Random thoughts

Fear of walking on the streets

In a world where you live in constant fear its impossible to isolate one and and label it as your worst fear. Fear of heights, fear of creepy, crawly things are nothing in comparison to the fear of losing a job or worst of getting stuck in a place and losing your freedom or the fear of committing yourself to the wrong person.

Deep-rooted, emotional fears actually go a long way in playing havoc. Just discovered one of these a couple of days back. Of late I’ve been highly claustrophobic. I get panic attacks when I come in close contact with known people and there is very tiny physical space between them and me. I need deep, long breaths and loads of air. If I don’t get that, I’m mentally the worst to deal with. I’ve gotten off packed cars with friends gawking in surprise. I’ve refused to sit in the middle seat of an aircraft and created a ruckus over that. And it doesn’t stop there.

Being violated in your personal space is the biggest fear you live with. You walk down the streets with cat calls on a dozen. You don’t respond you are forced to notice with stones or peanuts being pelted at you. Here we have videos on YouTube on women’s liberation – I am who I am etc., in reality you really can’t even walk in your own city or town without being objectified.

Is gender violence only limited to physical abuse and not mental trauma? How long will it take for the men to transcend the boundary if doesn’t stop? Wonder will Delhi or Calcutta be the next Papua New Guinea or will ‘educated’ men of the opposite sex sit up and take notice. Hope its not too late by then.

http://www.news.com.au/world/pacific/the-country-where-rapists-are-proud-and-happy-to-pose-for-photos/story-fnh819y6-1227377622821 – Can this really be our wake up call? Or we will act once we really turn our cities into such a hell hole?

Random thoughts

The darkest conversation

I had just returned home from a long day at the NGO. Mom was waiting to talk to me. The sun was setting and I wasn’t in the mood to talk after the mentally straining day. I went straight to my room and lay down on my bed, letting the street lights stream into my bedroom. I didn’t want to switch on the lights. I just needed some space to collect my thoughts.

I don’t care what you think. I know what has happened was not right and no amount of cajoling would make me apologise.

Mom came in and switched on the light. She said she needed to talk. I told her even if she had to, to please switch off the light. I didn’t want her to see how battered I was. I couldn’t let her have a one up on the conversation. She started speaking of things that didn’t matter and I asked her to come straight to the point. She wanted me to apologise to my brother. I told her no. He apologises to me first.

She wanted to know what for. As if she didn’t know already. She was the one who had caught him in the act and told him what he did was wrong. She said it happened a long time back and I needed to forget about it. I told her if I could it wouldn’t be troubling me all these years later. She then bought up my promiscuity, saying that how come it hasn’t affected that? I just wanted to tell her there is a difference between choice and not knowing what is happening to you. And when you realise what has happened to you it scars you for life.

I tried to explain my point of view the way I would to any parent at the NGO. Just quivering at every word cause it was my mother that I was talking to. My mother who didn’t want to believe what I said, who wanted me to forget everything when I couldn’t. By the end of it she agreed I should see a shrink (officially) and get over with it. If that made me feel better, she said.

In that dark room she made many promises on how she would keep me safe and help me get out of my mess. But as she walked on to the light and till many days later she didn’t act. Thinking that our conversation would help me forget everything.

Years of self loathing and disrespecting myself, I learnt how to cope up and say no. I only regret the years wasted in self destruction. Only if she held my hand then and explained what we explain to survivors now. Only if she told me what good touch and bad touch was instead of shutting me up every time I broached the topic. My childhood memories are tainted with these well defined incidents and somewhere all the happy ones have receded into the black night. As dark as the night of the darkest conversation I had with mom.