The email writer’s reply… specifically to Raghav.

Sharing this reply from the email writer in the previous post.

Hi,
I am the Letter Writer. Thank you IHM for posting my mail and thank you everyone for your responses and encouragement. When there is a problem and our own family members don’t stand by us, its heartening to see all these responses from people who don’t know each other, taking time to pen down their thoughts and suggestions.

I would like to add here that fortunately my friend’s son has not been a spectator to his parents fights all these years. They would either send him out of the room or he would be asleep most of the time. But he was witness to a recent huge fight a couple of months back where he did see his father raise his hand on his mother.

@Raghav– I would specifically want to reply to you here. First of all you must understand how difficult it is for a woman to put up her problem on a public blog expecting help by way of suggestions and encouragement. Not all details can be put up here. When there are details mentioned, its best to stick to what you know by reading. You don’t have to, don’t need to ASSUME things you don’t know or are not mentioned. Every person is short tempered at one point or the other. Every couple get angry with each other and fight–either of them CAN start a fight and instigate each other. But that does not mean they need to be judged. A fight or argument does not start by itself–someone has to start it. No relationship is complete without an argument or fight. My friend has always been the one to accept her mistake and even apologize when she has crossed the line. She only expects the same from her husband. But that has never happened. At the end of the fight, he always manages to twist it onto her and blame her for what happens. Never has he accepted that he could be wrong too, it was wrong to say this, it was wrong to be sarcastic, it was wrong to call her names….No, he feels he is the perfectionist and that she is always to blame. Won’t anyone get rattled, irritated and more angry if that happens.
One has to accept their mistakes and ensure that they don’t repeat them so that the relationship becomes stronger. You can have fights everyday too, it’s because there are 2 different individuals in a relationship, living under the same roof. They cannot agree on everything and keep smiling always. There are bound to be arguments. Otherwise we all have to keep marrying our own clones… and maybe SOME Men would love to get married to clones of their mothers.

So, please keep your assumptions if you would like to write detective stories.
And for all those who have given so many thumbs down, my friend and me would love to know what your thoughts are. I don’t understand how you can give a thumbs down to sane responses.

Agreed that most of them have suggested that she should separate from her husband immediately. But if you have different views on how she should tackle the problems or make her husband understand that she too is a person, she too has feelings, she too needs respect—please, please pen down your thoughts and help the person who has requested for it. You are not doing anyone any favours by thumbing down others responses.

Thank you all once again. Maybe my friend would not take the “D” route immediately, But you never know, it might happen some day. But for now, her husband is trying to change, the physical abuse has stopped for the last few months. He has begun realizing that she is not happy and is depressed.

I just hope that she is able to come out of this rut and be happy. She deserves it. As I live in a different city, I am unable to offer her support by being at her side.

Note–and yes WA stand for Wedding Anniversary. Sorry if that confused some of you.
Thank you all once again.

Related Posts:

I am a ghost. – Shail

18 thoughts on “The email writer’s reply… specifically to Raghav.

  1. Letter Writer,

    I began writing a response to your original E-Mail, but I realized that I was being unfairly negative about the whole issue, and did not really have all that many original suggestions beyond divorce, so I chose not to go ahead with posting my response.

    At this point, though, I do want to say two things, the first directed at your friend, the second to yourself.

    The first thing is that children – even very young ones – are often much more perceptive than adults give them credit for. Even if the child in this case has not directly witnessed the tension between his parents, you can be sure that he will cotton on, sooner rather than later. When one of the parents is deeply unhappy, children do perceive that. To believe otherwise is to delude yourself, in the same way that it is delusional to believe that such an environment is in any way a healthy one for a child to grow up in.

    The second thing is derived from my own rather painful experience in this regard, and is probably much harder to accept, especially if you feel strongly about your friend’s happiness.

    In short, it is this – beyond a point, you are completely powerless to help. No matter how clear the dynamics are to you, no matter how angry or sad it makes you to see your friend in such a situation, no matter how much the unfairness jars you, the fact remains that this call is not yours to take. When you see a relatively happy individual self-destruct, when you see this individual turn into a shell of themselves right before your eyes, when you think about the potential simply wasted away, it can become torturous. But there is not much that you can do about it.

    What you can do, what you must do, is lend your support and a sympathetic ear to whatever extent you can. Abusers will often try to cut off their victims from friends and relatives. Do not let this happen. Stay in her life, even if only for fleeting moments at long intervals. Above all, even if you cannot offer material assistance, even if she denies the need for your presence, even if you don’t quite see the point anymore, try not to let her feel that she is all alone.

    On a more practical note, if she decides to leave this relationship, understand that your own testimony would be invaluable in family court, more so if she decides to lay charges of domestic violence and the matter turns into a criminal one. Perhaps you can encourage her to document some of the abuse (keeping her personal safety paramount, of course). Even if she does not agree, you must document, with dates and times, whatever she tells you of it yourself. Make particular note of physical injuries, because medical records of such injuries can often be obtained. Also try to document any abuse directed towards the child, as well as conversations which demonstrate mental cruelty. Such evidence is a rare luxury in these matters; you would be in a unique position to help.

    Whatever she decides, here’s wishing your friend, and you, the very best.

    Whether she admits to it or not, I’d say she is very fortunate to have someone such as yourself in her life.🙂

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    • Straight on Praveen, children are way more intelligent and intuitive and extremely good at sensing certain things than we like to admit. I am sure the child feels the tension between the parents and internalises it as his/her own fault. How can they gaurantee that the child was still sleeping? Maybe he/she was awake and pretended to sleep because they were scared.

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      • Indeed.

        Children are also, in my experience, very much tuned into their parents’ emotional state. Even without explicit verbal cues, they can often tell that everything isn’t hunky-dory

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  2. Dear Letter Writer

    So many people have given you encouraging responses here. Please do not worry about the Thumbs downers. There are some people who troll blogs pressing thumbs down to everything, including sane comments. They have no work and no time and the last thing we should do is bother about them and give them the time of the day (Imagine the thumbs down I will get ha ha ha ha)

    As the ever logical Praveen, said here and Radha said in the earlier post you can only guide your friend. Rest in is in her hand. (BTW Praveen and Radha I love your comments always)

    I have mentioned this on IHM’s blog before and will say this again. I was in an abusive relationship only for a short time. He bullied me, abused me and even hit me. Once he twisted my hand so badly that my whole hand became blue and I had to take injections and tell everyone I had an accident. Life was a hell. He followed me everywhere, took money from me and blackmailed me. He even made a cousin of his who was Cop threaten me if I left him.

    He forced me to be with him and would show up outside my work. Till one day I had enough. When he realised I was not taking his bullshit he threatened to tell my parents that we had sex. I still remember we were standing on the middle of the road on a very hot summers day with my heart in mouth. I was a scrawny 18 year old and he was a confident and huge 23 year old. I just knew I had to do something right at that time. I gathered all my courage and told him “Yes, let’s go to see my parents and you can tell them we had sex. But first lets go and see your parents and tell them that and also how much u hit me, beat me and bully me.” And I screamed this at him. And I saw for the first time he was scared. I then started walking towards his house with him running behind me and people watching me, I was scared out of my mind because at one point I thought he would kill me or throw acid on my face.

    He came up to me and told me “Please don’t go to my place”. I again looked him in the eye and said “If you ever trouble me, ever call me or disturb my life, I will make sure I will do the same to you, I swear”. I grabbed the next rickshaw and went home and cried. I didn’t get out of my house for days. This only took place in 5 minutes. I end months of abuse in 5 minutes. I never heard from him again.

    All I needed was to find the courage in me and I did it and I thank myself everyday for doing that. Please make your friend read all this. Trust me for her son it is better that he grows up in an atmosphere where his mother is happy and confident but single. Rather than a environment where both his parents are together and his mother is a depressed woman who is regularly beaten up by his father.

    More courage to your friend and hats off for standing up to her. You rock !!! She is lucky to have u.

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  3. Its thee five minutes thats the problem Bella. Somehow am just not able to open my mouth and say something coherent because am that scared. I seem to write much better and am thinking of drafting an email telling him what I think of all this. Once he reads that, then maybe I can have my five minutes of courage.

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    • Lavy trust me once you build that courage up it will be a Breeze. Sometimes all you need to do is sit down and write. Once you read your own words you will get the power to stop the torture. No body has the right to abuse us without our permission trust me. It is us who give power to the abuser.

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    • Dear lavy,
      I am sure the reasons that have prevented you from speaking up so far are valid in their own right but there are enough reasons for you to speak out too.so yes maybe whenever you are physically away somewhere for a couple of days ,sending a mail or leaving a letter isn’t bad idea,maybe he will also then get the time and space to react and introspect without causing you any harm or an argument derailing the core issues.all the best !!

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  4. As Bella rightly pointed out in her comment above, abuse in any form can be ended once the person puts their foot down on it. It is absurd if such an abused person even considers about how she should tackle the problems or make her husband understand that she too is a person, she too has feelings, she too needs respect. Is there any point in tackling such a situation instead of simply walking out and ending the abuse straightaway. And if one is too scared of the consequences of the D word, then one is simply choosing to be abused further on and screwing one’s own life and probably the child’s too.

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    • It seems absurd to us, the objective outsiders, but the psychology of abuse is such that the abuse alters the person- they are in a state of ‘learned helplessness’- a state in which the abused person eventually accepts the abuse as ‘normal’ as a coping mechanism.
      ‘m not an expert on the subject but according to this theory, when abuse has gone on for years, it is not realistic to expect all abused persons to walk out of the situation- even if a way out is glaringly apparent to you and me.
      What is needed is intervention- a third party , who can either help an abused person who begins to want to leave, or who can nudge the abused person into the ‘I should leave’ stage.

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  5. Dear E-mail writer,
    First of all It is important that she has a friend like you who is genuinely concerned and is doing something to find a solution for her.In situations like these sometimes JUST A SINGLE HAND TO HOLD is needed to pull the person out of the bad situation.\
    Just tell her,her decision whatever it is has to be her own because yes as you said all of us know only the parts shared here I am sure there is a bigger picture too,but tell her a lot of women like her have found the strength and then the respect and happiness they deserve.God bless !

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    • The bruise on the skin was
      either blue or black
      the bruise within were all colors
      shame,guilt,pain and hate
      all in one

      the wounds may heal
      the fractures mend
      but the battered soul
      knew no amends

      it would disintegrate
      piece by piece
      and languish in
      the long dark shadows
      of cruel memories

      till a little ray of
      hope may shine
      or a faint voice of
      courage may leap

      and ring the bell
      or make the call
      and begin the process to end it all !

      Like

  6. I could never understand a concept of women which says.

    “Abusive husband/father/colleague/boy friend but other wise good”

    How hard is it to understand a abusive person is NOT ok. In any respect.

    Like

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