Neela shares her story on not giving up to the situation

4 minutes

I almost married the man who raped me. I became ready to marry him because I thought no other man would accept me. But my father’s severe illness and battle with depression gave me the courage to finally stand up for my dignity. I decided to not marry that man and my parents supported me.”

I was born in a lower-middle-class family. As my father has been suffering from several health complications and depression, my mother raised me single-handedly. Add to it, I had a major heartbreak in my teenage years and I was struggling to come to terms with it. To escape all of these troubles, I took up a job of a teacher in another city and moved to a new place hoping that my wounds would heal.

This was 2009 and I did not know that my life was going to change in a massive way. The new city brought even bigger nightmares for me. I was physically assaulted and almost raped by one of my male colleagues. I was young, immature; the wounds of my break-up were still afresh and I also felt polluted due to this man’s intrusion. Hence, I agreed to marry this same colleague who had a bad reputation in the school and social circles. My parents were utterly shocked by this news from me but somehow, I did not pay heed to the concerns of my parents and friends amidst my own identity issues.

Later that month, my mother called me up to inform me that my father’s health had been deteriorating at a disturbing pace. I rushed back to my hometown to support my parents. The illness of my father had scarring effects on me as his pain became harsher with each passing day. His depression began to set in me as I saw him writhing in pain when he was undergoing intense medication. I started crying often seeing my dad bear the agony only to stay alive for me and my mother.

This incident made me realise that marrying the man who had abused me was the worst life decision to take. I decided to not marry him and opened up to my parents about the entire ordeal. Although they were shocked, they backed my decision.

At this point, I realised I needed to come to terms with my inner struggles. It was tough- coming to terms with one’s innermost fears and wishes is draining and exhilarating at the same time. I was very lucky to have the support of my friends and most importantly, my parents. Slowly, I began to heal and become more empathetic and kind. I decided to work on myself and on my dreams. Since then, I have translated some of my dreams into reality, but I feel like I have just started living, and there are many more mountains to scale! The most important thing that I have learnt out of my experience is to not lose belief in yourself. It is also important to forgive those who do wrong to you too and trust karma. It is crucial to love yourself and live well, no matter what the odds.

YourDOST celebrates the spirit of this young woman and wishes her all the best in her life ahead!

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