I was a beautiful chubby 12-year-old girl when my neighbour started groping me. I had no clue about what he was doing to me.
He just kept telling me that he loved me. At that age, I did not know it was child abuse and that it was a punishable offence. He continued to do this for almost a year. When I reached puberty, I realized that I could no longer withstand his behaviour. I stopped giving in to his threats and refused to give him a chance to touch me. I didn’t tell my mom because I was afraid of his threats. I chose to keep quiet.
My mom had no time to notice that my behaviour was changing. She was always busy with her job and kept fighting with my dad. I don’t really blame her for this. But now, I seriously wish that I had told her what was happening to me.
Until the age of 15, I continued to feel that I had committed some kind of a heinous crime. I thought my classmates would never do such things. I would always feel very low. I studied well and by the time I reached class X, I had grown up to be one of the most beautiful girls in the class. I was fair and chubby. I had a well-built body with toned skin.
I was aware of the unusual attention that I was getting. Several classmates found me attractive. One of my classmates actually proposed to me. When I rejected him, he wrote me a letter. It was written in his blood. But still, I rejected him.
He and his friends then accused me of having sex with my neighbour. I did not even know what sex was until then. My neighbour had only touched me everywhere over my clothes. I had never allowed him to take them off. Now my feeling of guilt doubled. All my childhood besties now deserted me. We had studied together till class X and I was all alone now.
I am a south Indian. I had always liked my cousin. He was good looking too. When I was 16 years old, he came to our place. I was very happy. He was older than me, so he quickly realized that I was a feeling lonely. He kept asking me why I behaved like this so I told him everything.
At that age, I never knew that even a relative could do such things to me.
He took complete advantage of the situation. He said that he loved me and wished to marry me. He held me and except for sex, he did everything to me. When I joined an engineering college, I was aware of all the attention that I was getting from all the boys. Like any other girl, I was on cloud nine all the time. I knew that the boys were dying to talk to me. I broke up with my cousin for a trivial reason.
I then fell for one of my seniors. I did not have sex with my senior. We had not yet reached that stage. But I was stupid enough to disclose all the details of my past. But our relationship did not last long because I behaved childishly. I was shattered when he left me.
I started feeling I was unwanted again. I had this notion that I was at fault for losing the love of my life. I somehow convinced myself of this.
By the time I was 18 years old, I had already had some kind of relationship with three men. Now, one of my classmates came to my rescue. We shared our grief with each other and I liked him because he made me feel special. He already had a girlfriend. But he convinced me to enter into a relationship with him by saying that I was the most important person to him.
He would keep sexting her but had sex with me.
She was totally unaware of our relationship. I would always feel lonely when they got together. I had no clue about why I was still with him.
I would decide not to continue with him but would end up talking with him again because I had no other friend.
When I was 20 years old, a man who was 4 years older than me, chose to marry me. He proposed to me because he loved me. I agreed to marry him. Initially, I did not tell him the details of my past. I broke up with my previous boyfriend because I thought this man would support me. However, I did tell him about all my relationships before getting married.
But he simply said, “That is not a problem at all. All this happened to you because you were immature.” I was happy to hear this and we got married against the wishes of my parents and without the knowledge of his family.
Little did I know at that time that he would keep reminding me of my past every minute of the day. He keeps telling me that he loves me so much that he married me even though I had a weird past.
When I started working, he would tell me not to accept calls from male colleagues. He would ask me not to talk to them. I would agree to all of this because I still felt guilty about my past. I felt I was obliged to him because he had saved me.
I love him. Truly. But every time he reminds me of my past, I end up feeling even more guilty about it. We have been married for eleven and a half years now. He has been very good to me and my family too. He helped my parents when my sister got married. He took care of my father when he was sick.
He has proved to be a good son and a good son-in-law too. I appreciate all this.
We both faced a financial setback recently. Though his family was responsible for this, we came out of it together and have often appreciated each other for being so strong at all times. We have a kid who is 8 years old. To the outside world, we look like a really very happy family. He does everything to keep me happy and I too work hard to make our marriage work.
But somewhere deep down, I lose my cool every time he remarks about my past. It breaks me and I can't tell him about it. I can never tell my mom about what I am experiencing because I opted to get married without their consent.
Whenever we are alone, he asks me questions like, "Who are you talking to? Why are you talking to a male colleague again? Are you really going to the office? My friend saw you at the railway station. It looks like someone has bitten you here. Are you going to repeat what you did in your past?"
I am pretty scared of him now. I have started losing my confidence.
I am scared to go out with my friends. In fact, I have never gone out with them. I have started feeling so bad about myself. I never said, “I am Sati Savitri. Please marry me!” He chose to marry me even though he knew everything about my past. We had promised each other that my past would never come in our way again. I have kept my word so far. But now, all the guilty feelings have started piling up inside me. In fact, I feel very lonely all the time. I have suppressed my intuition completely. This is stopping me from moving on with my life.
About a year back, I even tried to kill myself. I was saved but my husband stopped talking to me. The only thing that he told me was that I was trying to blackmail him. I wasn’t doing that.
I felt I was living only to meet his expectations all the time. I felt I could not do even this for him. I hated being alive.
It was at this time that a boy who was much younger than me shared his feelings with me. So far we had only talked to each other casually. We had no feelings for each other. I felt bad when I heard his story. He was highly talented and I was quite impressed by his achievements. I encouraged him to study well so that he could pursue a good career. He shared his grief with me and asked me if I was facing any problems.
I was just waiting for someone to listen to my story. I shared my story with him. I told him about the things I liked and what I loved to do the most. He would keep telling me that I was childlike. He then concluded that he would definitely wish to have a girl like me in his life. I was 32 years old at that time. We started talking to each other.
Our initial feelings were respectable. But slowly we became closer and cosier with each other. One day my husband discovered this and thrashed me. He asked me what I wanted. I simply said, “Leave me. I don’t want to be with you anymore.”
He thrashed that boy too. The boy’s parents came to know about it and abused me for trapping their son. I realized my mistake. I don’t know what that boy must be thinking of me.
I was just overwhelmed by my loneliness. I just wanted someone to listen to me.
My husband was a broken man now. He accused me of all the s**t in the world. I accepted my mistake and begged him for forgiveness. He just said, “You don’t deserve a better life. A wh*** will always be a wh***. You need a new man every time you want to get f***ed.” This broke me completely.
I hated myself for all the things that I had done. I decided to end my life because I had cheated all the people with whom I shared a relationship.
I thought I had not cheated my child alone so far. But that day I knew I had cheated him too. I didn’t deserve to live. Yet he saved me. He told everyone about my past. He even discussed this incident with my mother, my mamas and his brother. They all abused me and I started feeling even guiltier now.
I had reached a point where I could forgive everyone else but not myself.
I was asked to stay with my mom. He came to talk to me every other day. He loves me a lot and wishes to stay with me provided I matched all his expectations. But now he suddenly has a problem with everything that defines me. He has a problem with my studies. He has a problem with the way I smile. He even has a problem with my JOB. It was this job that had saved us when we faced a financial disaster. He has a problem with the way I dress. I am allowed to wear only sarees and that too with little short sleeves.
He has a problem with my behaviour, with my family, my background and every damn thing. It was as if the whole thing was solely my mistake.
I argued with him and told him that it wasn’t my mistake alone. He had to accept that he was at fault too. He said, “A woman who loves her family will never talk like this. You should be begging me for forgiveness not pointing out my mistakes to me. I am not a person who will accept my mistakes. All these years I have only been trying to protect you like an elder brother by showing you who you are and what you should never become.” I did not know how to argue with him.
I had never told him anything so far because I would always feel guilty about my past. I would feel so grateful that he accepted me.
Now when I was telling him how I truly felt, he was refusing to see things from my perspective and was telling me that he had always only wanted to protect me.
I was left without a single penny in my hand, though I was earning handsomely. I don't want to live anymore. I am totally broken from inside. I don't even deserve to live after all the mistakes that I have committed. I know I am walking on a self-destructive path. Putting up this story on social media is definitely not an attention seeking stunt.
I know I will never be able to forgive myself during this lifetime. But like every other girl out there I still have a heart. I live for my son and will love him forever and ever.