Had I Not Filed A Case Against My Father, I Would Have Been Found Dead Somewhere

Anonymous Anonymous in Culture Shock on 2 November, 2017

Everybody writes about their love stories. But is there anyone who can bear to listen to the reality of my life? This is actually a letter that I want a lawyer to read. The lawyer who fought the case for my father so that he could get the custody of his girl child from my mother who was a wh***.

I am that girl child.

Sir,

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I know my father was your client. You handled his divorce case and he was granted the sole custody of a GIRL child. I wish to tell you certain things about my life. If I am not mistaken, when he got the sole custody of his girl child, he had promised the court that he would protect her and take care of her.

I am sure he did not tell the court that he would abandon me if I committed any mistake or that he would sever my rights as his daughter if I did something which was not in accordance with his wishes. The court somehow completely overlooked my difficulties and ignored my rights after the case was settled.

My life has been a roller coaster ride ever since he got my custody. I could not cope with the sudden changes that happened in my life. It took me some time to learn to live without a mother and it was difficult for me to do so at that tender age. Also, I think boys and girls respond very differently to such situations at an emotional level.

Now, let me give you an example of how I was treated after my father got his divorce. My father claims that he has given me a good education. I was enrolled in a Kannada medium school when I was in the 1st standard after I finished my KG there. After he got custody rights, he immediately put me in a missionary school. This school was for very poor students who came from a very low economic background. But my elder brother was put in a good school. My father got several opportunities to put me in a better school. But he did not bother to do so. To be very honest, my teachers who were nuns took really good care of me.

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When I was in the 9th standard, my father decided to relocate to another city. In this city too, my father had a lot of options. There were many good schools near our house. But he decided to enrol me in an ordinary school. This school had two divisions. One was a Kannada medium school and the other one was an English medium school. He chose to put me in the Kannada medium school though he was aware that this school would only equip me with low-quality education. Maybe you should check the history of this school's SSLC results to realize what I am trying to say. I was the only student in the history of the school to score the highest marks so far. (I am talking of the Kannada medium division only when I make that statement.) There were no teachers for Math and Science. I had to study on my own. Out of 43 students, only 2 passed out from this school. My father was aware of the academic record of this school. Yet, he enrolled me in that school for the sh***est of reasons that were best known only to him.

It was not an easy task to manage my household chores, study on my own and balance my emotions. I requested my family members to hire a maid because I was studying all the subjects on my own. My step-mom said, “We shall hire one after your death.” Those were her exact words.

There are hundreds of equally painful instances that I have experienced. I cannot even explain them. I had no issues studying in a Kannada medium school. My only problem was that though he had better options, he chose to enrol me in this kind of a school. I am sure I would have become a topper in my state if he had enrolled me in any other school.

I always did my best to put my feelings on the back burner and tried to understand what my father was experiencing. It should have actually been the other way round. My father was only concerned about himself and his ego. We hardly spoke to each other and we never shared any kind of a bond as a father and daughter.

In fact, when I was studying in my first year of PUC, I once had no inner wear. I managed to trace my mother's number and requested her to buy some for me. She did it, but it was for her own selfish reasons. My father will never accept such things and will go into a mode of denial when he is confronted with such issues. I am a girl and I do have some basic necessities. I was scared to ask him for it because each time I asked for something; I had to face a lot of tantrums at home. Sometimes, my stepmom gave me her used inner wear and asked me to use it. Most people would find it difficult to believe such things.

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Everyone around me took advantage of the fact that I was defenceless and ill-treated me. I was always their target.

My character was always under the scanner because of my mother. I consider myself to be a girl of good character. I will openly challenge my father to prove my character if necessary. I don’t mind going through a medical examination if the situation demands this. After all, my character is at stake. But before my father tarnishes my character, I would like to know the definition of ‘good’ character and ‘bad’ character from him.

If talking to a man makes a woman characterless, then every woman should be considered characterless.

I was even called a ‘valas’ by a family member who was very close to my father. They gave me such labels because of my mother’s deeds. All parents selflessly love their children. But in my case, both my parents are utterly selfish. Whenever I commit even a minor mistake, my father always mentions that he had spent Rs.40, 000/- to get my custody.

I often feel that he bought a daughter so that I could be a mere slave for his wife.

I think only slaves are constantly reminded about how much money was spent on buying them when they fail to follow instructions. Usually good, loving parents will never let their child know about their struggles or the pains that they are taking for them. I think for a normal parent a child’s happiness is the most important thing.

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I feel as if I forced them to give birth to me.

He never tried to understand my mental agony. I can only imagine the plight of a motherless child. I think it would have been better if I had been born as an orphan.

Both my parents are alive but I am leading the life of an orphan with far more emotional and mental trauma.

I want to know which court of law says that a girl child should lose her right to live, hope and dream because of her mother’s mistakes. Why should a girl child be tormented for her mother’s mistakes? I never had a normal teenage or adult life like others. I was under too much pressure to lead an abnormal life.

The pain, hurt and frustration which has been building up from the age of six have slowly and finally turned me into a rebel.

I am doing my best to find ways and means to escape from this mental agony, emotional pain and humiliation that I am put through every day. I am tormented regularly. This hurts me and stresses me out.

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I was left with only two options. One was to end my life. The other was to find a way to escape. I chose the latter. I filed a case against my father.

According to my father and a few others, it is a big crime and I have violated some basic rules. Had I not done this, I would have become just a vague memory for them. (In fact, I would not even have been a vague memory). Had I not filed that case, I would have been found dead somewhere.

He should have been sure of his love for me when he took custody of me. If he had loved me, he would have stood by me through the ups and downs of my life. I made several attempts to get in touch with him for many years but in vain.

He can cheat the world saying that he showered a lot of love on me and gave me the best of everything.

But he cannot cheat his own conscience. I am sure his heart knows that whatever I am stating is 100 percent true.

But he will be in a mode of denial as usual. I am a survivor and I have lived through this experience. And I strongly feel that in case the parents decide to divorce each other, the custody of the girl child should always be given to the mother. It does not matter if the mother is a prostitute. Even if she is a person with a rotten character, the custody should be given to her. It is OK if the mother decides to kill her.

Dying once for all is a far better option than waking up every day with the thought of killing yourself.

Also, I feel my mother should have at least been given visitation rights. This way at least the people around me would not have dared to ill-treat me. I know that no one is perfect on this earth. Even kids who are blessed with a perfect life (and have loving parents who ensure that they get the best of everything) end up making mistakes. If they can have their share of shortcomings, why can’t someone like me have flaws?

Mistakes are a part of growing up. When people say that I shouldn’t have done this or that, I wonder if they are expecting me to be God.

Yet I am proud of my flaws if I do have any. I believe that only if I fall, I will learn to get up. That is what life is about. If my father thinks I have violated some rules, so be it. I can say one thing for sure, only because I violated some rules, I am alive today.

Sir, I have nothing much to say because time and again, my father has proved that I did not mean much to him while I was with him and also while I was away from him. The funniest thing is that he runs away whenever he sees me. He threatens people and asks them not to invite me for any occasion. But he never runs away when he sees his ex-wife. He does not mind it if people invite him and his ex-wife to the same function. At such times, I wonder if he still loves his ex-wife. Anyway, it is very difficult to understand his attitude. I just hope my father realizes his mistakes. 

But he is so adamant that he considers himself to be perfect and expects the world to oblige him and follow all the rules that he creates. He is the rule maker of the family and only a few of them abide by his rules for their own selfish reasons. I have waited for a long time for him to realize his mistakes.

The bad experiences that I faced in my childhood and teenage years have affected me psychologically. This has had a negative effect on my personal life.   I was even sexually abused not once but twice by two relatives who had a sick mind. I was in class 9 when this happened. And it happened in my own home. My father was ignorant enough to make me sleep in the same room with those people. He did not want to miss out on being with his wife for even a single night. He was sensible enough to follow me around everywhere and did not even let me talk to anybody.

But he did not have the sense to realize that a grown-up girl should not sleep with a male relative.

Such instances continue to haunt me even today. I battled with myself and wanted to talk about it to my parents. But I couldn’t. It is very easy to talk big stuff. But he could not even protect me inside his own home. His problems are very real to him but he thinks that the problems that other people face are sh**.

If I talk about all the situations that he has put me through, it will continue for another 1000 sheets. I had to go through multiple counselling sessions to sort out my psychological issues. It was then that I realized that fighting for justice is the only solution for me.

Winning or losing is secondary to me. At least I will not die like a coward and will be glad that I fought for myself and my rights.

I was not surprised by the kind of reply that I got when I filed the case. I was well aware he would get down to any level to ruin me and spoil my life after I did this. I also know what to expect in the future. He says he showered his love on me. If he had even a pinch of love for me, things would have been different for me today.

By bringing certain sensitive issues into the picture, he has once again proved that he can never ever wish good things for me.

He continues to remain the same heartless person I have known him to be. I think it is high time I put aside my emotions and faced the reality. I don’t know why there is no facility to keep a track of the well being of a child after the parents get divorced. Does the duty of the court end by granting custody to a particular parent?

In certain special cases like ours, where the girl child ends up being with the father, special rules need to be formed. I seriously think that parents should never get separated especially if it involves a girl child. I say this because the girl child is often the first and the worst victim of a marriage that went wrong.

Some people might think of this as a false story. Many people will refuse to come forward and support me for reasons best known to them. It does not matter. There is a higher power who is the sole witness to everything that I was put through. I know my survival itself is a miracle.

Sir, the court refuses to see the difficulties that I faced. It chooses to ignore my rights. I don’t know what you think of the notice that I sent to my father. As a person who has been in this profession for so many years, I believe that you are capable of understanding the reality.

Thank you.

Rathi.

Author's Note:

I do not care whether I win or lose this case. I have a higher motive which gives me the strength to fight this case and only time will reveal the truth. I only know this much. Ever since my father took custody of my life, my life has been like a roller coaster ride.

Editor's Note:

Often we are so completely focussed on dealing with our own relationship issues, that we overlook the emotional and mental trauma that our children are experiencing. Share this girl child’s inspiring story because she has the gumption to fight for herself and set things right in her life. Maybe someone struggling somewhere will get the courage to do so too.