Postpartum Depression: Break the Silence

Guest post by: Purna K.V., Blogger

(Original Post appeared on her blog here: http://koumudi.blogspot.co.za/2013/10/post-partum-depression-yes-i-faced-it.htm)

Post-Partum Depression. Yes , I faced it and No , there is nothing wrong in talking about it.

Those of you who see my pictures on facebook and think that mine was a happy pregnancy and a perfect delivery and everything was a perfect little dream-come-true…… are wrong. It was actually far from it. I had suffered from a severe prenatal depression in my last trimester and an equally severe postpartum depression after delivery.

It took me a long long time to come back to normal and start living life normally. It took me a long long time to actually come to a conclusion that I should write about it. Yes, there is no need to be ashamed of it. It can happen to any other woman on this planet and it comes without a due notice and we are far from being prepared to face it. Knowledge is wealth and I thought I should provide awareness about PPD ( Post Partum Depression ).

All was well until the starting on my last trimester ( 7th month ). I was working as well in Johannesburg , South Africa, and didn’t have any problems. I moved back to India during the same time to rest at home and deliver in Hyderabad. Ravi came just to drop me back home , had a brief holiday and went back to wind up things at Joburg.I thought this phase would be the most relaxing time of all and was really excited with it. But the travel from Johannesburg to Hyderabad left me with swollen feet and a tiredness which didn’t go away for as long as a month after that. Even my swollen feet took a lot of time to get back to normal. And it is when I was staying at my home in Hyderabad , that depression set in. It started with lack of sleep and a frustrated mind as to why I am not able to sleep. I was bored at home and didn’t have anything to do. I couldn’t travel outside , because I didn’t know driving and the weather change between Joburg and Hyd traffic left me nauseatic. It was better to sit at home rather than travel outside with all the pollution and traffic. And above all , you know what elders say , you are pregnant so don’t do anything without out help. My stamina kept decreasing and so did my appetite. But I thought it was all normal and definitely hormonal. Yes , it was hormonal , but it was not normal and I realised this only in my 8th month. It was the first case of PPD in my family and nobody knew about it.I started imagining all kinds of things and was not happy about it. I always felt that , whatever came into my mind didn’t at all leave me and it only started creating deep impacts and craters in my mind. The ability to control my thoughts was absolutely gone. I felt that my mind was not in my control anymore. I felt that I was some other person and this person is nowhere near to what I am. I felt that something was happening to me and I am not able to stop it. Lack of sleep , lack of appetite , restlessness , no peace of mind and always sad about something which I was not able to apprehend properly. I also had insecure feelings about staying away from my husband and when it was un-bearable , I contacted Dr Vijaya and told her briefly about my situation. It was not only psychological and emotional , it was physical too. I had nervous weakness in my hands and legs , and I was not able to stand and do things properly sometimes. I never felt like waking up from the bed and do something to kill the boredom.

In our society , giving birth to a child and all the pregnancy and delivery phases of life are supposed to be “happy” things. And if it is anything different from it , nobody would want to talk about it. It is all hushed up and the fear of the society seeing you as a “bechara” makes us hide things. But I did no such thing and walked straight into Dr Vijaya’s office and spoke to her. My scared mother accompanied me. I am thankful she did.

May be Dr Vijaya knew already and was suspecting the worst. But she was kind to me and comforted me with her words. She appreciated my outward thinking and the boldness I had to come and talk to her. Because , she said , most women wouldn’t do it. She told me that PPD is a spectrum kind of a thing and almost 80% of pregnant women experience it but at different levels. Some are tolerable and some are not. But mostly , women don’t express it to the gyneac or the midwife. So most of the society doesnt know what’s happening on the inside.

My mother was totally unprepared to face all this. And she never felt or knew that all this was due to hormonal changes or due to changes in pregnancy. She thought I was saying and thinking about issues wantedly .She was scared with the way I was thinking and manifesting things in my mind and her being scared , made me even more timid and frustrated as to why I was like that. After going to Dr Vijaya , we concluded that it might be the mood swings and depression kinds and was normal and a part of pregnancy sometimes. This comforted my parents and husband… but not me. Because it did nothing to my mind so that the pain and everything could go away. I wanted to be happy and welcome my little child. And the fact that some other things were taking precedence over it made me guilty and that guilt started killing me from inside. I couldn’t ignore it and as it was physical too , I was even more scared as to how I would be able to take care of my baby if I was not even able to walk properly and do things normally.It was pure hell. Ravi pre-poned his trip and returned early. But no matter who was beside me and what they had to say to me , the suffering didn’t go away. I had erratic fears over silly things coming into my mind and it scared the hell out of me.I had frequent fear and panic attacks. My brain would be blank and cold for a few minutes.  I knew that my family was putting a brave face outside but were equally concerned and scared from the inside.

Finally , when I delivered , I wasn’t scared of anything in my life , except the “thing” that I was going through. I gave birth normally  and very boldly. Because I wasn’t scared anymore. I had something else to be worried about. Physically , mine was the perfect delivery that anyone would want. Not a single medicine given to my body and not a single prick from the midwives. But psychologically , I was somewhere else. Nothing gave me happiness , expect for pure and intense sense of care towards my child. I took care of her to the core. May be the guilt that built up inside was coming out in this way. My physical  and psychological symptoms remained , even after delivery and then Dr Vijaya suggested me to a clinical psychologist. She spoke to another lady who gave birth in the same center and also a psychologist. Unfortunately , she was out of town , so she referred me to another elderly man in Sweekar-Upkaar , Jublee Bus Stand , Hyd.

I was breast feeding and my body was in the process of healing. But I had to go to consult him. He listened to me and referred me to take some tests. Not lab tests. Some written tests ( I thought they were like some tests to determine my concentration and mind body co-ordination ) which took a lot of time. I had to leave my baby in the car and go to take the tests , occasionally coming back to feed her. There is a phrase in telugu……….. “ Idemi kharmamooo” anipinchindi. I don’t know about the cure , but the visit to the doc itself can make you feel so low and less of confidence , as to something is seriously wrong with you and you need somebody’s help to fix it. It makes ourselves feel like yuk.  Finally , he told me that , I didn’t have any previous mental disorders and this was something that had popped up only in and around pregnancy and hence will be termed as “Post Partum Depression”. He gave me 2 sessions of relaxing my muscles as I was constantly complaining about the nervous weakness in my hands and legs. I almost begged him to give me a medicine to calm me down and make me peaceful. But he denied it as I was breast feeding. He said , treat it as a punishment from God and bear it for 6 months. My duty as a mother was more important than what I was going through and he asked me to come back after 6 months , if I felt it didn’t go away.

He told us a lot of things. He said that , in pregnancy , a woman’s body undergoes a lot of changes.Some are physical and some are psychological. Some are good and some are bad. Now , we the people , miss the bad part. We always think that having a baby only brings joy to us. Ofcourse it is a happy thing………. But it doesn’t always bring joy to us. It also makes us nervous and all the emotions around taking up that responsibility and doing our part correctly. So , “pregnancy and delivery is a happy thing” is highly overrated. It can be the opposite also and there is nothing wrong with it. Sometimes , the wiring in the brain changes permanently because of pregnancy , he said. And I am unfortunate that I have had the bad effects of pregnancy. Having a baby is a very big change in life and different people react in different ways to it, consciously sometimes and sub-consciously sometimes. Nothing is wrong or right in it. And if the pressure on the brain becomes un-bearable , then it translates into physical symptoms like the ones I had. In the spectrum of PPD , may be I fell into a “more and intense” scale. It happens to everybody and not everybody are vocal enough to go to a doc and express that something is wrong. Because we are bound by families and society. And this insecurity and the “unhappy” part are buried under the name of society and the family’s name in the society.

It took me an year and half after delivery to completely come back to normal. And I didn’t take any medicines. It was long , hard and a challenging journey and at the end of it , I guess I have turned out to be a lot more tougher than before. I was sceptical about writing this post from a long time. But finally could muster the courage to put it in words and provide awareness to others. PPD in a severe way happens only to a very very few people. But we must be prepared to face it J.

Does it hurt the first time you have sex?

Post by Boiling

My research on this topic started when K got engaged. She shared that she was scared of getting intimate and having sex with a guy she had not interacted with much. “How the hell is one supposed to do that with a guy we have known only for a few weeks?”,   she asked. I did not have much knowledge in that area so I could not offer much advice. On top of that, I had the same fears and doubts as her and was not sure how I would work out in the whole arranged marriage thing. All I knew was that it hurt the first time and because it is such a taboo topic nobody talked about it much.

  • K confided in another friend who was married: J. J said that her husband waited a week to have sex and one day when they were finally about to have it, she started crying due to sheer nervousness and he got angry. She felt sex the first time was quite painful and slightly painful for her husband as well. She empathized with women who were raped after that because if consensual sex was so painful, rape would be even more painful. J also mentioned another of their friends whose husband forced her every time into having sex.
  • I asked another married lady and she told me they had sex on the first night. All her relatives gave her only one piece of advice: “Do whatever your husband wants you to do.”  She said sex per se was not painful but she could not walk properly for a couple of days after because her legs hurt a lot.
  • Another lady told me that she felt off colour the next day and she walked a bit differently and her relatives were smirking because it showed what happened on the first night.
  • I searched online and a lady had similar fears as K. Many ladies told her it would be painful the first few times but “after pain comes pleasure 😉
  • Other sources like books and movies seemed to indicate the same thing – that sex was painful for women the first few times at least. Take for example,  ‘Fast times at Ridgemont High (1982)’. There is a scene where two girls are talking and one of them said it kinda hurt her and the other girl tells her it will get better with time. The girl just seems to be a passive participant in sex and doing it because everybody seems to be doing it.

Basically, every source I turned to told me that first time sex was painful and this made me dread it so much. I was scared of having sex because I was afraid that my vulva would hurt real bad. When I had sex for the first time, I closed my eyes in anticipation of the pain that would follow and laughed loudly when I did not feel a bloody thing. I waited for my legs to start hurting or see if I walked differently and I did not feel or see any changes. Life went on as normal. Not being a virgin did not seem like a big deal at all.

Everybody said it was painful because saying it was fun the first time would make them seem like loose characters. Another common thread I noticed was lack of arousal and adequate lubrication for the female. People just rushed into it even when they were tired after the wedding with expectant relatives giggling and asking questions indirectly the next day. Also, in most cases, no contraception was used on the first night.

I did not get why everybody made such a fuss about how painful it was or maybe I did. This was just a way to control women, their bodies and their sexuality. Sex is not painful the first time, if the woman is aroused and properly lubricated.

P.S: I hope this helps someone who was searching for answers like me. 

Readers, did it hurt the first time you had sex?

Related Posts:

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‘I’m now thoroughly convinced that the entire concept of virginity is used to control female sexuality.

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Romanticizing innocence, chastity and related taboos for women.

“There is so little conversation about a woman’s desire for sex that a lot of people simply assume it doesn’t exist.”

A tag: But when a woman sees a hot man, nothing happens in her brain?

Indian loses online bid to buy Brazilian student’s virginity

An email: Also this is a genuine question and not a pornographic mail.

Tightey-whitey vaginas: The boys are depending on us

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

Gird Your Loins – Aarti Sethi, Kafila

“Porn is a discourse about sex and works like an educator about sex and gender.”

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

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

Question about Sexuality in Indian Arranged Marriages

Girls morally bound not to have sex before marriage, says fast track court judge

“Girls need to be little bit aware of the consequences. Men – will enjoy …”

Refusal to have sex during honeymoon is not cruelty: Bombay high court

If pre-marital sex if here to stay, then so are HPVs and other STDs.

This post is an attempt to respond to this comment.

If pre-marital sex if here to stay, then so are HPVs and other STDs. Even with only two partners, you caught a disease and are wondering who gave it to you. Just image the situation in US/Europe where people have dozens of partners in the course of a few years. How are you supposed to confirm that partner#15 is clean and is not carrying any infection and does not indulge in risky behavior ?

It’s not just pre-marital sex but the combination of casual and pre-marital sex that “feminists” (like the ones here) want to promote that causes the problem. What if someone falls in “love” ten times and sleeps with 10 different people. Are we going to pretend that it’s not a risky behavior because it was in the name of “love”? The more sexual partner one has, the higher the risk of catching an infection.

 

So, if there was no risk of HPVs and other STDs – then would the commentator above feel differently about ‘the combination of casual and pre-marital sex’ ?

Is abstinence really about women’s (or men’s) health, happiness, rights and empowerment?? 

Do you think promoting of abstinence – over the centuries – has benefited the society in anyway? How?

Isn’t it true that abstinence is promoted mainly for women?

And that has lead to men (and women) looking upon sex as something that is not a pleasurable consensual activity but as something:-

1. That must not be talked about, and ignorance of which is seen as a virtue.

2. That can make women ‘impure’ (more so if they participate and enjoy it).

3. Something that men are entitled to, and can ‘buy’  – but the one who ‘sells’ (or is ‘sold’) – must thereafter be denied human rights.

And hasn’t that indirectly lead to one of the partners being viewed as a commodity?

4. As something that can be used to punish women who don’t submit to patriarchal controls.

Sexual assaults are often justified, mainly by those committing them and those who have the power to control them, as attempts to ‘teach a lesson’.

4. At the same time or because of this stress upon abstinence as something to strive for, sex has also come to be seen as something to feel guilty about – specially for women.

Now, since heterosexuality requires women’s participation – this has made it difficult for many men (and women) to view any sexual activity without associating some amount of guilt with it.

This criminalisation (socially, ‘morally’ and sometimes legally), of an activity which concerns nobody except those involved, is a result of the stress upon abstinence.

If abstinence is really about women’s (or men’s) health, happiness, rights and empowerment – then what do you think is ‘risky behaviour’ ?

1. Denial of information and silence about preventing infections (or sexual and emotional abuse)?

Or

2. Moralising about and glorifying lack of experience (mainly for one partner) – which leads to silence and guilt?

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Romanticizing innocence, chastity and related taboos for women.

Girls morally bound not to have sex before marriage, says fast track court judge

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

“let me ask – how many girls in city remain pure till marriage ?”

How does an average Indian define Rape, Child Abuse and Consensual Sex?

“why not marry them first and then have sex ? What prevents you from doing it ? Deep within YOU WANT JUST SEX and nothing more”

“Instituting the idea of marital rape raises the specter of a man going for long periods without sex even though he’s married!”

“There is so little conversation about a woman’s desire for sex that a lot of people simply assume it doesn’t exist.”

How illegal bans on Valentine’s day and birthday parties are connected with dowry deaths and sex selection.

Indian loses online bid to buy Brazilian student’s virginity

‘I’m now thoroughly convinced that the entire concept of virginity is used to control female sexuality.’

Yet another rape that was not about lust but about aggression, revenge and putting the victim in her place.

Ek Hindustani ladki ki Izzat.

What the hell is difference between a homemaker and a porn star?

http://uncyclopedia.wikia.com/wiki/Heterosexuality

‘Mother india.. Flawless women… My grand salute to this mother..’

Many comments seem to see nothing more than glorious, flawless Indian motherhood in this news 😦

In her 9th month, pregnant woman swam 90 mins to safety

She hadn’t undergone any strength-training programmes nor was she fed any special diet. She had never heard any motivational speeches either. But when the time came to take the plunge, this nine-month pregnant woman, who had never swam in her entire life, dived into the choppy waters of the Krishna river. For nearly 90 minutes, she battled the surging river till she reached the nearest village with a hospital.

One comment:

‘…a mothers heart , selfless , pure . She would do anything for her baby . Hats off to her courage.’

Not just any mother.

‘Mother india.. Flawless women… My grand salute to this mother..’

9 months pregnant 22 year old Yellavva, was ‘married’ to a married man, 30-year-old daily wage labourer who ‘detested’ her. She was the eldest of the seven children of her impoverished labourer parents.

… Yellavva’s pregnancy was marked more with the fear of rising river levels than the anxiety about childbirth itself.

The nearest hospital was four km away, and they had to cross a river to reach it. Yelluva said she wanted the river crossed before it rose, but her family kept postponing it.

… the poverty-stricken family probably had life’s more pressing matters to attend to until Wednesday when the Krishna swelled like never before after excess water from Basava Sagara reservoir, 10-km upstream, was let into the river.

By then, the situation had gone out of hand and it was inevitable that Yellavva and her family would have to enter the swirling waters for the sake of the baby.

IHM:  Would they not have done the same if it wasn’t a pregnant woman but another very sick woman (or man)?

Why is it not about poverty, lack of basic facilities, lack of awareness and lack of value for the rights, life and health of the poor, specially poor women? 

“I even yelled at my father and others for arguing it would never rain as there was drought all around.” I told them to look at the river now, but my father just asked me to jump in.

“… Even when I was about to plunge in, I protested. Praying to gods I jumped into the river only to fall back. It was so cold and suffocating, even at that hour; it was 10 am. The strong currents kept dragging me. But then my brothers tied dried pumpkins and bottle gourd on either side to maintain buoyancy,” she says.

The pumpkin and bottle gourds helped Yellavva stay afloat when she was totally exhausted.

Her brother swam ahead of her and father swam along with her. Two male relatives followed them.

…. all those swimming around me started to push me one after another while my brother swimming in the front began dragging me by holding on to the rope. About 45 minutes later, we managed to reach the … the other side of the bank,”

Some comments found the story inspiring.

… Yellavva has survived only on the bare minimum her family could provide for. … Except for bajra rotis, subsidised rice and some vegetables, I ate nothing else ever since I conceived. Even on that day, I just had a couple of bajra rotis with onion chutney.”

Would she be judged if she said she was worried for her own safety and health?

 

“This is how we all do it. We find a corner in the house, where the others can’t see, and then dry them.”

What makes changing this so difficult?

“Inside this area was a string, hanging to the sheets, pointing to which Shefali said, “this is where I put it to dry.” She was talking about the used sanitary cloth which she discretely washes at the bore well … I pointed out to her and said that there is no sunlight in that dingy corner. “How would the cloth dry?” I asked.

In a matter-of-fact manner, she looked at me and said, “It’s a used sanitary cloth. How can we dry it outside? This is how we all do it. We find a corner in the house, where the others can’t see, and then dry them.”

“88 percent of India’s 355 million menstruating women have no access to sanitary pads. “

How?

“Not just health, but lack of menstrual hygiene management takes its toll on the education of young girls… almost 23 percent of girls drop out of school when they start menstruating. In some places as many as 66 percent of girls skip school during this time and one-third of them eventually drop out.”

So, what makes changing this so difficult?

“We don’t talk about these issues.”

 

[Read more at: Why menstruation is a nightmare for many women in India, By Kamala Sripada]

Related Posts:

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Being untouchable during periods.

Nepal: Custom & Dangers of Isolation of Women During Menstruation

Have you heard about the menstrual cup?

And yet, like women’s clothing, a woman’s period remains everybody’s business 😦

“…and every month if my periods get delayed I am given a weird look and it clearly shows that she is afraid i might get pregnant again.”

Who is afraid of awareness about menstruation, and open letters to all Gynaecologists?

New scare for urban women: Menopause in 20s

A double mastectomy in a world where a woman is seen as ‘packet of behinds, thighs, hair and lips’.

Wombs?  In laws’ property. 

Hair? Length maybe controlled by the family elders and future in laws. 

Skin? To be protected from the sun and men’s eyes, no matter now hot or humid (sometimes this does not apply to women working in the fields).

Which parts of their bodies, would you say do women completely own?

Do you agree with these lines?

“We live in a world where women are like chickens, reduced to their parts. Men are still lucky enough to be considered whole …

But women? We are a packet of behinds, thighs, hair and lips. I am only reciting current primary targets. There is nothing on a woman’s body that isn’t brutally assessed.

The secondary targets with mandates are bellies (must be flat), eyebrows (emphatic), toe cleavage (wear low-cut shoes), arms (Michelle Obama-muscled) and genitals (plucked to a soundtrack of screaming).

Breasts, in a category all their own, have been reduced into even more parts, just as chicken breasts are made into breaded fingers for bar snacks. Nipples have long been excoriated for slipping out. Now it’s “side-boobs” and “under-boobs.” ….

[Link: Angelina Jolie’s double mastectomy story stirs shame and desire — Mallick]

Psharmarao shared this link, Jolie’s disclosure sends out an empowering message.

“Jolie’s disclosure sends out an empowering message. By sharing her deepest fears and courageously talking about her surgical scars, she wants all women to learn the valuable lesson of self-preservation. By sharing her story, Jolie has made it every woman’s story. It’s really not about Angelina Jolie and her breasts but about women’s health and breast cancer prevention. In the entire Brad Pitt-Jennifer Aniston-Brangelina saga, I picked my side in the opening rounds. I was always Team Jen and proud of it. But now I wouldn’t mind sporting a Team Angie tee. You go Girl. Go, Do, Be.”  [Read more at: The Angelina Jolie Message]

But then, why should it be seen as courageous to talk about a life saving procedure?

An email: The last straw was her expecting me to practise 4 day period sit-out thingy.

Sharing an email.

I wonder if this daughter in law would be seen as ‘playing a bad girl’ because she doesn’t seem to be succeeding in becoming a ‘ideal bahu’.

Hi IHM

Here’s another story of a DIL who understands her angry MIL but not vice versa.

I married the man I was seeing for five years last year without objection from either families and since then my relationship with my widowed MIL has been going downhill. He is her only child & is 28 yrs of age. I am 26 and she is 76 yrs old. After I married, my husband got a job in his hometown & we decided to move back.

It was then that I realized my MIL throws tantrums like a child. I understand her age but imagine living with constant complaints about my hair/bindi free forehead/no bangles etc. Just to keep peace at home I decided to wear bindi/bangles knowing fully well why I was doing it. You can imagine when a rich household like her’s with zilch financial problem invests all of their time performing pooja at any given time of the day. So it was quite a shock for an Athiest me to visit their pooja room once before marriage to witness gold & silver pooja items & millions of God photos.

Although I had prepared myself for what lay ahead, I hope one understands that it takes time to understand what is expected (of me) in the pooja room when I have absolutely no exposure to ultra orthodox lifestyle. Out of genuine respect for their beliefs I took extra care to finish my chores before time to witness what happens in the pooja room and to my own surprise/first-time-fear I helped around with whatever was needed of me even though I was absolutely clueless. Then started harassed cry from my MIL about how wrong I was doing it all. It seems I have no respect towards her pandit/pujari visiting home-how I was bound to bring shame to the respect the home had earned by what I wore (while her son wore shorts & I was in kurta) etc. At that time, I gave her the benefit of doubt that she must have also been shocked/scared by how the other part of population lives. I kept quiet thinking this could be sorted once we could have a dialogue after she calms down. But alas, it was not meant to be. She seems to be extremely disappointed by the DIL she has been given.
The last straw was her expecting me to practise 4 day period sit-out thingy [More about period-sit-out]. Horrified I was and so was my husband. He told her bluntly that he would not allow it and we moved out after much drama.

All this happened within a month of us coming back. I got myself a job & things got hectic. Regardless, I told myself that my orthodox MIL must have been in shock that a woman in her household dared defy traditions just like how I was shocked at the repressiveness at her household.

Each time we visited her home, she would fawn over her son and pointedly ignore me or make small talk if I initiated it. At times when I ponder over why she’s doing this I feel bad for her. At an age when family matters, she seems to be rejecting us over issues like period sit-out or pooja. Some months ago, my hubby office timings changed due to a new project and he was asked to come at three different time schedules each month. This threw our routine into a mess, he’s putting on weight, no time to cook lunch and dinner because by then both are at work. We were completely stressed out and sleeping all the time. Our energy level dipped and my period skipped.

On check up, I was told I would not be able to conceive and something had to be done. Unfortunately, two income are necessary but I had decided to quit my job for our health. Its been a month. In all this I am trying to think positive and have brought about many changes in every day chores. I have already noticed a huge improvement in my hubby and the Doctor is very happy with my progress.

We decided not to confide in my MIL not knowing how she would react.

I have not included how my hubby is because I write this as a part of a team. We are on the same side and he is a feminist by definition. By that I also mean the one to never raise his voice against his mother but trying to sort this mess in a polite manner.

Unfortunately, MIL has started getting joint knee problem and is dependent on someone to cook her lunch or dinner and buy medicines or stuff for home. Each time we are there we stock up that might last for two months and the process repeats. Her SIL stays on the first floor and at 65 is super active. It has fallen upon her to take care of MIL’s food needs although it bothers us that we are unable to do it. We have offered her many times but she is adamant that for us to move back I *have* to practice this period thingy. It is frustrating because she is unwilling to come to our home for a couple of days. In the past one year, she been here only once. I have never had a decent conversation without her criticizing me for more than 10 min. I try not to let my ego break the stance of ‘words through action’ that I have maintained since the day it became clear where I stand in her books. I am also not the one to give back when she is criticizing me because I know where her words are coming from. In all this her SIL is now treating me as if I am her DIL and she owns that house. I normally ignore her but my hubby is scared that she might be putting in ideas into MIL’s head. I don’t know what to make of it bcz MIL has also started criticizing me in front of her. I think it was this that I have seen my husband angry. He told her to stop & we left. It stands there today and I haven’t spoken to her since then. Next week, is my FIL’s death anniversary and we are going there. I am dreading it.

I am writing this letter to you just to tell that there are DILs’ who are trying to understand the place bitter MILs’ come from but it seems like a tiring process. I am losing interest in that part of my life as days progress because there seems to be no improvement regardless of our attempts. Now my hubby is seen as Joru ka Ghulam and is constantly pressurized not only by her but now the SIL above as well. I am obviously concerned of our mental & physical health. This situation is doing nothing to help us.

When I hear of things like independent woman-career oriented-living alone etc, what do they mean in the context of a DIL?

I gave up my job for health reasons/family/out of choice – does this make me dependent? What about the health improvement I am seeing in my hubby that I have taken responsibility over?

I am also young and sometimes wistfully think of life single ‘independent’ women lead.

The funny thing is I have all the support from my husband but my MIL’s tantrums and age is stopping us from being impulsive. I do not type this with regret but merely commenting on situation.

Love,

Yet another exploited-for-being-an-Indian-DIL.

Related post – recommended by the email writer.

The way things are done – Usha, Ageless Bonding