I have a story to tell and the characters of my story include my mother, sister, step father and his side of the family.
I was so excited when we were on our way to Canada by flight. My step father was an abusive man while we were in India. I thought the abuse would stop after we moved to a different country.
Sadly the abuse continued even in Canada. Because of his behavior, the police came 10 times to our house in Canada but did nothing because my step father owned the house.
Had this happened in India, the police would have beaten him up for misbehaving with us.
The torture would begin during the long nights when he would suddenly wake up and start making noise. He would walk briskly around the house and start yelling. He would start throwing things out of the fridge and fight non- stop with everybody.
My mother used to be anxious all the time because she could never understand what triggered these bouts of violence. Actually my step father is a chronic alcoholic and this was the main reason behind his tendency to start fighting over small matters.
There was no peace in my house. Initially we used to live in a rented apartment. Later on we bought our own house. Our new house was only 25 minutes away from our old rented apartment.
My step father abused all of us verbally and emotionally even in our new house. He even raised his hand on my mother on a couple of occasions. Even my mother was shocked.
My sister and I lost our birth father to brain tumor. My mother was 29 years old at that time.
Well, our people in India, including her parents wanted her to get married as soon as possible because they thought she needed a husband who would protect her. Unfortunately, our step father never did anything like that for her.
My grandfather never checked the background of my step father. He was impressed by his letter in which he had said that he was willing to marry a widow and take care of her kids. He said he didn’t want any kids of his own.
Well, this actually turned out to be a lie because he already had a son. He introduced him to us and told us that he was our brother. Our step father indulged in a lot of manipulation and told several lies and we all got caught up in it.
My mother came to know about his past just before coming to Canada. My step father had married another woman before my mother. He forced her to abort their second child by giving her abortion pills. This led to her death and he then secretly buried her remains. This entire thing happened in a village of Bihar.
My step father’s mother, brother (actually his real son) and all his sisters hid the truth from my mother. My mother was shocked when she came to know about all these things.
Her co- workers in India always told her that she was very lucky to be married to a single guy despite having two children of her own. They would keep telling her that she should adjust to his drinking habit. My Nani, Masi and Mama never supported her.
They used to taunt her and tell her that my mother would come begging to my Mama’s house and ask him to perform the Kanyadaan when my sister and I reach the marriageable age. (As if girls who don’t have a father, never get married!)
My mother was abused by her family even when she was a child. My mama used to raise his hand both on my mother and his mother! But a son is always a son and such things happen in all typical Indian families. We had never experienced this kind of an abuse before and so we took refuge in a women’s shelter where we stayed for one and a half years.
The police in Canada are biased! Well, that being said, the police is biased everywhere! It is always a woman’s fault in Canada! The men are given the right to behave in any manner that they wish to!
Even when we were living in the women’s shelter, my mother used to visit our home and prepare food for my abusive step father. Her behavior started changing when she came to know of my step father’s extra marital affair on her birthday and this shattered her heart.
My mother’s self-esteem had been butchered by her parents. She was never appreciated by my Nani and my Nanaji did not have a backbone.
My Nani was and is still a dominating lady. My Masiji was clever and had a good sense of self esteem. Anyway, let me come back to the present now.
My mother has got a separation from my step father and we are finally at peace now. No more long tormenting nights. Now my step father does not yell at us and fight with my mother.
Now we can actually sleep peacefully without any fear at night. We will not be woken up in the middle of the night. We will not have to listen to the loud noises made by my step father or see our mother anxiously trying to calm him down.
My mother does suffer from anxiety still but she is much more confident about herself now. The best thing is that we are in Canada and she does not need anybody for our Kanyadaan. We are not in touch with our Mamaji. We are only in touch with our Masi.
For us, this is a new and good morning after a long bad night. At least we are all safe and do not have to deal with the police anymore. Sometimes, my mother does remember all the bad memories.
But we are moving forward in our lives. We are happy together and are surrounded by people who believe in uplifting us.