I want to tell my story, but I'm asking myself, "Which part of my story?"
The entire 30 years of my marriage, my relationship with my mother-in-law is made up of stories, each having its own theme. Her expectations that my life should be based on her principles and personal values, her ideas of what is right or wrong. This space would not be enough for me to write that epic- it was the slow disintegration of self-esteem in me by my mother-in-law, despite both of us being qualified medical professionals.
She believed that by marrying her son, I had given up all rights to a thinking, feeling mind of my own.
Such was the suffering that even my brain does not want to remember. Why did I suffer? Because I was a good individual, a dutiful family person, and a hopeful soul.
I shall share with you my last conversation with her over the phone. A couple of days back, motivated by the pandemic, I reached out to her out of concern, while letting bygones be bygones. Now, for the sake of career growth, I live far away from my husband and daughter. We are far in miles but close and connected in faith, love, and unity of purpose. So, on the said phone call, my mother-in-law starts berating me for being far away, creating a situation wherein my husband has to cook and clean, and do household chores.
Here I am, heading a medical centre, but she orders me to make my way back home to be a dutiful wife, jut so I can cook and clean. Which I would, if I had the luxury of being home. Her parting statement to me was, "Enough of your freedom."
I am hurt by the unfairness of it all. My focus is shattered. But life goes on.