A little about the past (2)

Continuing from yesterday’s post, I would like to start this one with simple but extremely powerful words from C. W. Lewis.

Courage, dear heart. – C. W. Lewis

Courage does not come easily and I know it far too well. As I said yesterday, my family pushed me into action and for a while, I did work. Without any problem, without much worry, or anxiety. It was a different thing, a new thing and so, I didn’t mind it. I never got into it as passionately as I should have but then, for me, it wasn’t the job of my dreams. The mere fact that I could have had that and more had I just tried a bit more was ignored in favour of being melancholy.

Procrastination is one of my greatest weaknesses and anxiety comes a close second. So, as the year passed, my discontent with the job showed up more and more. I was earning, I was independent and to a certain degree, I was even happy. But all the things that had been piled up in my mind started to make themselves known. I wasn’t happy with being a office assistant, a glorified term for the coffee girl and the filing girl. I never really tried to go beyond that by means of an education and that hurt me greatly on a larger scale.

So, it was after two and half years of working in a place where I couldn’t breathe without feeling my throat being clogged up, I finally left the job. It might not have been the wisest of choice seeing as I hadn’t thought to secure another job. I had enough savings that I could last a good six months, I think my mind had finally had enough. It couldn’t be bothered about things like savings, money, independence.

I slowly withdrew into myself and it was at that time, my family began talking of marriage. My marriage. I had never been interested in the concept of marriage, hell, I was never into anything remotely sexual, if I am being frank. For a long time, I had avoided things of that nature and belonging to a Hindu family, this trait was greatly appreciated. Till the moment I told my family that I would never marry. Then pressure from every corner came and no matter how much I told them I didn’t care for it, there would always be ten more people telling me how I should be married.

My father, initially, was indifferent about the whole thing but then, even he bowed to the peer pressure and arranged a meeting with a family. I couldn’t have been more outraged. Then my father gave his word to the family that they would definitely meet and my aunts managed to convince me into honoring his promise. To rub salt in my wound, the meeting was arranged on my birthday.

With barely restrained fury at the whole thing, I still managed to meet the people. They were good people, a nice family. I made the mistake of mentioning to the family and they took it to mean that I wasn’t opposed to the arranged marriage. I have lost count how much I have cried during that period and how many times I have begged my family to listen to me. A good family and a good man is not enough to make me marry anyone. They thought me to be an arrogant, spoiled child in my twenties.

They arranged my marriage and the ground vanished from beneath me. Nothing could have prepared me for the feeling of absolute terror and rage and anxiety that came with the news. Even now, I am cold whenever I think of those days. From the day they said yes to the other family till the day of the wedding, I regularly tried to make my father listen. The reasons he and the others gave me were laughable. Since I wasn’t working anywhere and wasn’t earning, I might as well get married and get settled. As if that’s all a woman’s life is about. To get married, to bear children and to live her life as if we are still living in the dark ages.

Then over time, I lost my confidence, I lost my sense of self. Everything seemed to be getting darker as the days went on. I couldn’t see a way out, and I felt suffocated. I started having panic attacks and my anxiety was at an all time overdrive. I gave up on my life.

I wasn’t able to stop things from happening. If at one point I was depressed, then during those months, I was almost dead mentally.

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