“I remember the first time I got slapped was when I bought some pasta home for $2.00 when the similar thing could be bought for 40cents.”

Many of us view with suspicion, essential information about abuse and control that can save lives.

Basic information about recognising abuse [Recognizing Emotional Abuse], how it begins, the absolute non-negotiables, the need for support systems (etc) are treated as modern or western ideas.

Patterns in abuse – like isolating a victim, demeaning them, violence, threats, keeping a victim in dependence, controlling their personal choices, not valuing their happiness, being disrespectful to them –  are treated as ‘adjustment problem’😦

Sharing an email. Do you think information about healthy relationships and  how to recognise abuse could have helped the email writer in some way? 

Dear IHM,

I have been reading your blog for quite some time now and have drawn courage and inspiration from many posts.

I would like to share my story with you with a hope that you and your readers will be able to provide a general guidance.

I come from an upper middle class family. There was constant reminders from family and friends that there is no male child or varis and that there is no need to invest in educating girls but to save money for marriage. None of this deterred my parents and they raised us well, without compromising in any form. My dad strongly believed that girls should be independent and for such girls marriage-alliances will not be an issue. Love marriage was discussed several times at home and my parents always said that who we choose to marry is entirely our decision and they will respect our choice. I still remember their words, “If you choose to marry a rickshaw fellow, we will still support your decision out of love for you but it is up to you decide if you will be happy with him for the rest of your life”.

I lost my mom when I was 18, and since then lived/studied in hostels. I finished my graduation and soon moved to Australia for further studies. Life was very tough in a foreign country without family and friends. It was then that my (future) husband came into my life at a time when I was lonely and lost. He stood by me in difficult times and with him I began to feel secure and stronger. We were very much in love and my dad didn’t oppose my decision. My husband and I come from two different parts of India, he is a North Indian and I am from South. Our language, culture and many things were very different, but at the time these things hardly mattered. Soon he talked to his parents about marrying a South Indian. I didn’t hear the actual conversation but I thought his parents would be happy with his son’s decision. (They are both well-educated post graduates). My MIL came to visit us after a month. We seemed to get along well and I had a feeling she liked me. The alliance was agreed by making a ‘roka’ ceremony and she went back to India for wedding preparations.

I believed all was well and happy that I would be marrying the love of my life with blessings from both the families. Contrary to my thoughts, my uncle called me one day pleading with me to forget about love and marry someone in our community. I soon sensed something was wrong and upon insistence he told me that my in-laws had some connections with the Police and they sent some policemen to my house to arrest my dad and whoever else was at home. [IHM: Warning Sign 1] Luckily, my dad wasn’t home but unfortunately my uncle was and they arrested him without giving out any details and jailed him overnight threatening that he will be in jail forever if he doesn’t convince me into forgetting the boy. My in-laws wanted the alliance to be broken from the girl’s end so they don’t have to hurt their only son. I was furious when I found out and put my foot down that I will not get married into such a family. But my husband stood by me and told his parents that if he gets married at all than it will only be me else he will remain a bachelor. Finally his parents had to give in and apologised to me, my dad and uncle and twisted the whole story saying that they only asked the police to enquire about family. Anyway with a lot of convincing and persuasion and of course drama, my wedding took place. I consoled myself that we will soon go back to Australia and in-laws interference will be very less. Oh boy how wrong was I!

Not even a month after marriage, there was constant nagging from my MIL to bring my husband’s only sister to Australia which he obliged and she was here to stay with us soon. I never had any issues with her and we got along fine. There was drastic change in my husband after marriage, [IHM: Warning Sign 2] he was constantly irritated with me. He would very often tell me that marrying me was a very bad decision as he didn’t know his ‘worth’ before and now he knows.[3] Had he wished, he would have got a fairer, good looking bride.[4] I didn’t believe him at first and thought he saying just joking. I started getting a complex that I am not good enough for him and maybe he really deserved someone who is better looking than me. I wanted to make up some way for my looks and make him a happy husband. I blindly followed whatever he asked me to do. [5] Our finances were merged and I no longer had any control over my salary.[6]  My husband would do all the banking transactions and I was given $50 as monthly expense. Even simple chores like buying groceries were (currently) handled by my husband. I remember the first time I got slapped [7] was when I bought some pasta home for $2.00 when the similar thing could be bought for 40cents. The physical abuse only put fear in me and I taught myself not to upset my husband ever again.[8] Just not the financial independence, I also realised very soon that I didn’t have any more friends of my own. [9] For some or the other reasons, my husband would turn me against my friends sighting trivial things. The only women or friends I was allowed to talk was wives of his male friends. I gave up all my friendships to make him happy as I thought I’ll have to live with my husband not with friends. You could be wondering what happened to my family all this while, I was too ashamed [10] to discuss with anyone, as I didn’t want people [11]  to think my husband is bad. I remember when we got groceries, I would ask for deo and he always bought men’s deo only and used to say there is no difference between men’s & women’s deo and I should use his to save money. I once got a beating in return for saying ‘get women’s deo and we both can use it if there is no difference’. Every time he hit me, he would apologise and convince me that I get a beating because I have done something wrong and he is only disciplining me and it hurts him too when he is hitting him. Mentally, physically & psychologically I surrendered to him. I think that is my biggest mistake ever.

There was so much pressure from fellow couples as most of his friends started having babies and it was our turn. I got pregnant [12] soon and the whole pregnancy was a very difficult one as the baby wasn’t growing well and I had gestational diabetes. Also there was continuous stress as my husband would not let me have maternity break for more than 6 weeks after childbirth. In my workplace, I was only entitled to 6 weeks of paid leave and if I wish to take it longer leave, then I had to go without pay which was not acceptable by my husband. Every time we had a discussion, he would strongly disapprove. I thought my child is my solace and didn’t want to let go of precious time with newborn. Well after lot of convincing, my husband agreed to 12 month maternity leave. My happiness didn’t last long as soon my in-laws arrived and the real trouble had only begun. My boy was born premature & I had several complications while delivery. My mother in law took control of the whole house including my son. She would only give him to me for feeding, I wasn’t even allowed to put him to sleep. While I was at home, both my in laws would tell me how bad I was for their son and how he has missed out on the opportunity to get a fairer beautiful bride. Now my task was not just making up to my husband for the lack of looks but also make up to my in-laws by being an obedient ‘bahu’.[13] What was supposed to be a year after year visit became a permanent stay for my in-laws in Australia. I started a full time job after 10 months and found going back to work therapeutic. Against my husband and in-law’s wishes, is started making friends at work whom I wouldn’t discuss at home. For my ill luck, my husband got a full time job in the same company. As it was an issue of pride for him at work, he started loosening up a bit. He no longer controlled me in what I wear. I started having choices in buying clothes that I’d like to wear. Once after a fight at home, I discussed my issue with my colleagues/friends and they were shocked to know the truth. They slowly and steadily started brain washing me on how I am being abused by my husband and in laws. Talking to them made me realise how naïve I have been all these years and how my thoughts got clouded into believing that all this while I was making up for not having fairer skin.
I successfully persuaded my husband to allow me to have a credit card and access to banking details. I was allowed to buy anything under $10 without seeking his permission. I was also allowed to go out for lunches with my colleagues. In all this while my mother in law was taking in charge of the house. She didn’t want me to do washing as I wasted too much water and soap. I was restricted only to do dishes, cleaning & occasional cooking. I let her do whatever she wished as I wanted to avoid conflicts.[14]  Then came a time when it was my son’s first parent teacher meeting at school. I put in extra effort that morning for the meeting to look presentable. To my surprise, my husband drove me home instead saying I don’t deserve to go for the meeting and he will go with his mom as she knows better since she is teaching my son at home. I was flabbergasted, as parent teacher meeting for a kinder going child is not about study, it is more about getting to know the parents. No one cared for what I wanted, my husband said he was only being logical.

Four years were gone by and I got pregnant with second child. Unlike last time, this pregnancy was smooth. A girl was born, happy and healthy. I was very thankful for a complete family. My in-laws/husband were unhappy though as the girl was darker skinned, in other words, darker them me. I would get constant reminders again on how only if their son choose a fairer bride, they wouldn’t have to go thru having dark skinned grandchildren as theirs don’t look like north Indian at all. I couldn’t take insults anymore and gave it back to them (mind you my sister in law has got a permanent skin condition called Vitiglo and it pains me to hear that above all it is my in-laws who are judging kids for looks when they have their own kid with such condition) Once during such argument, my FIL kicked me out of my own home calling me ‘bloody south Indian’.

I was waiting in garage for my husband to return with a three month old baby and my son. I waited there for 4 hours before my husband arrived. He was very upset for his dad’s behaviour and went to confront his dad but was replied with a tight slap across his face for questioning his father. I eventually had to get my sister in law to interfere and explain to her parents what it will feel like if her in-laws treated her the same way.

Even though we never talked about it, there was unease and constant nasty undercurrent at home. The environment got toxic and it took a toll on me. Within a month, I was admitted to the hospital with a brain stroke. At thirty two years of age, I was diagnosed with high blood pressure and stroke. I managed to survive the first episode of stroke without any physical damage but my life hasn’t been the same since. I had a second stroke in another 6 months and doctors strictly warned me to change my lifestyle as they couldn’t put a finger on what is causing it except for stress. I have since been on medications that are for lifelong. Have had two major surgeries accounting to poor health. I am now on the verge of a life in a wheelchair as my legs have completely gone crooked. I look for happiness and strength from my children and haven’t given up on full time job. All my health problems are brushed away as minor issues. My Mil doesn’t even have the curtesy to ask me about my health. On many occasions, I wasn’t even offered a glass of water after returning from hospital stays.

My kids love me lot but they are totally controlled my MIL. She decides what the kids will wear, what they eat and when they sleep. I am only an entertainment segment when I get to play before bed after finishing the house chores. My Mil is a control freak, I am not even allowed to put clothes for charity without consenting permission from her. She has got this weird desire/habit of saving, only brings vegetables at the end of day that are sold on special price and half of them are rotten. We never bought fresh veggies. I am not allowed to even throw away stale food without her permission, just to quote few examples of her freakiness.
Just recently my MIL got sick with flu and was admitted to hospital. She has since been discharged and made a good recovery. But for last 3 weeks, I have been too busy attending to house, kids, work and in laws. I have been working around the clock meeting all their needs. My husband hasn’t offered to help me in any way and last night we had a fight over how I am not doing enough for his parents. I couldn’t take it anymore and I blasted with all the anger. I told him how I can never forget the fact that my Mil didn’t even offer me water when I was sick, how they do not want a darker skin bahu and how happy their life would have been if a Punjabi bahu came home instead. I didn’t hide the fact that I am looking after his parents only to please him. I told him that whether it’s my parents or his, there is always going to be a conflict and it is us as a couple who need to make adjustments and compliment each other instead of looking for flaws in me alone. Yet again I was silenced with a slap.

I have had enough and can’t take it anymore. I cannot keep battering my self-confidence for the sake of a man who hasn’t got any respect for his wife. I don’t have the heart and feelings anymore for his parents.

Please give me some thoughts and please don’t ask me to leave him as it is not possible. I have tried in vain several times to get this parents to live separately. I don’t see that happening. For my own sanity and health, I am coming out in open requesting you to please read my letter and offer some words of wisdom.

Thanks in anticipation.

Related Posts:

Recognizing Emotional Abuse – Priya

Women and Friendship – Building a Support System – Priya

Simple methods, recommended to anybody else, coping with any other kind of abuse, are forbidden to Indian daughters in law. Forbidden by whom?

What makes some of us resent abuse victims instead of supporting them.

Can a woman marry and change an uninterested man into a loving and responsible husband?

“I think most problems in life are when we look for approval and validation outside of ourselves.”

Changing Someone (or oneself) – Priya

Is your relationship healthy?

96 thoughts on ““I remember the first time I got slapped was when I bought some pasta home for $2.00 when the similar thing could be bought for 40cents.”

  1. You recognize the issue, you know the solution yet you don’t want to act on it. Pray tell me how strangers on Internet can help you.

    I don’t mean to be harsh. I sympathize with your plight and totally understand that getting out the of this situation is difficult. Nonetheless, you need to do it. You have already caused enough damage to yourself in the process of trying to live with it without success if I may add. Please get out of it for your own sake and your kids’ sake.

    As you mentioned you have supportive parents. Please make use of that support system. Have you spoken to them about it? A good start would be saving some money and separating your finances.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I understand your point, but you know, it is the first step that is the most difficult one – sort of Newton’s first law😛
      And LW (and most women in her situation) needs a leg up for that first step. The best “leg up” here would be actual friends (I mean, physically present near her, and not just connected online like us) who are genuine, understanding, empathetic, helpful, AND sharp-minded (after reading some letters at IHM, I have come to realize that if God had not given me all the above, I would have landed in a worse state than these girls – probably might not even have been able to write to IHM like these girls have managed to do on their own). The best leg-up we as online-friends can do is to give very specific, clear, step-by-step advice, share our experiences, and give moral/emotional support & consolation.

      Like

    • I agree to what Sapna has to say, it may sound difficult but trust me moving out on your husband is the best gift that you can give yourself and your father. You are an independent women, you have a job , you dont need a husband to look after you specially when he dosent even respect you.

      And Please for god sake reach out to your father/family. They may feel bad and hurt but they will be more than happy to help you get out of the state you are in. It’s just not worth being treated like this.

      Also you are setting a wrong example for your kids ( specially your daughter). You dont want her to go through the same shit. if they are your kids fight for it Gal , your in laws cannot be over and above the mother.

      Think about it. It’s worth taking the step, For your kids , for your family & most importantly for yourself.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi there IHM,

    I am a long time reader of the blog and something about this made me want to email this email writer.
    Perhaps as an Australian I felt it was my duty to reach out.

    My advice for this woman.
    – you are being abused.
    – to date in Australia 25 women have been murdered by their partners. Please don’t be the next one.
    – please seek help. there are lots of women’s assistance shelters, emergency loans etc available here for help. you don’t have to face this alone.
    – do you have a good counsellor? there is even free counselling available
    I am happy to give you the links- I need to know which State you are in.
    I will provide my details to IHM.
    Hang in there

    InSyd.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Dear LW, no human being should be treated like this. This is abuse of the most severe form. There is only one way out – you must leave him. But you say, that is not possible. It is hard to break out of abuse when it has gone on for this long and with such intensity. The victim becomes confused, disoriented, and is rendered a passive observer. You need help. Is it possible for you to start seeing a counselor asap?

    Like

    • Hi, I live in Sydney too. Would you be willing to meet in city sometime? I cant make you leave if you are not ready. But I can be a very non judgmental listener.

      The news below still haunts me and I think you should read it too.

      http://www.news.com.au/national/courts-law/melbourne-inquest-hears-details-of-the-final-fiery-moments-of-anitha-mathew-and-her-two-sons/story-fns0kb3z-1227351819556

      She had two children 5 and 10 and she took them with her.

      BY his own admission, George Philip hadn’t spoken to his wife for months before she burned herself and their two children alive. The silence, he said, was to “teach her a lesson”.

      He doesnt even know he was abusing her.

      The woman was cooking on a camping stove everyday. The story doesnt say it but I am sure it was too get her cooking up to his mom’s standards. There is too much that the article doesn’t say. In the end all that wasnt enough, he was not happy and wanted to punish her more by taking her back.

      And she gave up. Because she was under stress and not thinking straight.

      I read somewhere- Equality is not something we get by asking. You will become equal the day you start believing you are. The marriage will suffer from then on. But can it get any worse?

      You owe it to your mother who brought you up with love to not let people treat you this way. I can email my details (phone number, email, where I work to IHM). You do need a counselor but at the very least you need to start creating a support structure around you. We can meet during your lunch hour. I hope you’d say yes.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. LW,

    A bear hug. Heart breaking story. I think it’s been too long and too far gone for you to not to do something. Don’t you think your self-worth and respect get internalized by your children? If your husband is so controlled by MIL, don’t you think your children too will grow up like him – spineless and sorry for the very strong word, cruel? I can only emphatize on how difficult each day must be for you, but I think the interventions required are drastic and for your children as much as for you. It’s not just your husband you need to leave, but the entire toxic household.

    Where is your father now? Can you turn to him? It does not matter if you have not shared your life with your family thus far. If there is still a loving relationship I believe you should be able to turn to it anytime. If your ILs can use violence and intimidation in India, your best bet is to stay in Australia. But maybe he can come over and help you transition into an independent life?

    You are a working woman – clearly able to to support yourself and your children. You must set up your own bank account. It’s simple. Go to your bank, open an account. Go to HR, change the account details. If anyone asks, it is for tax purposes. If your husband objects, be strong. If he abuses, call the police. YES, CALL THE POLICE.

    I am totally unaware of the legal issues in Australia, but believe it is progressive. There must be a women’s centre that you can use to figure out options? There is no shame in asking for help. You have done nothing wrong. Please please understand that your life, on your terms, is fair and right. You don’t live for ILs, husband, children or society. You live for yourself.

    There are two ways out of the situation : 1) the slow easing out from the life as your know it or 2) a sharp severe cut. Which ever you choose, it’s going be a long painful road to recovery but remember the end goal, happiness on your terms.

    Like

  5. So what now.. are you going to wait for a final heart attack?? From your letter itself it is clear that you know you are being mentally and physically abused, it seems you even know the way out.. yes to ‘LEAVE HIM’ but you are AFRAID. I don’t know what is your intention to write this letter coz I don’t think you are gona get any workable solutions here other than what you have forbidden ‘LEAVE HIM’ solution.
    The only advice I can imagine other than this is .. you please join some marshal art class and start attacking (kill bill style :)) those who open their mouth against you..Aha not interested in Violent solution? then let me give it a try to make you understand!
    May be it is very difficult for you to start a fresh with two children on your side but is it more difficult then living with abusive people around.
    Women what you need is a self confidence.. yes only that.. believe in yourself that you can come out of this pathetic situation. Every minute you are staying there not doing anything for yourself is like killing your inner self. you need to take this drastic step: LEAVE HIM
    You know what will be your situation 5 years down the line if you continue with this bullshit, here we are random people at the most we can give you some advice but the truth is you have to gather strength yourself, not for your children but for you first. Save yourself, be strong and take the decision that you already know. Let we see a cheerful letter from you in future to IHM that how you got out of this bad bad situation. TC dear.

    Like

  6. You already are aware of the abuse and know the answer – leave him with your children. This is horrible and I cannot imagine how you are putting up with this. Contact your dad and ask your family for support. As you are abroad, I am sure there are many shelters and counselling available for abused women.

    What is making you stay in this marriage? What makes this marriage and putting up with abuse worth more than your life and health? Do you really want to spend the rest of your life like this? You have a daughter. She learns by seeing you and she will also learn to remain in an abusive marriage because her mom did. Your son might also become abusive learning from his dad. Is that the legacy and life you want for your children?

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  7. Aww… That’s a sad story of course. Two brain stroke? and did you ever inform your father. Just because you chose your groom doesn’t mean he will disown you. I don’t know how people let themselves get treated like this. I think the groom’s family are some kind of Rathod’s, lol. Slapping business.

    OK, the best thing for you is tell them to stop messing up right now. Tell them very strongly. You might be slapped again but tell them anyways. The next time they do it, walk into the nearest police station, file a good long complaint against them and include your physical conditions as well in the report so that anything untoward was to happen to you, they are behind the bars. That’s where they all belong. If it was India, it was even better. I would have loved to see those thugs behind bars, and section 498A works charm for these kind of people.

    Finally if you don’t wish to see them behind bars, you might consider going for kick boxing or boxing classes and start hitting them back. This is my suggestion based on your version of story.

    Like

    • Kick boxing or boxing classes? because all you have to do is go to one class and you’ll become Mary Kom right? and then know one will ever be able to abuse you? Even if she weren’t in a wheelchair,this would be a pretty stupid suggestion. DO you really think the lady’s situation deserves silly jokes and a Lol”. Did you really laugh out loud while typing your comment?

      Just FYI, people don’t “allow” themselves to be treated like this. They get broken down and worn out over time and stop caring. The lady has taken a very brave step by asking for help and she doesn’t deserve “aww” or “lol’ or “take a boxing class”.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. You’re being abused, and you should leave. And what you said about leaving not being an option is not true – it’s all these years of abuse that are making you see things that way.
    Get in touch with a counselor, get help from a women’s shelter, and walk away from this family that’s sucking the life out of you. I can’t say this enough – you need to LEAVE. Take that first step, and everything else will fall into place.

    Things can ONLY get better from here. Remember that.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Leave now!!!You should have reported your husband for physical abuse the very first time he hit you. And you should have called the authorities when your FIL tried to eject you out if your own home . It is YOUR home and THEY are the ones who are intruding and abusing! Also you could sue him for racism .

    Please find a good lawyer and start the divorce before anything more serious happens to your health. Do you really want your children to grow up in an environment where they watch their mother treated as a door mat?

    Here is the domestic abuse helpline .http://www.dvrcv.org.au/support-services/national-services
    Please contact them/police . Better yet, don’t wait for the next abuse but contact a good divorce attorney ASAP.

    Your huge advantage is your financial independence . Also the country you live in has a much stronger justice system. Please secure your finances. Your attorney might help you with it.

    Here in the US in most cases once the divorce is initiated the husband has to move out of the house. Please keep a record of the abuses and any proof you can gather for the abuse. Also please start seeing a therapist to heal your emotional wounds.

    Wishing and praying for your best.

    Like

    • >> “Also you could sue him for racism .”
      Good one:)
      That would be next though. The physical abuse, and throwing out of the house come first, followed by emotional abuse. “Racism” complaint might side track the case from the major issues. (I have no idea about how cases go on in Australia though)
      Hey, and separating an infant from its mother (what LW’s MIL did) is serious CHILD ABUSE. Again, I don’t know about Australian law, but if it can be included, then it should be. And it should also be mentioned that her husband gave full support to her MIL’s actions, so that any of their claims or “visitation-rights” over her children would be rejected.

      Like

  10. And please do tell us why you don’t want to leave him.

    He has abused you this badly both physically and mentally. Why would you still want to spend your life with him when you can lead a peaceful life you deserve?

    Is it because you want your kids to have a complete family? Please understand that a toxic ‘complete ‘ family is more harmful for your children than a broken peaceful one. With the info you have given your husband and in laws disrespect you and your children witness and pick on this. Don’t they deserve a better environment? Don’t you deserve a better life?

    Please do contact a therapist . Keep your family and friends close. Don’t hesitate to share. Your husband is the one who should be ashamed of his actions, not you. So please don’t cover for him. His bad actions don’t reflect on you.

    Please move out before something really bad happens to you and your children are left with your in laws. I am sure they won’t bat an eyelid before getting their son remarried if God forbid anything happens to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Lady, you deserve better than the best! It pained me deeply as I read this. You need to get out of this. That is the hard way, I know. But, to raise your children in good health, you must take a stand for your own sake and for your children’s too. Good luck! You are in my prayers. And, things will get better for you. This too shall pass soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I don’t want to seem insensitive, I am not, I feel very deeply sorry for your condition. But can I ask why you can’t leave him? There seems to be no love in this relationship. Wouldn’t you be happier and more at peace if you were on your own? Just imagine how it would be to come to a home where you are not constantly ridiculed, insulted, humiliated and made to be scared?

    People like these should be reported. You really need to go to the police or organizations that can give you more concrete and practical advice. Please don’t trouble yourself any more. It’s horrible to have gone thrpugh so much physical, metal, and emotional abuse.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. You really only have two choices here: leave or stay.

    If you stay:

    You will continue to have the married tag, and a family with whom to live. They will continue to abuse you. Now that you are on a wheelchair, the next step would be to get you bedridden, then they will probably kill you. And don’t think that it will be done in one snap. You will probably be mentally and physically tortured before the last blow falls.

    Meanwhile, your children will see what is happening to their mother and there are two possibilities in which this would affect them. They will either begin to side with the rest of the family against you and treat you like dirt, or they will side with you and get abused by the rest of the family for doing so. When they grow up, it is possible that your son might have internalised the abuse and will dish it out to the women in his life or at best, he might end up in dysfunctional relationships. He might even turn criminal. Your daughter, on the other hand, will most certainly either turn radical feminist (your one bright hope here) or she will passively court abuse in her relationships. The latter is more likely, and she might end up in a situation similar to yours. She too might turn to crime. By staying in this relationship, you are normalising abuse for your children, which will have devastating effects on their future. I am not just blabbering here or showing you the worst case scenario. This is very often the result of growing up in abusive families.

    Your husband and in laws will continue to prosper and live happily. They will have power over you as long as you live and they will use it to the full extent. You will never make any lasting friendships because you can never be an equal to a free person. You will be enslaved and your children will be enslaved. They will face no repercussions and society will look up to them as a ‘decent’ family, while you will be murdered or reduced to slave status.

    If you leave:

    Make no mistake, this is not an easy choice. You will face legal hassles, trouble with coping in life and money troubles. It is possible you might spend a few years in poverty because you have no money saved up and legal charges can be prohibitive. Your children will face adjustment issues in the beginning. You will all require therapy to deal with the past, and it is possible that your children are already ruined in their psychological make-up because of living so long in an abusive atmosphere.

    BUT

    You can find aid organisations to help you once you have decided to leave. There are women’s shelters, and possibly your family members will also help. Your colleagues and friends will sympathise and you might make some really strong friendships. You never know where support will come from. Your father will be happy to see his daughter grow up and mature as a person and living like a human being instead of like a dog at someone’s beck and call and being kicked about.

    Things will gradually get better. You will gain control of your life. If you continue to work as hard in fulfilling yourself as you do in being a slave, you will definitely make progress in your life. You will make money, and find that you have moved up in the world. You will gain in self confidence and you will be able to slowly instill this in your children. You will be able to indulge in the small pleasures of life – take in a movie, go for a stroll in the garden, or just sleep peacefully.

    Your children will grow up and most probably be happy, fulfilled and be able to handle relationships. They will not abuse nor allow themselves to be abused. It is possible that they might still suffer because of being exposed to abuse at such a young age, but they will have time and space to get over it. They will go on to become worthy human beings.

    If I were you, I’d have really just one choice. I know it’s no choice at all, but it’s got to be done.

    Liked by 11 people

    • What sensible advice! I wish someone had communicated like this to me 10 years ago… but I guess I was not smart like LW to write to IHM.

      LW- you are moving in the right direction…I am so glad you wrote to IHM….I wish you loads and loads of happiness, courage and patience.

      Liked by 4 people

    • This! I’ve been a victim of abuse in a relationship that lasted five years and it was when I saw my own little sister following in my footsteps and dating an abusive man that I decided enough was enough. No one should be treated that way and we’re the best role models for the young women in our lives who look up to us. If not for your own sake, please leave him for the sake of your daughter. Love and strength.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Hi LW, since you mentioned you can’t leave your husband, I would like to know after all WHY?
    Are you afraid of his power? Are you afraid he will kill you or hurt you if you try to leave?

    Like

    • I hope LW is reading all the comments but the question still remains why can’t you leave him?
      Are you afraid of him?
      Are you dependent on him in some way?
      Are you feeling guilty of love marriage?
      Are you afraid he will take your kids?
      Is it only emotional dependency which is keeping you there or is it financial dependency?
      Are you afraid you will be left alone?
      Are not your parents supportive?
      Are you dependent on him for your visa in Australia?
      Are you afraid you can’t live alone as a single parent?
      Are you afraid of “what will people say”?

      I thought a lot about your reason of staying with him. If you explain your reason of not leaving, then maybe IHM and IHM blogreaders can provide you better advice how to sort it.

      Because the abuse you are going through is infact very very severe, it can’t be stopped or treated in any way. Like some diseases, control freak nature is incurable, so if you trying to learn some tactics I don’t think if anyone can offer you any advice in such a case of abuse and which is going on for several years now. They won’t change EVER. So whatever you do other than leaving him won’t work. I am not discouraging you but all I am saying is from my experience with control freaks.

      Like

  15. Hi LW,

    I am a regular reader here but rarely post a comment.

    Please, please please leave him! How can it not be an option…..it is the only option. You and your children deserve a better life.

    Like

  16. Reading this email makes me feel sick and upset. I usually dont react this way at all but something in this email puts me off. How long can a human endure abuse. especially if its separating the kids etc., that part is hard to digest, where you are not permitted ot bring your kids up, why have them at all. having 2 kids doesn not make a family complete. where is the love in all this? what kind of life is this? is this life worth it? Im serious. i know the LW cannot leave or doesnt want to or whatever.
    but is this suffering worth it? so what if it was a love marriage, you made a choice, got conned or whatever. remember fool me once – shame on you, fool me twice shame on me’ …. how many times have you been fooled by him. his abuse and consolation??????
    This is not what a happy marriage looks like or feels like.
    I reiterate the same thing, You have one life, make it count. make it happy.
    i know this is not what you want to hear. but i dont have anything to say. You are independent , DUMP him, Report HIM, take your kids and live happily.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. My dear,
    First of all hugs to you. I almost cried reading your story. But please please you do not deserve to be treated like this. Nobody is. This is pure physical and emotional abuse. How can you tolerate this? Why CAN’T you leave him??? based on your letter, you have been ill treated, abused, dis respected, to the point where you are seriously ill. What kind of an impact will this environment do for your kids? Please leave him, you have a good job, you will be able to manage. I am sorry, I really don’t have any other advise..

    May you get lot of strength to face this dear girl.

    Deepa

    Like

    • It’s called low self esteem that causes some people to allow abuse to continue for this long. Quit with the victim blaming. Admitting you have a problem is the first step to getting it solved.

      Like

  18. I don’t want to sound harsh and rude but it seems from your letter that you do not value yourself enough and struggling with low self-esteem. How could you put up with his First slap in the first place? You should have given it back to him right there and then , and would have left him for good.
    Physical abuse one side. Now for emotional abuse, he started saying that you are dusky and he should have married to some fair looking girl, now where is your self-respect here? Are you also obsessed with fair-skin husband that you couldn’t leave him?
    The whole email is nothing but abusive story because you allowed it to happen for so long. How can an educated and full time working woman would put up with such sort of abuse? Its beyond my reasoning and logic.

    Separate your bank accounts and be the owner of your money
    And yes distant your kids from them, if you still want your kids to respect you and love you.

    He and his family is simply abusive and should be put behind bars. Charge them with all sort of domestic abuse cases, and ask for compensation for what they made you go through all this time.

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  19. “Every day my husband and in-laws forcibly hold me down and shove 2 tsps of acid down my throat. My children see this. If I gag or protest, I get slapped. Please tell me what to do, but don’t ask me to leave.”

    Does this make any sense? How is this different? Why is emotional health not treated like physical health? If you have a wound on your leg would you stab yourself more right on that spot? Can anyone help your wound heal if you repeatedly gouge it open? That’s exactly what LW is doing here by refusing to leave (it’s a choice, just like leaving).

    The case for emotional hygiene:

    As a wise person once told me: “A family is only as strong as its weakest member.” The poor kids don’t need to see any of this.

    Like

  20. I’m also baffled. If your husband berates your appearance, your background, the way you perform household chores, the way you cook (when people who refuse to cook berate others’ cooking, I want to laugh in their faces), slaps you for buying pasta from the wrong place, why do you stay on hoping things will get better? Especially when he has his parents to join in the abuse?

    When a person shows you who they are, believe them.

    Like

  21. I wonder WHY you cannot leave him? Is it an emotional block (Like you thinking you cannot live without him and having a marriage tag is important for you ) or is it because of practical reasons like lack of financial support/place to go?
    Believe me, Whatever is the case, there is always a way out. My parents had abusive marriage for years before they got separated and that was one of the happiest days of my life! I started having the feeling of a “family” AFTER my parents separated. Believe me, your kids will thank you if you take a strong stand and be there for them. You have no idea what must be going on in their minds seeing their mom like this, being abused. I have been there, in their position and it is not a pleasing experience. It is traumatic. Staying in a abusive/unhappy marriage does more harm to kids than having a single happy parent.
    Some of the practical things you can do to get out:
    1) REACH OUT TO YOUR DAD!! Please please please. Let them know what you are going through. Forget about whether he will support you or not, just let him know, please.
    2) Reach out to NGOs in your city. A simple google search will give you this data.
    3) Work on building a support circle, supportive friends, family who will support you emotionally and financially when you are strong enough to leave.

    Like

  22. I know it’s frustrating to watch or read about someone not objecting to being abused. I get the “Why??” comments. BUT you can’t reason with an abuse victim. Especially if the abuse has gone this far and for this long. Some very strong people (those trained to withstand torture like spies, marines, SWAT teams) break down under systematic abuse carried using specific, tested techniques:

    Isolation can be very effective – it often deludes us into feeling weaker than we really are. Isolation makes the Stockholm syndrome possible. This is done by giving the torture victim a very confined space and keeping the room dark so they lose all sense of space and time. Even hard core criminals in state penns fear solitary confinement. In the LW’s case, her support system has been cut off. Parents are far away in India and no friends allowed probably.

    Eroding dignity is also very effective – when intellectuals in concentration camps would not break down under physical torture because they believed so passionately in their rights, degradation finally did the job. In the LW’s case, she is not allowed to make decisions that involve pennies. She is not allowed to use feminine deodorant.

    Rendering the victim “useless” is also effective – there were tolerable and intolerable ways to treat prisoners of war during WW1. Tolerable treatment not only provided basics (food, water, shelter, medicines) but also reasonable WORK. So the prisoners feel productive, that they matter. Intolerable treatment included not only denying the basics but denying MEANIGFUL WORK. A soldier who is an engineer by training is made to shovel dirt all day. In the LW’s case, she has been excluded from taking care of her own children, inducing a sense of worthlessness.

    What the LW needs is immediate help. Help needs to be concrete, simple, and broken down. Anything more can be overwhelming.
    Step 1 – LW, ask for help (done)
    Step 2 – contact an abuse shelter, update them of the situation regularly. The abuse shelter may help you get a restraining order.
    Step 3 – start seeing a counselor
    Step 4 – find a friend(s) who can listen non-judgmentally and can serve as a witness to the abuse.
    Step 5 – contact family immediately and keep in regular touch
    Steps 2, 3 and 4 will ensure the immediate safety of the LW – so the family knows they are being watched
    Divorce is a much farther step. LW needs to first and foremost remain safe in her own home and fear of the law and consequences need to be instilled in her family’s minds. In the US legal system, this man and his parents could be facing several years in prison, if their activities are ever brought to light. Australia probably has similar laws against abuse.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. I have been a regular reader of this blog but never felt so compelled to post a comment as I feel today.
    Dear LW,
    Perhaps the comments here will help you see the many reasons you should leave. Better late than never. No one should continue like this. If you are scared he will harm you, you can consider moving back to India. You are qualified and will be able to financially support yourself and the children. Your health condition caused by stress will get better if you are out of the abusive situation. I think your family will be ready to help if they read this. If not, please reach out to friends. I am sure you will find people here on this blog who will be able to provide any practical support that you require. I am a working woman living in India and I will help you find resources if you move back. IHM’s readers are based in different locations and I believe you will be able to find many solutions through them. For example: some of us may know reliable paying guest accommodations in xyz city, some maybe able to refer schools/daycare centers, and some may be able to help in other practical ways.

    LW, please take care of yourself and let us know of anything else that is required.

    Like

  24. Would you Mom have ever wanted such a life for you? How do you think your current situation would have made her feel? She would have wanted you to be an incredibly strong woman, standing up for herself and leading her life, her way.
    Do you want such a life for your daughter? Looking at the way you are being treated in that house, you are sending your daughter the message that it is “normal” for a daughter inlaw to be abused. You are telling your son…its normal to be supressed and miserable….its normal to be spineless and to disrespect a woman.
    Please gather courage for your kids if not for the peace of your Mom.
    You are so well read. You have the capability to support yourself and become financially independent. You certainly have the ability to give your children and yourself a better life. Please seek help provided to you by the readers in Australia here.
    Please also consider a temporary separation, if not divorce. This would probably give your husband a jolt and make him realize how wrong he has been, if thats even possible!
    I am sorry but my heart goes out more to the kids than to you. They need their Mom very much. They really do! They deserve their mother to be well.

    I know a Punjabi and I know the Punju MILs can be the worst esp with South Indian bahus (at the risk of generalizing). I have a South Indian bhabhi. I hate that this divison and racism exists…thankfully not in my family. I will make sure to be extra kind to her and that my Mom does not treat her differently than me.

    Liked by 2 people

  25. Another thing that’s helpful here is the way IHM has identified and embedded warning signs within the letter. This will be useful for other readers facing similar situations in the early stages of abuse, so they can begin to say ‘no’ before going down a slippery slope.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. I am a South Indian living and working in Sydney and a mom to two kids. I also speak Hindi fluently. Do write to me and I will pass on my telephone number. If ever you want someone to talk to, to use as a sounding board or just any other assistance, I am happy to be that person.

    Liked by 4 people

  27. Hi there

    This might sound a bit paranoid and schizophrenic on my part but you should watch what your MIL is feeding you more carefully. Just start making sure casually that what you eat including your lunch to work can easily be switched with your husband or trying mixing back uneaten left overs back into utensils and make sure that’s not making anyone uncomfortable. You are too young to have such serious health issues and they (your in-laws) clearly hate you. Just be careful is all I am saying. If abuse of some form is normal in most happy Indian families, pure evil is not as rare as we would like to think.

    Liked by 1 person

    • IHM, Please do highlight this comment from G.K. This IS possible. And this must be the first thing to check out.
      Of course the level of stress that LW has can result in any sickness, but still, it is worth running the tests that G.K suggested.

      Liked by 1 person

  28. Hi I m living in Sydney too.I am ready to meet you and talk.But its you who has to take action.What is your visa status ? call the police and get your in laws arrested for abuse !! stop obeying n listening to ur hubby n in laws…..take charge if your money n bank accounts.I am afraid your in laws seem viscious enough to kill you once you are past your use to them.

    Like

  29. I don’t know very much about domestic violence, but for everyone who’s saying why don’t you just leave, please understand that it isn’t that simple; it’s extremely difficult for someone in an abusive situation to just get up and leave, and it can also be very dangerous to her and her children. It takes a lot of steps and support to be able to do so safely. Please read/watch this heartbreaking and eye-opening TED Talk on why domestic violence victims don’t leave: http://www.ted.com/talks/leslie_morgan_steiner_why_domestic_violence_victims_don_t_leave/transcript?language=en

    Here’s also a link on do’s and don’ts for how to support as friends/family: http://abuseintervention.org/help/friend-family/

    For those of you with more experience, any suggestions on what can be safely done after a more acutely violent situation to ensure safety after calling the police?

    For the LW — I’m so so sorry that you and your children are living through such a horrible situation. Please try and tell your father about what is going on, and if you have any trusted friends — your loved ones really need to be aware of what is happening. Please don’t feel any shame — the fact is not about whether your family will think your husband is bad, but that they need to know what you and your kids are going through. Please also get in touch with a counselor/therapist to start talking with someone — I’m not sure how your insurance situation is, but perhaps you can arrange for them to not send billing statements home or to do it through a domestic abuse resource center so that you would not have to pay. After some quick googling, here are some websites with recommendations on steps that you can start taking to get out of the situation.

    http://justicewomen.com/tips_escape.html
    http://www.clarkprosecutor.org/html/domviol/plan.htm

    Here are Australia specific general resources: http://www.whiteribbon.org.au/finding-help

    I’m not sure where you are in Australia, but here are links to people in Australia working within the South Asian community specifically:
    http://shakti-international.org/shakti-aus/services-aus/

    Some others working in the community:
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-05-15/melbournes-indian-community-calls-for-end-to-domestic-violence/6474228
    http://www.sbs.com.au/yourlanguage/punjabi/en/content/reeta-verma-responds-talkback-callers-prevention-family-violence
    http://latrobeuniversitybulletin.com/2012/10/25/new-ambassadors-to-prevent-family-violence/
    http://spectrumvic.org.au/family-services/

    I wasn’t able to find specific contact info for some of the people in the articles, but thought I would share them in case you were in that area and might be able to reach them.

    Take care and all my best — I hope that you are able to find the support system to eventually get you and your children away from this toxic situation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your opening line is something I thought about while writing my comment. Even from the comments and posts that DG writes, it is clear that leaving an abusive relationship is not at all simple. I also remember a NYT article about why abused women go back to their partners. We should be more sensitive about this while commenting. It’s far to easy to say: leave him now!
      I also wondered how helpful it is to ask someone why they won’t leave a person? Is that a good way to get them to think about their situation? I feel that if I was in such a situation, I wouldn’t at all be able to think clearly about my actions. I would be in automatic mode. The very fact that LW wrote a letter suggests a spirit that is not broken and is fighting to survive. I forgot to mention in my comment how courageous her writing itself makes her.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I also wondered how helpful it is to ask someone why they won’t leave a person?

        It is very helpful, because it forces the abused person to articulate their feelings, if only to themselves. Having a stranger ask you questions, especially if you have welcomed the intrusion, can often force you to think about the reasons behind your actions, or lack thereof. Getting this woman thinking clearly is the first priority, because without that, she can’t even plan for her own safety. So advising her to call the police or a helpline or her father is not going to help unless she understands her situation clearly since so far, she just seems to be going with the flow. So yes, the why questions help.

        Do you really think she is going to do all the other things advised until she is convinced that her family will never let her be and that it’s the last resort? She needs to find some good reasons to leave and that can only come from within her.

        Like

        • Fem, I am questioning here the capacity of an over whelmed, emotionally drained tired person. Is clear thinking really that simple in such a situation? Are there light bulb moments when you are victim of abuse? I don’t know the answer and having never been in such a situation, poorly understand how one might think. Which brings me to this: there are practical and emotional issues here. They cannot be separated, but I wonder if you can really start thinking clearly and then act. Won’t you take a while sort out the emotional issues, and in that time won’t it be better to get the practical stuff like money and organising a support system, in place? Isn’t acceptance and acknowledgment a long journey of recovery here?

          Like

        • @Megha,

          What you are saying is perfectly reasonable, but an abused person living in an atmosphere of constant stress is not a rational person. For most, it’s an instinct to hang on to something comfortable. For others, it’s the fear of facing something new, no matter how much nicer it is painted. Then, there is guilt and shame.

          An abused person is not going to make preparations to leave until they have decided that they want to leave. Why would they?

          Like

      • Yes, the emotional and financial support she receives after leaving him is going to be even more crucial or else she may go back. LW, I know it seems impossible right now but there have been many women in the same position who felt hopeless, useless and unloved but broke free and made it. It will be difficult for a while but nothing compares to the sheer joy of being happy. Being alive. Loving yourself again.

        Like

  30. Hi LW,

    All have already been written by most of people here. This relationship has turned so abusive that you had nervous breakdown. This kind of atmosphere is not even common in India. You said you can’t leave but you haven’t left room for any other option. If you would have written this mail very late and now you its nearly impossible to take any stand by living in this relation. If you would have said NO on first slap or within 1st year then your husband and In -Law would have gotten fair idea that they will have to mend to your ways because you are not going to tolerate any bullshit. But now after having 2 kids i.e its a long period , they have already isolated you and you have lost confidence even in your self. They will not let you create a support system or confidence. May be following step help.

    1. Go to counselor: Australia is a developed country so counselor will also help you to make realize that you have to get out of this relation.

    2. Make friends : Please make friends who don’t have patriarchal bullshit attitude or bhartiya culture is mahan. Make friends who see relationship is a part of life instead of goal.

    3. Talk to your father: Please talk to your father. Send this mail to him and he will certainly reply. Since you cut off your father your In-Law knew that you dont have any body to go any continued there bullshit.

    4. Take legal advise: Ask your colleagues whom you can discuss that how police can help you from getting out of mess. What sort of evidence is required. You will have plenty of evidence which can be termed as crime and will help you in calling cops and taking matter to court.

    And if your doing it for children please don’t do it. Fem has already explained in detail how it will shape your children. And one more thing I will like to say based on my personal experience that when your adult son/daughter will want to do something and they will not even find your support even if you agree with them then at that moment they will even hate you. They will hate you that you let your In-Laws have this much power which destroyed your life and now destroying there.

    Remember it look scary to take first step and its all in first step. If you can find courage to take first step towards getting out of this relation then you will sail through it. It will break your fear and push to limit. Best wishes to you so that your health improves.

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  31. If you don’t leave ,you going to die miserable and in pain ! Think about your children and what happens to them after you ? You got stroke,twice !!! What are you waiting for ?
    Run while your legs can still hold you !
    If children overwhelm you and make it difficult for you to leave the marriage, then for the moment stop and think about yourself and not children !
    Indian women are not taught to think about themselves !
    If you are not healthy and strong,you are useless to your children !
    Please,please take up offers of commentators from Sydney here on this thread,…..they will direct you to right help centres !

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Dear LW,
    Imagine that your daughter has written this letter to you. Would you not ask her to leave?
    Do yourself and your kids a favor-LEAVE.

    @IHM,
    I am missing GVji’s comments.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Dear LW, my heart is broken after reading your story. Everybody here has told you the solution and I know that you also know in your heart this is the only choice. I just want to share with you my little story with the hope that it might give you some strength. I have been married for 3 years. A few days after my second anniversary my husband and I got into a terrible fight. He pressed my mouth very strongly in anger. I was stunned! I knew it amounted to domestic violence. He had not hit me but it was domestic violence nonetheless. I told this to my brother and his reply was – “Next time he does that hit him back with full force. If you can’t match his physical strength, hit him while he is sleeping. And tell him that you will hit him back anytime you can if he repeats this ever again.” Then he spoke to my husband and told him that he cannot hit his wife under any circumstances. Even if he comes to know that his wife is sleeping with other men! Dear LW that is the level of tolerance needed towards domestic violence i.e. ZERO TOLERANCE!!! Please please please leave that hell. You owe it to your parents who raised you to be such a fine person.

    Like

  34. You’re very brave to write this post. This is the first step. The next step should be talking to your father or some trusted relative/friend. Perhaps you can send them this post if you don’t feel like saying this out loud?. I think all you need is to see that you aren’t at fault here. All the best.

    Like

  35. First of all, huge virtual hug to you! I have read your story and I am heartbroken. I feel for your sadness and current situation. But how can you write that leaving this mad house is not an option?!? Of course, it is! We all have options and you remaining in hell should not be one of them.

    Leaving a toxic relationship is never easy with kids or without, but please don’t think that it is impossible. People have done harder things to survive/ maintain alive, you can be one of them! Once you are free from this people you will see that there in nothing like inner peace and freedom… It won’t matter if you have a tiny apartment for just you and your kids.

    Please be brave and strong for you and your children. I live in the US but I am certain that Australia has a fairly reasonable justice system in which there would be a fair trial if you were to get divorced and fight for your children’s custody (parental rights). What you should do is record meticulously any type of abuse verbal or physical (keep a detailed journal at work or somewhere safe of what they say of do, pictures are helpful or record a secret video).

    A couple of reasons why you SHOULD leave
    – You’ve already had strokes, please don’t die because of them!
    – You wrote that your daughter has a darker complexion, do not doubt that they will torture her or try to make her feel inferior over her lifetime.
    – You are a grown woman who works hard for her money, you should not be scrutinized for spending more than $10 dollars.
    – Your ils will try to turn your kids on you sooner or later.

    Please leave all this behind you, and keep us informed on what you decide. In my own opinion, there is no other alternative other than leaving him.
    Take care please.

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  36. When I read your letter, I could recognise so many similar things that my mil and fil do to me. The ” your not good enough for our son” type comments, the constant stress on “saving” and how i am “wasteful” (my fil makes me light two gas burners with the same matchstick even if it burns my fingers just to save on lighting another matchstick) and many such things. Although your condition is much much worse then mine, I now understand what is happening to me is mental abuse but the thing is, just like you, I too cant do much about it as my husband will never leave his parents and move somewhere just with me.

    Like

    • But you can move alone, isn’t it an option? I think it is always an option, all we need to do is gather the strength and plan it. I am glad that you recognize it is an abuse and it is not right. Many people don’t even realize it. They keep on living due to false picture and false values we are shown and given. Always respect elders, no matter what the heck they do, don’t revert back and slap if they beat you everyday. Some victims don’t get the courage to take an action coz we are nurtured to sacrifice and endure it and we find ourselves guilty if we try to do something against them, “they are my family” thing start revolving in head. But we should get out of it and start giving our life some importance.

      Like

    • You are not tethered to that man. He is part of your life, but he does not get to dictate your life. If he cares for you, he will move out with you. If he doesn’t, he doesn’t care for you. Why do you want to be around him or his hasty father? They get a glorified servant. What do you get out of this?

      As for your FIL “making” you do things, have you tried just doing things your way? If he doesn’t like it, he can cook. Or order takeout. “No” is a full sentence. Use it.

      If they get abusive, leave. My mother did it twice. The first time in the 1960s. She raised me as a single woman. I am proud of her. If she could do it. so can others.

      Liked by 2 people

      • and what will happen if you start saying- Sorry I refuse to do what you say. Gandhi style? They will go to your husband, he will have the proof that you are the worst person on earth. And then what? The moments of pretend peace that comes at the cost of your slavery will vanish. He won’t divorce you still. It comes with too much of a monetary price that these matchstick saving people can’t afford. So then what will happen? They will scream, cry, order. You will still not do it (Think Gandhi). Then they will resign and accept their fate. Just the way you have now. And you’d be surprised that things might even become better. Because they might realise they went too far. For the first time you’d realise you always had the power to stop them, you didnt know it. When you breathe freely you might even start considering separation. Right now you don’t even know what freedom is, taste it, we won’t have to sell it to you then. This dance of dominance needs you as a participant. Stop being one. At the end of the day, they want peace too. They will stop if you decide you wont maintain peace. Not at your cost.

        Its not easy. It takes you to reach a point where you say- no matter what I do, things are not gonna change. I cant win them over. You will have to make peace with you being called things you are not (public approval is impt to some of us). You will have to stop fooling yourself that the husband is not all that bad and is under influence and at least things are good between him and you. And you will have to have the courage to call the cops if any one of them tries and lays a finger on you. You are in India, the cops will come and warn and go. But it will do what is needed.

        Just imagine how are children don’t know that we as parents cant really do anything if they out rightly refuse to follow our bedtimes and eating rules, we give them a glare and it works. You are in an adult relationship, you don’t have to be that child. The penny pinchers are the safest ones to risk this with (if you are not ready to leave) because they can’t afford to divorce you no matter how much they would like to.

        Like

        • That’s terrible advice!

          If they are so greedy, they might very well decide to burn her and find another bride for the son. More dowry!

          Moreover, continuing to stay with people who have no respect for you and will stab you in the back at a moment’s notice is the worst advice I have come across on this blog. It does not matter whether they want to “give” divorce or not. She can easily produce evidence in court! Divorce is not a birthday present.

          roopali, whatever you do, please don’t resign yourself to your fate. Take your destiny in your hands. Take your husband to counselling and have discussions with the family. If nothing works, LEAVE. They don’t own you.

          Liked by 1 person

    • This matchstick thing is it an isolated event ? Because this saving thing is like a ‘tick’ in most people ! People who have had hard life with very little money develop this ! my mom was very liberal for her times : but water and cooking LPG were her pet projects ! You see,when she got married ,there was erratic water supply and LPG in those times !
      When I started learning to cook ,make rotis, she was strict and forced me to use fingers(not spatula) to become quicker in roasting Roti’s and be fast in rolling them ! That’s how I learned ! I singed my fingers many times ! I won’t call it abuse !
      The same is with water ! I loathe any kind of wastage of water ,….I will tick off people who waste water in front of me ! I got it from mom I guess ! The rich and upper class people i know use and waste more water ,IMO but they don’t even know it – they consider it normal !!!
      Personality clashes are common like these – live separately! There is nothing much to do !

      Like

      • Having your personal pet peeves is one thing but forcing your choices down anyone else is completely different esp if the other person is not even expected to make a case or put forward their point. Regarding my advice, I know its not terrible because I speak from experience. Big journeys start with small steps. Unless you can encourage someone to take small steps towards defiance, you can’t expect someone them jump over a cliff just because you know they will survive. Confidence and faith in yourself is like a muscle, the more you practice, the stronger it gets.And sometimes all these abusive people need need is a strong voice and strong boundaries which can be drawn by refusing to toe the line.

        Like

        • G.W, your experience may be right, but it may not apply to all people & all environments. For example, Gandhi-ji style satyagraha worked with the British, but would it have worked with say Hitler or Stalin or Idi Amin (spelling may be wrong, sorry:)) or the Taliban? To someone who is under Stalin’s territory, the only ever advice that might work, if at all, is “Find an excuse (like, coax a doctor-friend to give you a medical certificate requiring you to move to a warmer climate for medical reasons) to run out of the country, and never return”. What worked with the Brits would result in immediate confinement-in-torture-chamber with Stalin and his likes. And this girl’s case is strikingly similar to the latter….

          Like

        • Ooops, sorry, I mistook Roopali for LW. That’s why I equated her situation to Stalin style controlling-and-torturing regime.
          Ok, in Roopali’s case, _if_ there is no beating/slapping, counseling can be tried as Fem said. Else, don’t live in hope or dream that they will repent – Indian Warrior & minds have already spoken my mind.

          Like

  37. One thing remained unmentioned here and that is discrimination among kids. Your Inlaws are racist. If they treat you so bad for your skin color, I can only imagine how they would be treating your daughter. And specially Punjabis are known to be gender biased. The male female ratio is the clear indicator only 895 girls behind every 1000 boys and it is worst in 0-6 year age group only 846 girls. I am from Punjab and I have experienced it and seen it, it is rather very common. The why your inlaws are, I think this discrimination among your kids maybe even more severe. I am only speculating. If my speculations are right then it is definitely impacting your kids in a very very bad way. You should take some steps to ensure what happened to you doesn’t happen to your daughter at ANY COST. You have to fight this fight.

    Like

    • Not just punjabis, i think whole of north India is obsessed with boys.
      Female to male ratio is more screwed up in Haryana/Rajajsthan than in Punjab.

      Like

  38. Firstly, applause for having taken this step of writing here. It might seem small some but look at how much you’ve achieved in this one step:

    1. You have acknowledged to yourself and aloud that something is wrong in your life
    2. You understand that you are being abused
    3. You understand that your children are being affected
    4. You have opened your mind to the possibility of some sort of change
    5. You have shown courage in baring your life to strangers and soliciting criticism and judgement along with support

    You are willing to make a change. It doesn’t matter right now that you are not willing to leave your husband even though it is actually the only rational option. In time, I hope you will see that you and your children deserve more. None of us here are qualified therapists (to the best of my knowledge, apologies to those who are!) and in the situation that you are in, even the best intentioned advice will not be sufficient. You need to speak to someone who understands both the mechanics of abuse as well as the impact on victims. Before that, you need a safe space. You need to believe that it’s possible to be safe somewhere. Only then can you think about making bigger decisions.

    Nothing will be easy but please remember, you are stronger than you think. You deserve more and so do your children.

    Good luck and hope to hear back from you.

    Like

  39. First let me commend you for recognizing that there is a problem that is the first step. However like many people said before you have to leave this house and take your children with you. You said that isn’t a option ,how come? because staying will not help you. You have been so emotionally, mentally and physically abused that you have gotten 2 strokes in your early 30s. This is not a healthy environment for you and your children. Your husband and your In-laws are pushing your closer to death’s door. If you stay and then die, do you want such people raising your children?
    Leaving is never the easiest thing to do but sometimes it is the best thing for women in your situation. You don’t want your children is this environment trust me it will have live long negative effects if you put up with this any longer. The first thing you need to do is contact your family and let them know whats going on. You need to a support system letting your in-laws shut you away from the world is hurting your self confidence. You have no reason to feel ashamed in telling someone because it is not you who is in the wrong. It is they who have to be ashamed not you. Second you need to take a stand and move out, once you have a support system and take your children with you. I’m sorry to say but if your husband loved and respected you he would never control or slap you. Third and most importantly you need to get over your insecurities when it comes to your skin colour. You are not the only Indian woman with dark skin as a matter of fact people on the darker side are the majority. I feel that these people criticizing your colour has made you feel so low and sorry for yourself that it was initially the first thing that made you tolerate this abuse to begin with. Dark skin does not make you ugly, skin colour has noting to do with beauty. Your in-laws are taking their own racial insecurities out on you. I suggest you check out the “Dark is Beautiful ” campaign here is some links https://www.facebook.com/darkisbeautiful?fref=ts and http://womenofworth.in/

    Also i suggest you read this story, it is from a daughter’s perspective on how divorce helped her mother
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gursimran-sandhu/indian-divorce-mom-saved-life_b_6574426.html

    Like

  40. LW,

    I want you to know that you are a person worthy of respect. You are a kind mother and a competent and intelligent professional. You deserve to feel safe and loved in your own home. You deserve so much more than the situation you find yourself in. You a strong person and because you are strong you are going to find the strength to move beyond this. I know that one day you will be happy and free again. Life never turns out like we expect it too and we must all accept that sometimes we need help.

    First thing – many people are asking HOW ON EARTH CAN YOU STAY?? That is the wrong approach. You obviously know, deep down, that you need to leave but leaving is never easy. As some people have already said, leaving can even be dangerous. Most victims of domestic violence are never more in danger than when they try to leave. This is a very precarious time, so you must be careful. Here are a few steps you can take that are part of what’s called “safety planning” for domestic violence victims.

    1) Google the nearest women’s shelter in your area. If you husband monitors what sites you visit, google from a work computer or turn on private browsing to make your search.

    2) Call the shelter. I volunteer at a women’s shelter in the US and believe me, the woman who answers the phone has been COACHED not to be judgmental. She will listen to your concerns and offer practical advice. She will not force you or encourage you to do anything that you don’t want to do. Again, we all know that leaving an abusive relationship is very hard to do (there are complicating factors like children, finances, immigration status, etc.) so they will let you know that there are options that will help you but the final decision is always YOURS.

    3) Call the shelter as much as you want to. Keep them informed of your situation. All shelters will be able to refer you to FREE (I REPEAT, FREE!!!) mental health counseling and legal advice. Many of these services can be accessed over the phone so if you are unable to visit the shelter in person (either because your husband or ILs are monitoring your actions or because of your health) you can still receive mental or legal counsel.

    4) If your husband also monitors your phone calls, call from work or ask to borrow a friend’s phone. Or ask a friend or coworker to get you a disposable “burner” phone and SIM card and promise to reimburse them when you can. They will understand!

    5) Make a SAFETY PLAN. A safety plan is a set of actions you can take to prepare for the moment you leave. For example, if he gets violent with you, this will be your plan to help yourself and your children get away safely. Here are a few aspects of a safety plan:

    5a) Start saving a little bit of your pay or allowance and keeping it separately. Maybe keep it in a locked drawer in your desk or with a trusted friend. $50-100 would be good enough. You can use this for emergency money for taking a cab to a friend’s house or to a shelter. If it is impossible to put aside any money whatsoever (as it sounds like your ILs do indeed have a mania about saving money), ask a friend to lend you some. Again, they will understand and you can pay them back when you are on your feet.

    5b) Pack an overnight bag with your clothes/toiletries and your children’s. This can also be bought with your emergency money if you ILs are tracking your money too closely. Put the overnight bag in a secret place in the house that only you would think of. If this is not possible, keep it with a trusted friend or neighbor.

    5c) Have a “safety phrase” with your father or with a close friend. Tell that friend or your father that if I say a certain phrase to you over the phone, that means I am in danger and please call the police. It can be something like “Oh, I have such a bad headache right now” or “What are your plans on New Year’s Eve?” Your friend will then know you are in danger but you are unable to call the police because your husband or ILs are watching. Make sure your friend knows your address and can give it to the police.

    5d) If all else fails, DO CALL THE POLICE. As in the US, police in Australia get called out on hundreds of domestic violence cases a month. Sad, but true. They know how to manage these situations and are sensitive to the victims (especially in larger cities where they undergo regular sensitivity training). The police will ask you if you would like to leave with them. Tell them, yes. Grab the kids and your emergency money and overnight bag. Go to the station with them. File a report. If you do not feel safe returning home, the police will escort you to a friend’s house or to a women’s shelter. (Again, this is all free). You can also ask for something called an Emergency Protective Order (there must be an equivalent in Australia). Usually, you do not need to come before a judge. A legal advocate will go on your behalf and explain the situation to the judge. The judge will then grant the order and your husband or ILs will be violating the LAW if they come near you. If they do so, you have every right to call the police and have them arrested.

    I know this seems like a lot right now. I just want you to know that you are NOT alone. So many women have gone through similar pain and have come out whole and healthy on the other side. You are a strong woman. You can handle so much. I think you know what is best for yourself and your children. There are people out there (even strangers on the internet, like you can see) who are willing and able to help you. Right now, you just focus on what you need to do to keep you and your children SAFE. Maybe this means you won’t leave him for another month or two months or a year. Just start taking the small steps that will allow you to leave safely. Take care, my dear. I know you’re going to be okay and you’ve already taken an ENORMOUSLY BRAVE step in speaking about your situation. You are incredible and I am sending you all my love.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. LW,

    I want you to know that you are a person worthy of respect. You are a kind mother and a competent and intelligent professional. You deserve to feel safe and loved in your own home. You deserve so much more than the situation you find yourself in. You a strong person and because you are strong you are going to find the strength to move beyond this. I know that one day you will be happy and free again. Life never turns out like we expect it too and we must all accept that sometimes we need help.

    First thing – many people are asking HOW ON EARTH CAN YOU STAY?? That is the wrong approach. You obviously know, deep down, that you need to leave but leaving is never easy. As some people have already said, leaving can even be dangerous. Most victims of domestic violence are never more in danger than when they try to leave. This is a very precarious time, so you must be careful. Here are a few steps you can take that are part of what’s called “safety planning” for domestic violence victims.

    1) Google the nearest women’s shelter in your area. If your husband monitors what sites you visit, google from a work computer or turn on private browsing to make your search.

    2) Call the shelter. I volunteer at a women’s shelter in the US and believe me, the woman who answers the phone has been COACHED not to be judgmental. She will listen to your concerns and offer practical advice. She will not force you or encourage you to do anything that you don’t want to do. Again, we all know that leaving an abusive relationship is very hard to do (there are complicating factors like children, finances, immigration status, etc.) so they will let you know that there are options that will help you but the final decision is always YOURS.

    3) Call the shelter as much as you want to. Keep them informed of your situation. All shelters will be able to refer you to FREE (I REPEAT, FREE!!!) mental health counseling and legal advice. Many of these services can be accessed over the phone so if you are unable to visit the shelter in person (either because your husband or ILs are monitoring your actions or because of your health) you can still receive mental or legal counsel.

    4) If your husband also monitors your phone calls, call from work or ask to borrow a friend’s phone. Or ask a friend or coworker to get you a disposable “burner” phone and SIM card and promise to reimburse them when you can. They will understand!

    5) Make a SAFETY PLAN. A safety plan is a set of actions you can take to prepare for the moment you leave. For example, if he gets violent with you, this will be your plan to help yourself and your children get away safely. Here are a few aspects of a safety plan:

    5a) Start saving a little bit of your pay or allowance and keeping it separately. Maybe keep it in a locked drawer in your desk or with a trusted friend. $50-100 would be good enough. You can use this for emergency money for taking a cab to a friend’s house or to a shelter. If it is impossible to put aside any money whatsoever (as it sounds like your ILs do indeed have a mania about saving money), ask a friend to lend you some. Again, they will understand and you can pay them back when you are on your feet.

    5b) Pack an overnight bag with your clothes/toiletries and your children’s. This can also be bought with your emergency money if you ILs are tracking your money too closely. Put the overnight bag in a secret place in the house that only you would think of. If this is not possible, keep it with a trusted friend or neighbor.

    5c) Have a “safety phrase” with your father or with a close friend. Tell that friend or your father that if I say a certain phrase to you over the phone, that means I am in danger and please call the police. It can be something like “Oh, I have such a bad headache right now” or “What are your plans on New Year’s Eve?” Your friend will then know you are in danger but you are unable to call the police because your husband or ILs are watching. Make sure your friend knows your address and can give it to the police.

    5d) If all else fails, DO CALL THE POLICE. As in the US, police in Australia get called out on hundreds of domestic violence cases a month. Sad, but true. They know how to manage these situations and are sensitive to the victims (especially in larger cities where they undergo regular sensitivity training). The police will ask you if you would like to leave with them. Tell them, yes. Grab the kids and your emergency money and overnight bag. Go to the station with them. File a report. If you do not feel safe returning home, the police will escort you to a friend’s house or to a women’s shelter. (Again, this is all free). You can also ask for something called an Emergency Protective Order (there must be an equivalent in Australia). Usually, you do not need to come before a judge. A legal advocate will go on your behalf and explain the situation to the judge. The judge will then grant the order and your husband or ILs will be violating the LAW if they come near you. If they do so, you have every right to call the police and have them arrested.

    I know this seems like a lot right now. I just want you to know that you are NOT alone. So many women have gone through similar pain and have come out whole and healthy on the other side. You are a strong woman. You can handle so much. I think you know what is best for yourself and your children. There are people out there (even strangers on the internet, like you can see) who are willing and able to help you. Right now, you just focus on what you need to do to keep you and your children SAFE. Maybe this means you won’t leave him for another month or two months or a year. Just start taking the small steps that will allow you to leave safely. Take care, my dear. I know you’re going to be okay and you’ve already taken an ENORMOUSLY BRAVE step in speaking about your situation. You are incredible and I am sending you all my love.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LW,

      I want to start off by reminding you that you are an amazing and brave individual undeserving of the treatment that has been meted out to you. It takes an immense amount of courage to divulge such details to strangers, even if it is done anonymously. So I would like to applaud you for doing so. And most importantly, I would like to tell you that you are neither alone nor at fault. Abuse, in its many forms, is much more common than many people will admit. It is always a very distressing and gruesome reality. But NEVER EVER your fault.

      Many of the commentators here have asked you why you continue to stay. We can only venture a guess. Only you know the reality of your situation. I will not ask you that question. Nor will I advice you to leave. Only you can make that decision – if and once you are ready. You have already taken the first step by acknowledging that what is happening to you is abuse, and by writing to IHM. I would only like to tell you that there is support available for you when you are ready to seek it out. While I do not know the specifics of the resources available to you in Sydney, based on my experience in Canada, I can tell you that shelters and domestic violence support services have a wealth of information and resources that you may benefit from. Rivkat has already mentioned that most of these services are free. I would like to add that they are also confidential (including the location of the offices and shelters). If you do choose to reach out to one of these organizations, I am sure that they will be able to provide you with practical tips on how to stay safe, and what you can do if you make the decision to leave.

      To add to rivkat’s suggestions, if you do eventually decide to leave, make sure you take all your documents (passport, driver’s license, etc), and your children’s. Also, DO NOT tell your children of your plans, because often, they can inadvertently disclose information to the wrong people. And again, if you choose to go to a shelter, its location will be confidential, so your husband and in-laws will not be able to find you.

      Meanwhile, please please do not hesitate to contact the police if your safety or that of your children is at risk. I realize that police involvement in what is often deemed to be a ‘family matter’ can bring a lot of stigma, especially in a foreign country. However, it is their obligation to protect you and your children from harm. So please call them, or have someone else call on your behalf, should you feel the need to do so. You can also contact their non-emergency line at other times to report the abuse or obtain information about protection orders. Here in Canada, certain orders can be obtained simply through the police machinery. So, please, look into that. Such orders (often called restraining orders or peace bonds) prohibit the abuser(s) from contacting you (and your children), including staying away from anywhere that you reside, work, or are frequently visiting. The abuser may be put in jail if he violates such an order.

      You may also want to look into support groups. Many shelters and support organizations offer not only one-on-one support but also support groups. You may find it beneficial to attend one of these to hear from others in similar situations. It may help you realize that you are not alone, and may even allow you to create a wider support network.

      Loads of hugs and love,

      Star

      Like

  42. Dear LW,

    I have read all the comments- and you have not responded.
    so in case you are reading this. Please don’t give up there are lots of resources/people out there to assist. I am even posting my email below (I hope IHM this is ok)
    Drop me a line please- I just need to know which State you are in.
    here is my email address. bellkr43@outlook.com

    Thanks
    InSyd

    Liked by 1 person

  43. Dear LW,

    I cannot feel your pain, because it is too much to bear. Such is the nature of abuse that the victim gets so used to living in it, that it seems like the only available option.
    First, remind yourself that you are in a country that respects individuals, women, equality and stands firmly against domestic violence – emotional and physical. You are lucky to be there. Imagine your options in India – None.
    Use that to your advantage. If you find the courage in you, you can take those assholes down! They could be rotting in jail. You can easily be financially secure. With two children, you could quite easily get 70% of your total assets, get them kicked out of the house and keep the children.
    Plan for that. It is the only way and the just way out. Do not pity yourself, pity them for they have messed with the wrong person in the wrong country.
    Think about what you want to tell yourself when you’re lying on your deathbed? Do you want to feel proud for giving them a kick in the ass or do you want to feel proud for suffering through a life of torture and abuse.
    It is hard to find courage, but believe me its in there! Those assholes have successfully killed it but you can revive it! No one deserves a life of unhappiness! And why are you suffering through this? For your kids? – Kids that your MIL has taken away? Kids that only witness abuse and a helpless mother? For your marriage? – A marriage that is abusive beyond comprehension. For your parents? – They will be with you, I am sure. For your career? – You will do heaps better if you didn’t have these assholes giving you stress. Just ask yourself WHY??? WHY GO THROUGH THIS? WHAT WOULD YOU WANT FOR YOUR DAUGHTER? WHAT DO YOU STAND TO GAIN FROM THIS MARRIAGE? (Is it social acceptance? – trust me, anyone who knows your ILs will stand by you not them. )
    Pray, meditate, go to therapy and develop your exit plan.

    We get one life and sometimes we have to make some inconceivable decisions and really hard choices. But a life in indecision is worse. Find that courage, find that desire to live! If you leave, things can only get better. Short term pain for long term gain.

    Love you and you’ll be in my thoughts.
    I am in Melbourne, if you ever want to talk. I can help you with planning as well.

    IHM – can you give the LW my email address?

    Regards,
    NC

    Like

  44. Your story shocked the heck out of me. I can’t imagine how you have suffered all this so far.😦 I wish you had someone to share your woes – that someone would have told you right away the severe abuse you are facing.
    I am even more saddened to read that you don’t want to leave your abusive husband. Will you think about this for your children’s sake? Please do. Give yourself a second chance before it’s too late.
    I hope reading all these comments, especially Aussie commenters, you may find the strength you need.

    Like

  45. Dear Letter Writer,

    I am furious after reading what you have written. I am angry not just at your husband and your in-laws but also at you for enduring this pain for so long being an educated working woman and not having left already. It just makes me extremely angry. Your parents especially your father nurtured you the way he did so that you can be independent enough to handle and get out of extreme situations precisely like these. What was the use of asking you to make your choice in a husband and sending you for your further studies to Australia if you are so emotionally dependent on someone to not leave them even after having a stroke twice at the age of 32.
    I don’t want to blame you and believe me I am not, I am just unable to fathom how can an independent woman become so dependent on someone to such extremes.
    The mistakes you have pointed out as warnings could have been made by anyone no matter how careful they were. Maybe your husband and in-laws played a game with you and being in love did not see the signs. Those are not your mistakes. But now I blame you for not leaving for your own sake, you are making this mistake knowingly and big red flags have been raised and flung in front of you twice in the form of brain stroked 6 months apart.
    You are behaving like a 70 stone man who is eating himself to death but asking not to take his diet away. Its like him saying please give me my food but help me in any way you can. Or a drowning person who says please don’t touch me while I am drowning but please help me in any way you can. There is no other ways to help them. Any sane person will tell you to leave him.
    what shocks me even more is that you were happy when your girl child was born because you had a complete family. is that a definition of a complete family? so you think you are complete if you live with your husband and two kids regardless of how small he treats you? Geez, some of us have really screwed up ideas of what complete means? Why cant you be complete yourself. Why do you need to have a husband who treats you worse then a begger and in-laws who treat you worse then an outsider to be complete? If you say you are doing this for your children, do you think your children are happy seeing the stress in the environment, Do you think they don’t understand something is wrong? Do you think they wont blame you after 10 or 15 years for not leaving him?
    Wake up woman, I know you are in a miserable position but atleast try to get out of it. There is a time and situation in life when we all have to say ENOUGH and just get out.

    Like

  46. Response from the Email Writer:

    Thanks for publishing and I have read all the comments. Thank you so much for the outpouring support and advice. I couldn’t believe I was worthy of so much support from complete strangers.

    Years of abuse has made me an emotional wreck and I needed validation that abuse is not in my mind and I’m really going thru it. Realizing the abuse and wanting to do something about it is my first step. I hope you understand that I am only taking baby steps. I need to gather physical strength before I can make any further move. I will be practically useless to my kids if I’am not able to look after myself first. My workplace has a provision for free counselling for staff that I can avail for free. I have made a booking and I will keep you all posted with my progress.

    Thanking each and every one of you for your kind words and advice.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s such a great relief to read your response dear LW. You are a spirited woman – I am sure that if you decide you will turn your life around. Best of luck, use all resources available to you and leave that hell behind.

      Like

    • great – I presume you are talking about the EAP. Depending on the scheme your employer offers at least 3 counselling sessions free. I don’t know whether you know but medicare can offer assistance/payment or find you a provider that bulk bills…….here is the link.
      http://www.humanservices.gov.au/
      good luck LW.
      I am glad that you made the first step.
      InSyd

      Like

    • So glad to see your response, LW. I hadn’t responded to your original letter, because others here are so much more capable and coherent. Your response is heartening… it’s a relief to know that you are taking steps (baby is fine!) towards towards liberation. Sending much love and good wishes your way.

      Like

  47. Hi LW,
    I know you said that you are taking baby steps but I am so so scared for you ! Maybe its because I just had a baby so my maternal instincts are on an overdrive but if I was your mom I would woosh right in and take you out of this toxic environment and never let you go back. Can’t you go back home ? To your dad? Most men like to believe that everything is hunky dory because its less complicated that way but I think if you talk to your dad about this he may surprise you. Even you can get away from the horridness for a couple of weeks it could do you good. Give you some reprieve to sort through your thoughts and plan your way out of this mess.Don’t let ppl treat you this way, you dont deserve it ! Big big hug !!!

    Like

  48. Big hugs to you lady who is going through such a horrific period. I feel like now I just want to go to Australia and spend time with you.

    Like everyone else said, you need to tell someone, either report it to the police or just get the hell out of there. The earlier the better because I feel if you wait any longer, you are putting your own life at risk. And not only yours, your kids. They cannot grow up in a unstable place like that. You already suffered a stroke twice in your 30’s, which is a red flag, and really if you stay, I’m sure things will get worse. Even if you don’t want leave, you must go and stay at friend’s house with your kids. It’s horrible that they tricked you into believing they will welcome you with open arms and then surprise..I’m gonna harass you to know end ! If I were you, I would have had your husband and that MIL bitch of yours beg for mercy to no end. I’m sorry, but you are a human being, not a toy doll that can be just thrown around, and you and your children deserve equal respect. Put your foot down and tell them, if they think they can treat you like that, you will have no fear in calling the police and have them jailed for life. And if they ignore, really do it to show how serious you are. They will know then you will not tolerate such bullshit. No wonder why Anitha Mathew took her and her kids’ own life. I do not blame her and wish there was someone there to stand by her side.

    As someone who is of South Indian descent, I HATE the fact that many us are judged due to having dark skin. I’m not very dark, but moderate in my skin color, however a few family members and friends who have dark skin are often talked about. My own dad when one of my cousins was getting married commented how my cousin’s wife was “too black” (like really??). Forget looks, everyone is going to get old and be ugly eventually. Just marry because you love the person for who s/he is..not on their skin color. I don’t know really why having dark skin is such a bad thing, but I have a feeling that it’s because Indians in general do not like black people (African-Americans, Jamaicans..etc). We’re a racist bunch indeed.

    Also to add, I am kind of surprised that Punjabis would treat South Indians like this, and that South Indians used to be biased towards everyone. I used to think Punjabis were humble and would welcome everyone. When will the divide between North and South come to an end and we all just become ONE India? It’s getting sick to no end.

    Like

    • Yes Punjabis are racist. I am from Punjab and there are some African students in our university, they are not treated right. People laugh on their face and act as if they are not good enough to live or work at same place. This behaviour is from MBA students and professors are no different. When they go abroad and meet those people who are racist to them, they then cry. I think India as a whole is a closed and a racist community. Their logic is like this compared to abroad, Indians are best, compared to dark skinned Indians, white skinned Indians are best.

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      • Hey Minds,

        It’s kind of hard to believe that because I do have a good Punjabi friend, she probably treats me well only because she’s very western in her outlook haha. But yea I can where you are coming from, especially if the community is very conservative. I’m of malayali origin, and I do see some inherent racism where at parties malayalees tend to ignore those who are not malayalee and avoid them. Mallus are very clannish and group amongst each other. They have this inherent hypocritical superior attitude where they believe they are better than others. It’s like a clique. Obviously NOT all are like that and thankfully I know a lot of mallus who married outside the malayalee community, and yes even blacks. One of my cousins married a American, and in a way it changed her parents’ outlook of life. It just depends on your outlook of life, and having a very conservative traditional outlook does not do any good at this current time only because things are changing everywhere and you can never hold onto to old customs and traditions forever.

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  49. Pingback: The moment to walk out of a relationship | Simbly Bored

  50. Let this be your first step to freedom and reclaiming your life. From hereon, don’t stop. Don’t let insensitivity, cruelty, a desire for control, and all the abuse that surrounds you stop you from putting yourself first. Your kids come next. But don’t forget that you come first. Take the next step, deliberately, and knowingly into getting what you want. Only you can do it. We can only offer words. There will be further pain, perhaps moments of weakness… but on the better side of valour, and not desperation. Love yourself.

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  51. For God sake, why are you putting up with this torture ?

    I don’t know about specific Australian laws, but in some western countries your husband and his parents could be deported for what they are doing to you.

    I think you feel guilty because this was a love marriage and you chose your husband. Don’t feel guilty. Violent men are sick, and it is very difficults to cure from this sickness.

    As others pointed out, please seek help from police/women shelters, and move out as soo

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    • Please move out with your children as soon as possible.

      But be very cautious as these people can get very violent if they find out that you want to leave.

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  52. Pingback: “He became more distant and sometime would verbally abuse me, call me names and then slapping and wrist twisting started happening.” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  53. Pingback: “I saw my sister was on the first floor and she was locked and she was crying badly with her daughter.” | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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