Archive for relationship

Effecting Change: Rebelling Against ‘Indian Woman Syndrome’

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 8, 2017 by tivaniam

“Smile quietly” was in the contract I signed when I agreed to be born an Indian and specifically a woman. We are raised to smile quietly because of “what the people would say”, and we are raised to smile quietly “for the sake of the children”. Two principles that I ferociously rebel against, and which I refuse to subscribe to, something that has become such a pandemic that I refer to it as the “Indian Woman Syndrome” although it extends deeply to Indian men alike.  Even in progressive times, this seems to be the mind-set that Indian people STILL adopt.  And sadly, as a result, we stay as sick as our secrets – that which we refuse to acknowledge, face or speak about.

As an Indian, specifically a woman, I was supposed to stay in my marriage for the sake of the kids. Because, what would people say if I chose the alternative? So I stayed. For a while, until death became an option. And I realised that my choice to live my life in sacrifice, wasn’t serving anyone, least of all my children – MOST of all myself.

So I left. Twice. Two marriages, several relationships and jobs and people – everything that didn’t serve me or make me happy. I went against the grain of what I was SUPPOSED to be, and chose to be real. And yes, people judged. Harshly. I lost friends and family. The words I was called and the judgment thrown at me stung me terribly. Enough to make me want to shrink back.

But I didn’t. Because there was something inside me that screamed louder than any of the names I was called.

Saying “fuck-it” to the ideals society prescribed for me meant choosing to turn my insides out, and with that meant not only making different choices, but also doing it vocally. I began writing my truth, living my truth and BEING my truth. And as I shared my life through my words, my truth started setting others free to share THEIR truths. Because there are people, Indians specifically, who knew EXACTLY what I was feeling, who shared the same hopelessness and helplessness and despair but stay in bad marriages or relationships for the children and because of what people would say if they chose to be selfish and do what makes them happy.

This limiting belief system perpetuates the cycle that I see continuously with Indian people. The antiquated, indoctrinated beliefs predominantly stemming from religion that promotes patriarchy and teaches us to live in sacrifice. The need to put on facades in an effort to save face has caused so many Indian people to lose themselves and live existentially, miserable and hateful of the world. This in turn gets repeated with their children who emulate what they learn – the boys become misogynists, the girls, doormats – and without any concept of what authenticity, aliveness, freedom and love truly means. Ingrained prejudices are carried forward and we do not progress as a culture or the collective human species.

So why choose to live in that limiting way?

To try and be liked by everyone? What a waste of a life. Because no matter how hard you work or how self-righteous you think you are, you will never EVER make everyone like you. But, if you make yourself heard, if you live a life that’s true, you will find the RIGHT people to love and be loved by. You would encourage your children to be real and teach them, through example, about self-love and true freedom of expression. Can you imagine the possibility of what the world could hold for them or you if you expanded your belief system instead of following old ideologies that had no place back then, certainly not now, that only serve to make people conform?

Be a rebel. Live your truth out loud. And see the ripple effects of what that authenticity, peace and aliveness does for you, your children and then the world at large. When you choose YOU, you give others permission to do the same for themselves. I am a living testament of that, and so are my children who are happy, well-adjusted, emotionally stable, kind and loving kids NOTWITHSTANDING the fact that I left their dads. Or perhaps…because of it.

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Forgiveness

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on January 2, 2014 by tivaniam
Forgiveness

Forgiveness (Photo credit: Celestine Chua)

I have been a victim of abuse, the worse kind that leaves no physical scarring, just a completely battered soul. My dignity and self-worth has been vandalised, but I realise now that I willingly surrendered it. I used to be a self-righteous woman, condemning other women who stay in bad situations until I endured it myself. It is said that a frog will jump out of a pot of boiling water. Place him in a pot and turn it up a little at a time, and he will stay until he is boiled to death. That frog could have been me. I could have been boiled to death. I just had the courage of conviction to jump out at the right time.  It took everything I possessed to leave and now there is nothing left to carry me forward. I am at rock bottom. 

A few days ago someone I love dearly lost her battle with cancer. That was a huge wake up call. It is so easy to remain a victim. So easy to be embroiled in bitterness and hatred, having that hatred spur you on until the viciousness becomes a cycle and everyone around you becomes enmeshed in chaos. I made a choice today to choose something different. I choose to forgive.

Forgiveness makes you grow beyond what you were. I am reclaiming my power that I unwittingly relinquished by holding onto anger. I am facing the world with trepidation but at least I do so with the knowledge that I am in control of my destiny. A simple choice is by no means simplistic. I forgive with the knowledge that one day I will be free from the internal pain that holds me captive and I can only break free once I release the anger, forgive wholly and make peace absolute.

Today, I forgive you completely and am moving on to the next chapter in my life.

I live in hope and still believe in love because I know that emotion which has the potential to break me is also the only thing that can heal me. I will not stay still now. I will act and hope that the universe will follow through.

 

 

To My Armchair Psychologists

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on November 12, 2013 by tivaniam
Divorce Ring

Divorce Ring (Photo credit: Jewellery Monthly)

Since the revelation of my impending divorce, this being the second failed marriage, I have had countless unwarranted words of derision about the unfortunate situation I find myself in. Firstly, thank you for the time taken to impart such wisdom to me. I wasn’t aware of the vast knowledge each of you possessed and the level of perfection in which you live your lives which far surpasses the lives of ordinary beings. In my ignorance that level of unprecedented perfection belonged to something of a higher, omniscient power. But hey, what do I know. I should have remembered to take notes. 

Secondly, and this may come as a surprise, my life is not a democracy. I don’t aspire to live it for anyone other than me. Far from being ostentatious and worrying about putting up appearances to the detriment of my own happiness, I need only stay true to my own convictions and not what society deems correct for me. I am unapologetic and unashamed for wanting more for my life. My pursuit of happiness means that, sadly, I may end up making the wrong decisions but those are my lessons to learn.

Thirdly, and most importantly, please be advised that going forward, advice/concern/wisdom or any aspersions alluding to my choices and decisions should be given if solicited. Until then, keep your opinions to yourselves. I can assure you that while I voluntarily air my dirty linen, I do so for reasons that none of you will comprehend, primarily because its cathartic and secondarily because one person in this world may benefit from my prescience over my own life and grasp the idea of being true to exactly what and who they are and aspire to live a life of purpose and meaning.

Finally, please heed MY friendly advice to you. All of the energy that gets invested in judging me would be better utilised in an endeavour to educate yourself and perhaps that evolution and insight would offer you greater perspective into the shit that is happening in your own lives. Said shit gets swept under the carpet in a suffering attempt to paint the image of perfection you insanely believe is the reality of your life.

I don’t know what affects me more – people who see fit to judge others who are living their personal truth or the people living their truth who end up being ashamed of their choices because of armchair psychologists parading as experts on life. It’s sad.

Thanking you in advance for your discernment in minding your own fucking business.

Sincerely,

Twice divorced and happy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Loneliness Unspoken

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on May 1, 2013 by tivaniam

Loneliness (song)

Loneliness (song) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My life reads like an epic, harrowing tale filled with twists and turns and seemingly insurmountable obstacles. I have experienced things that most people never face in their lifetime but I have survived it all! I feel like a warrior who won the greatest battle. The only problem with being a protagonist in the story of my own life is the fact that there can’t be two heroes, which makes for a very lonely life.

 

Loneliness has become a constant white noise that I have grown so used to hearing, I live by its rhythm. Ironic considering I am married with kids and have no reason to feel lonely, but I do.  

Sadly, like most women, I am a paradox. I am a force to be reckoned with at work. I am strong, resilient and capable. Yet silently I am a hopeless romantic, the damsel in distress waiting for some grand gesture that demonstrates my prince’s love and affection. And I wait. And I wait. The tragedy here is the fact that no matter what I do or say, the love language I speak is completely different from my husband’s and so we are both left meandering through this marriage like two lost ships at sea. For someone so strong and capable, I am weak when it comes to love. I wear my heart on my sleeve and love fully. My weakness comes with the fact that I have left my emotional wellbeing firmly at the feet of the man I chose to marry, hoping and praying that one day, I would finally get what I long for. But humans are fallible creatures by their very nature. To expect someone else to be exclusively invested in my own happiness is unrealistic and unattainable. It’s a rarity to find someone who checks every box that you have in your head of your perfect relationship. I have very little to complain about by way of morals and values in the man I chose to marry. I just married someone who opts for emotional detachment and survives on mundane domesticity. I married someone who is indifferent when I am grandiose, who is complacent when I am restless and who never “sees” me when I desperately need to be seen.

Marriage is more than being parents to children, for me it’s about the relationship between a man and a woman. The very foundation of that marriage should be the passion and love and intimacy shared.  It should be a silent flame that doesn’t often have to burn brightly but should never dim.

 

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