“And when I told her about his abusing me she didn’t believe me. Now here I am all alone, deprived of the love of parents.”

Sharing an email.

Parental control; silencing of victims by not believing them; teenage marriages, pregnancies and motherhood; control by in laws in patriarchal joint families; Violence; emotional abuse; inability of mothers to walk out of abusive marriages; dependence of women on spouse; poverty and dowry leading to further abuse … we don’t seem to talk enough about all the harm each of the above can do and do.

And encouraging self reliance is not seen as a parental responsibility in our society. Patriarchy can’t survive without the dependence of those whose human rights it abuses. 

Hi ihm,

I have been reading your blogs for quite some time and they really enlighten me so now I have decided to share my story.

I am from a typical indian family where they have every problem you discuss in your blog, well except my father never beat my mom or me or any of my sibling.

But he is a womaniser, an adulterer and a sex offender. I was his victim for 15 years when I finally got enough courage to stand against him.

My parents got married when they were in their teens and by time my mother was 18 she had two of us to take care of. My mother was not educated and belonged to a poor family with a large number of siblings. My grandmother is abusive. My mother being the only daughter in law at the time, my grand mother used to beat her, curse her, didn’t let her talk to anyone and only allowed to touch her children when she had to, and after that she had to have to bath.

My father is mostly away because of his new job. When I was a toddler my mother joined him and that’s when my abuse began. Because of all the abuse that my mother went through in her teens, she grew up to be a abusive parent, she is controlling, physically and mentally abusive. My father cheated on her from time to time and it causing her became mentally unstable.

And when I told her about his abusing me she didn’t believe me. Now here I am all alone, deprived of love of my parents. How much I wish sometimes that I was never born. Why they give birth to me so my father could have a toy to play with. Isn’t it right he given birth to me and he can use me as he wish. My mother can kill me for telling me such lies – isn’t this what our culture teaches us never disobey your parents and don’t question their decisions so who I am to question them? This is a life I can’t escape because this is not my sanskaar and even if I do try to escape I would drown in my self guilt. I can’t betray a mother who has sacrificed so much in her life to give us a better future ((which she understood) and I can’t live with a father who betrayed my trust. My mother still hopes that he will love her and respect her once she is old, so what option does it leave me? I don’t have courage. I am very tired fighting all this.

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An email: ‘Dark childhood and other thoughts.’

“…if this thing comes out my husband will think my wife is after all not that ‘pure’ or is not that ‘untouched flower’”

‘In our families, we don’t take this kind of thing outside,’

An email: Satyamev Jayate touched a deep wound. After almost 30 years I broke the silence.

Here’s why I think the society should not obsess over a woman’s virginity.

Sexual abuse victim thrown out of school for being a bad influence on other students.

In Rape Culture, we understand that if the rapist was living alone, away from his native place, he could lose control over himself.

Teacher arrested for raping six year student.

“She was warned several times and was used to unethical practices like friendship with boys.”

20 thoughts on ““And when I told her about his abusing me she didn’t believe me. Now here I am all alone, deprived of the love of parents.”

  1. Dear LW,

    I am really shocked and don’t know how I can comfort you. But all I can think of is that firstly please go and see a therapist. It’s very important that you see a therapist as there are too many issues here that you cannot solve nor can any of us solve here or help you with.
    I am very happy that you have written about your problem, which means that you are not living in denial, now the next step is seek professional help and counselling so that you can completely heal and begin a new life. Trust me, this is just the beginning and there is hope. It will take a lot of time, but things will improve and till then please hang on and we at IHM are also there to offer moral support.
    In case you are in Hyderabad, please visit the below link for professional help.
    http://www.roshnihyd.org/services.html
    They have very good team, and they can help you with this.
    All the best!!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Its shocking and saddening at the same time…
    The dependency on the men is what makes patriarchy survive…I hope this girl finds courage to break out and be herself.

    Like

  3. I am truly sorry to hear about your situation, LW. It is painful to hear account after account of children being abused, and this one is probably the worst because the perpetrator is someone children place implicit trust in.

    I have some advice for you – advice that you may not even really like – but I have to tell you what I think.

    1. Face the facts. Your parents are on a marriage that does not work. There will never be any love between them and therefore there will none left over for you. If you continue to stay with them, you will be emotionally and physically abused on a daily basis. And look what that did to your mother. You will probably turn out broken too unless you break the chain.

    2. To break the chain, you need to move out of the house. You know the drill – get a job, rent a room, get a life of your own. Your parents will probably make this difficult, but you are a thinking adult and can take your life decisions. Surely a sexual predator and an irresponsible and abusive mother have no right to tell you what to do.
    (I have to say that as much as I sympathize with your mother, I also blame her for her behavior with you. She may have been abused as a teenager, but now she’s no longer young or naive. She is fully responsible for her actions – and if you move out, and she hates you for abandoning her – it’s her fucking problem.)

    3. You also need to emotionally distance yourself. Understand that you can try convincing your mother that this is a sinking ship but she will probably not listen. Indian women are hardwired to believe that marriages are for life and if you are a chaste and loving and accepting wife your husband will come back to you one day. What they don’t tell you is that if at all he does come back it is because all his other avenues are closed. The truth is, if you behave like a doormat, you can’t blame someone if they wipe their feet all over you.
    You need to realize that there is nothing you can really do to help her except (a) being there for her when she needs you and (b) maybe getting a third party such as a women’s support group involved. Do that. But more importantly, know that your happiness does not have to hinge on hers.

    4. Your father sounds like an asshat. You need to report him to the authorities. This will be difficult but it is critical that you do this. Enough said.

    Know that you are not responsible for what happened to you so far, but you are definitely responsible for what happens next. Will you move out and do wonderful things with your life?
    Or will you stay in this house and live a wretched life, wallow in self-pity and doubt? I sure as hell hope not.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. You know that your mom’s expectations out of your dad, that he will love and care for her once she is old is baseless, right? She has seen enough of her husband to know that he will be the same. But in our world, it is taught that the woman has to first of all bear the brunt of bitter in-laws and abusive husband, then expect them to consider her sacrifice and turnaround in her favor, with their eyes suddenly opening and finding that the woman they abused is indeed a Goddess incarnate. We are taught that our sanskaar shine only by gulping down every ill treatment with a somber smile and returning each abuse with more care and affection that they deserve. It is difficult, almost impossible, to move their firm belief that if they quietly withstand everything that is thrown to them like a tornado meaning to kill, the calm will follow. They are mistaken. Its not calm that follows a tornado, it is destruction.

    And the second thing that is a part of our culture is that if we don’t obey our parents’ wishes/commands/fancies, we are belittling the sacrifices they made for us. If we love them, we have to agree with every word they say and do as they bid us to. It is equally wrong.

    You are first and foremost responsible for your own well-being. If your mother does not want to open her eyes to her abusive husband, you don’t have to put up with him for “paying back” her various sacrifices.

    I can’t emphasize this enough number of times – It is utmost important that women earn for themselves and are capable to fend for themselves. Be independent. Earn. Move out. You can take your mother with you once you are stable and may be she will realise that she was wrong but may be, she won’t.

    In either case, you don’t HAVE to do something because she wishes so. Make your own decisions. And don’t hold yourself responsible for her woes. There is no reason for that guilt whatsoever.

    What good is the talk of sanskaar where daughter is abused, by both the parents and neither is willing to understand you? I don’t see any “sanskaar” in physical / mental abuse.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. What a seriously sad situation. When victim blaming, victim bashing occurs, then the original issue only becomes worse… And then people just start believing the insults!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Work towards economic independence.
    Leave your home and live by yourself.
    You owe nothing to your father who abused you.
    You owe nothing to your mother who refuses to believe that your father abused you.
    In old age he will become incapable of abusing anybody and may come to you on bended knees.
    Be tough and don’t waste any sympathy on him and don’t forgive him.
    Keep some sympathy for your mother if you are soft hearted.
    Turning your back on such parents is your only solution.
    If you can’t do it now, then prepare to do it and work towards it.
    All the best.
    Regards
    GV

    Liked by 4 people

    • Mr. GV,
      when I used to read your posts earlier, I was always baised and believed your responses to be old fashioned. I have to tell you now, I find your response the most sane, practical and wise. Maybe I am getting older and wiser😉.
      you should start your own counselling/mentoring sessions.

      Ariana

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I feel so deeply for you, LW. It is very hard to take action when you have no support from any place. But know that your greatest support must come from within as well as your greatest strength.

    1. Report your ‘father’ to the police. This really needs to be done not just for your own future
    safety but also for the sake of all other little girls he may abuse. Such people are much better off behind bars than let loose in society.

    2. Forgive your mother but realise you don’t owe her anything. She was a victim too but no matter what, she is a functioning individual and has made the worst possible decisions regarding her child. You cannot trust her any more than you can trust your father. But you can understand her plight, let go of the past, forgive her and move on. Don’t drown in guilt. None of this is your doing. The responsibility lies with your grandparents and parents. Don’t enter the cycle and spoil life for yourself and your children (if any) too.

    3. Your parents and their relationship to each other and to you will never change. Accept this and make future plans accordingly. Stop arguing with your family. Just move out and try to build a life free from abuse with the help of friends and other people in your life. You are not responsible to solve the problems your parents have created.

    4. You can try to take your mother to a therapist. It is very vital that she gets some help if she and you are going to mend your relationship. But I can practically guarantee that she would refuse and no one else would accept that she has problems either. Unless she actually starts going around with her hair flying open and scratching herself, Indians would generally not acknowledge the presence of a mental disorder. Sad, but true.

    5. Your mother does not trust you. She does not care for you. She has no emotional space left to care for other people. All of it is used up in her own survival. Don’t misunderstand the situation – she has made no sacrifices for you. If she would have sacrificed anything, she would have left and taken you away from an abusive situation. This was mere survival, not sacrifice. Don’t expect a lot from her.

    6. No, it is not right that your father can ‘use’ you in any way just because he gave birth to you. That would be a crime. You are nobody’s possession, you are an individual with rights over every single thing in your life.

    7. No, your mother cannot kill you for lying or for anything else. Throw away any culture that does not make you happy. That would be a crime too.

    8. I understand it is difficult, but throw away your sanskaar too. If it does not help you live, then it is less than useless. Escape the abuse. Make it your goal.

    9. Go to a therapist. It is vital. We can give you guidance, but only a trained therapist will be able to work with you on how to deal with the anger and anguish inside you.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Oh my god.. this is so sad. I dont know what to say , I am sorry that I am of no help although i wish i could in some way.

    I am sure you will get plenty of advice , especially from people who themselves have no clue about what you are probably going through.

    But as a human being all i can do is pray that you are strong enough to face it all and somehow are able to get rid of this all. Have a good life.. Take care of yourself..

    God bless

    Like

  9. Dear LW,

    Hugs to you. You need to do some serious waking up! Glad that you recognize that your circle of trust is broken. Your parents, well let me tell you – you do not owe your life to them. In fact, if you continue to stay in that house – be prepared for more to come – you may end up being married to another one of your dad’s kind. So break this cycle NOW.

    Don’t be disheartened – don’t pity yourself – we are all not born and brought up in similar circumstances. Some have it good and some have it bad. Unfortunate that you had to go through so much. But now that you have your head in place and that you are grown up ( I don’t know your age), you need to pick your life up – you are responsible about where you land up. So get yourself a good education – a job – and move away from this crap. Its hard – who said anything is easy. But don’t set yourself up for more of this.

    Don’t have courage, that’s alright, you dont have to break his head. I do realise, that in some way you have been made to feel your mother did a lot to give you a better life – does moving away from her and her abuse to build your own life harm her – it does not. What if when she sees you succeed she changes her mind and leaves the man. Nothing binds you down – there is no stopping you. If you have no choice, life under that roof like a confident person and be clear on your purpose – which is to become independent and plan a happy life for yourself. Keep your spirits and confidence up.

    I’d recommend not heading to the police to complicate this. First set your goals and break out.

    Pitying yourself – no use. Helping yourself – is what you need.

    All the best and be strong.

    Like

  10. i have no words to console this young lady. Not much advise either. The only thng i can say is leave the abusive environment. Let your mother deal with her issues. Go to a therapist and if possible report your dad. If he’s doing this to his own daughter there is a possibility he’s doing it to other children too. report him.

    Like

  11. Dear LW,
    Your story is truly heart-breaking. Don’t have much to say to console you. The advice given by others above is really good advice. It would help if you provided a few more details – how old are you? Do you have a degree or such? Do you have a friend/cousin/someone who can take you in for a few months until you find a means of supporting yourself. I agree with the other commentators above, you need to move out of this abusive environment immediately. As for your mother, I’m not fully aware of the reasons why you think she sacrificed much for you (clearly she is a victim of abuse herself and has my sympathy), but you cannot help her if you don’t help yourself first. So help yourself and in due course of time you’ll be able to help her too, if she’s wise enough to accept your help.
    I wish I had enough information about NGOs that help women in your situation. Maybe some of the other commentators or IHM can post that information here. I see one link posted above.

    Like

  12. Dear LW,

    I’m so so sorry about the experiences you’ve had to deal with! There are no words that I can say that will truly console you. I can sense from your letter that you are drowning in guilt, like all of this was your fault. NONE OF IT IS YOUR FAULT! Your mom, though a victim of abuse herself, has not done much to protect her children. Therefore, you DO NOT owe her anything. Parents are supposed to protect their children, not harm them! Your father did none of that, instead, he has scarred you! What you really need is a therapist. Please do not feel like you have to obey your parents….your parents themselves need help, and they cannot help you break free from this cycle. I am glad that you are questioning your parents though and the life you’ve led thus far. All I can say is leave, get help, and start a new life! Take charge of your life now!

    I wish you all the strength, luck, and best for your future! I hope you take comfort that all of us are here to support you emotionally. Please take care of yourself!

    Warm hugs!

    Like

  13. Please work on finishing your education and getting a job. Or getting a job while completing your education. You need to get out of this really harmful situation as soon as possible and financial independence is the first step. Is there an aunt or cousin in whom you can confide? Who can take you in while you rebuild your life? None of this is your fault, it’s just bad luck that it happened to you but you should never blame yourself. Regroup and move on and hold your head high. Your parents may be the worst people in the world but your life is your own. Be kind to yourself, take care of yourself and make the first practical moves now. Good luck and God bless.

    Like

  14. Dear LW,
    You have gone through a lot of pain and suffering and you still are in the grip of it. But you have written about it. You have put it in words, acknowledged it. You have shared your story with others here. And THAT is the beginning of hope. When you acknowledge your pain, when you are able to see that what they have done is wrong, you are taking the first steps toward separating yourself from the problem. They caused the problem. The guilt and shame are theirs. Not yours. Please try to see that.
    If you are strong enough to bear this pain and still talk about it in a sane fashion, then you are strong enough to come out of it. You must put a physical distance between them and you. Then you must begin the process of healing – either with the help of a therapist, a close friend, or by yourself.
    You have gotten excellent advice from others here. We are here to listen, so you are not alone, but I also hope you can find other friends in your life who will love you with a pure heart and reaffirm your faith in people.
    Please see if you find this blog post helpful:
    http://tinybuddha.com/blog/the-transformative-powers-of-pain-healing-from-abuse/
    Wishing you lots of strength and sending you tight hugs,
    Priya

    Like

  15. Try to get a job as soon as possible. If your studying try your best to concentrate on it so that you become employable. From her heart your mother also knows that she is abused and should not live with him. But she is afraid to take that step hence having ostrich attitude. If you can not change situation then think that its normal.

    If you are able to move out then you can take your mother out. But there are very less chance that your mother will cut your father off.

    So you move out as soon as possible.

    Like

  16. Pingback: “According to my mom, friendship with guys should always be limited to academics, nothing personal.” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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