me saying that he sees his mother in my daughter’s eyes and it would be impossible for him to live without her. He promised to give me unlimited visitation rights where I’d never be stopped from visiting my daughter whenever I wished to see her.
I stupidly gave in without assuming that there was something fishy about his behavior.
I wanted to stand on my own feet and in order to get my daughter back; I had to do something in life. However, I put forward one condition that if he ever got re-married, I’d get the custody of my daughter. Everything was finalized and we got divorced.
It took me a while to live on my own and fend for myself. I had to start from scratch to get to a position where I could take good care of my daughter. Even during this time, I visited my daughter regularly and took care of her whenever she needed me.
The initial days were tough but soon I landed a good job and worked so hard that I got promoted in 3 months. I was doing pretty well for myself.
Meanwhile, my ex was busy impressing a married woman who had 2 kids.
It didn’t bother me and I always thought that the sooner he gets re-married, the faster I'd get my daughter’s custody. My daughter and I have always shared a special bond that is unbreakable. Though I felt guilty for leaving her at that tender age, I ensured I was there whenever she needed me.
I moved far away from my family and friends so I could stay close to her and also because they did not understand my situation. I became friends with a few people in office who supported me.
They looked at me as a focused person who was working hard to get her daughter back. They respected me for the person I am. I slowly gained confidence and improved in every aspect. I realized that I was not at fault.
It was my ex who had a crooked and narrow mind and I should not give a damn about what he thinks of me.
Things were fine until my ex started getting very close to this married lady. With some amount of respect still left for him and also considering that her kids would be affected by their stupidity, I told him that he was making a big mistake and it was unfair to the three kids. His response to my concern was brilliant.
He thought that I was jealous of her! To my surprise, that lady was no less and she too had lost her mind. What a perfect match! I couldn't wait to see what karma has in store for his lady-love and him.
But I didn't care much about them as my relationship with my daughter was amazing and they would ultimately reap what they sow.
The best part was my ex defending that lady and saying that she cared for my daughter more than I ever did. He said that I had failed as a mother!
When the truth was that she spent most of her days and nights with him, not giving time to her own kids let alone being a good caretaker for my daughter. I didn't know whether to slap him hard for his stupidity or feel sorry for the three innocent kids. I just reminded him of the reality and walked off.
On a personal front, things were working out great for me. I stayed in my own apartment, I was financially independent and had good friends who respected me and were ever so supportive. But my ex and his ladylove would not let me live in peace.
They started conspiring that even if they did get married, I would not get my daughter.
He threatened to prove that I was an incapable mother and a characterless woman because I stayed alone. Honestly, I could have hooked up with any man and he would never know about it, but I was not like that.
My only priority was getting my daughter back.
I’d lost all hope on love and my only focus was to take care of my daughter and myself. As months passed, they started restricting me from meeting my daughter and staying in touch with her every day.
Apparently, the woman had even influenced him to teach my daughter wrong things about me. My poor baby, I felt so sad for putting her in such a horrible situation at that tender age.
There was not a single day when I did not cry for my mistake.
All I could do was pray to God to give my daughter strength to get through this phase and hope for her well being in my absence. I felt sorry for trusting the useless piece of s*** that my ex was.
But no matter what they try to instil in my daughter’s mind, the moment she meets me, we disconnect from all the nonsense and enjoy our limited time together.
His ladylove is in the process of getting a divorce and I am patiently waiting for the day they get married, so I can fight for my daughter’s custody. Meanwhile, I have gained the support of my family who finally realized what I was going through.
I am thankful because my ex has been the biggest lesson of my life.
I only hope that all this misery is ultimately worthwhile and I get to live with my daughter.