Dear Person Who I Thought I Could Trust,
I was sitting in the bathroom the other night trying to stop the blood from overflowing on the impeccable marble flooring. I tried hard to remember the day when you stopped loving and when I stopped trying. That night in July, as the heavy rains took over the streets, I was scared to open the windows or let the raindrops fall on my face. I knew you would not have liked the mess. Things I once enjoyed became a matter of restriction and fear.
I went back down the memory lane when a memory was indeed a memory; when you used to smile at me and help me with the chores even as your mother chose to give me unpleasant stares. Soon, I realized that you fighting for me turned into you fighting with me not just in front of your parents, but your friends and neighbours as well. I remained silent and thought it was just a phase; probably a rough patch in your personal life as you seemed to be so stressed from work and other duties. I often thought of providing support and helping you with it. Little did I know that you would choose to grab me by my hair and push me to the ground till I hit the table edges, bleeding and weeping, asking you to leave me alone.
I was shocked and unrelenting at first, unable to make sense of anything. However, it wasn’t long until this became a weekly business and slowly, a habit which you could not stop yourself from obsessing about. Your strength, which I once admired, turned to be something I feared the most.
Do you remember me hiding in the bathroom, behind the closet, the kitchen door or under the bed? Do you remember my screams and moans as you touched me without care? Do you remember the scars and marks you left after throwing me off? Do you remember how you changed my life?
I have blamed myself every minute of the day for the torture I endured. The trust I placed in you so lovingly and blindly seemed to be crushed right in front of my eyes. There is no going back, I told myself but then I realized there was no going forward too. I have nothing to live for – not you, not your family and least of all, myself. I get flashbacks of the horrific things you did to me and I cannot help but scream into the dark room, thinking someone would come and save me. Years have passed since then, I have thought several times about how it would have been if you were at the receiving end of the violence and betrayal. All I was left with was a quenching feeling of guilt and anger. I have neither forgotten nor forgiven myself. Could you have?
I kept wondering how it never bothered you when I starved through the day or the nights when my sleep completely vanished. I lost my interest in everything that was pleasing and satisfying. Work seemed like a luxury I once enjoyed and the bed became my only companion because I had no energy or strength to get myself up. Even after crying for hours into the pillow, I felt miserable.
From a cheerful and ambitious person, I turned into a woman I felt ashamed of. Your slaps reminded me of the countless times you had refused to acknowledge me in front of your friends. Your verbal abuse seemed like a blessing in disguise to get a day off from your silent beatings. Perhaps I was too naïve to understand and you chose to look right through me as if I were just paper and not a body with feelings. You were so broken that you could not resist breaking me.
Time did not heal wounds but I tried to fight my state of being. People who did not know me chose to give me a hand. My mind could not muster the strength to trust anybody again but I took the hand that was offered to me, simply because there was no other way to get out of this hellhole. That hand, offered by strangers, not by loved ones started me on my long unending journey towards recovery.
The future scares me and although I don’t feel worthy or hopeful about the days, I know I will still manage to survive. You may have broken me, but I know that I am not broken beyond all repair. I will rise. I will fix myself. I have already taken that first step without you… and now I feel nothing but grateful for your absence in my life.