I am Diksha, a 23-year-old MBA student from Indore, Madhya Pradesh. I was the first child of my parents. But sadly, my mother passed away when I was just 3 years old and our happy family broke into pieces. Today, I share the story of my life as I want to help other people who are going through a similar situation.
As I said, my mother left us all unexpectedly when I was only three. About a year after my mother’s death, my father remarried. Slowly, I realised that my stepmother was not fond of me. She treated me like an outsider even though it was my home, too. I was quite disturbed after my mother’s death and wanted some relief. But my stepmother did not really understand this and would often taunt me for small things. I wanted my father to notice all of these and stop it. To my surprise, he supported my stepmother completely and told me to grow up.
Due to all this, I felt unloved and uncared for. I did not like the sharp words of my stepmother, I craved for love and affection. I used to be very sad with all these happenings in the home. Each day I prayed for things to get better. But things did not work out between us.
When my maternal uncle came to know about this, he came to take me with him to his house. I did not want to leave my father’s house and I secretly prayed that my father should not allow this. But my father did not protest at all when he came to take me. My stepmother was happy about the decision and packed my bags.I stood there numb with tears flowing down my cheeks. I cried inconsolably while going to my uncle’s house.
I wanted to be with my father. I was deprived of my mother’s love and I felt devastated that my father too had left me. All I wanted was my father to take me back to our home. But he did not come for many days and I understood that was not going to happen. It was a dark time.
But, as they say, God had different plans for me. I was blessed with a new family including my uncle, aunt and my cousins. All of them made me feel at home. My aunt treated me the same way she treated her own kids. She even cooked all of my favorite dishes whenever I was low. Slowly I started getting accustomed to my new family. Yet in my heart, I still craved for my father’s love and affection.
Years rolled by, I grew used to my father not being there for me. My uncle and aunt ensured that I got a good education and I completed my MBA with their blessings. Subsequently, I secured a well-paying job and became independent. I I felt very good the day I earned my salary. I finally felt like I could give back to my uncle and aunt for all struggles that they took for me.
Surprisingly, in a few weeks, I got a call from my father and he asked me to meet him. I was very excited by his call and went to meet him. I thought about all I would tell him about so many years. The meeting turned out to be a total shock. My father asked me to cut off all contacts with my uncle and his family and start staying with him. I was shocked to hear this – it seemed odd that he wanted me to leave them after so many years. But, a part of me was willing to do it to live with him and be his daughter after many, many years. I was totally blank when he asked me to make the decision. I remembered the story of Krishna being asked to choose among Devaki and Yashoda.
But I realised – Devaki did not have a choice that my father had when he abandoned me.My aunt was both my Yashoda and Devaki. All the moments spent with my uncle’s family came back to me. I found myself surrounded by thousands of memories which I have spent with my uncle’s family and unfortunately there was no such memory with my dad. I realised that I had been waiting to be a family to him while I had a family in my uncle and aunt. Meanwhile, my father said that it is an easy decision – I was his daughter and I should stay with him.
That made my decision – I would not abandon my uncle and aunt. They had been there for me all these years when my “true” father left me. With a heavy heart, I finally told him that I can’t leave uncle and aunt even if it meant leaving him. I told him that I owe them a lot for being there for me all these years.
On hearing this, my father asked me to leave his house in that moment itself. I felt hurt but I knew that I was not wrong. When I left that house that day, I realised it had never been mine and my father had never really cared about what I felt. This was the final closure that I needed from my father, to begin a new life.
There was no looking back from that day. I am very happy with my real family. Now I call my uncle “dad” and my aunt “mom”.
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