Starting this month, I have been consistent with writing a New Post every week and I had to miss the last week. That was because I self-published my Poems. If you would like to buy a copy, click here.
I finished typing all the poems, I edited them, everything was all set and perfect, I included some of my drawings and in the end, that is when I made the cover. With the Name of the Book and a Drawing of mine, so when it came to typing my name on the cover, I started to sob. I am just crying and crying and it was such a proud moment for me, I was alone in my house as always, I am sitting in front of my laptop, I am crying and smiling at the same time.
The Inner child in me was super happy, the teenager in me who was always shy was dancing around I now have a book published and I am the freaking author. This went on for like 15 minutes, for those who have seen the cover, would have noticed the font size of my name is way too bigger than the usual ones you see on the books and I did that on purpose to satisfy myself. hahaha
So right after this euphoric moment, there is this thought that flies by saying, I have no one person in the family that I can share this joy with. Like I am just thinking around, and I could not think of a single person. Nobody, absolutely nobody! I was like, Okay! Not in my control, I can’t do anything about it, so let me just enjoy this moment.
I have always shared about my family in bits and pieces or just on the surface, even on the last episode I have mentioned many times that it’s too personal to share and I always have this battle going on in my mind whether to share about the family or not. Like most of them know, I come from a conservative family and I am the odd person out or a black sheep, that is it. I have not really shared anything deeper than that.
So I started questioning myself, why am I blocking myself in sharing it. The more I dug in, it opened up to a point where I was trying to keep it a secret because I didn’t want others to show sympathy to me that I had a traumatic upbringing. And somewhere, deep deep deep inside, I was feeling bad that I will be a bad person if I share about my family.
I realised this was coming from a place, where I had a group of friends who would always sympathize with the family situation I have and I was extremely uncomfortable about it. So, my Subconscious mind was trying to keep me safe, keep me in that comfort zone, as I have been hurt before when I have shared it.
On Thursday, just last week, there was a huge fight that happened in the house that was bringing back all the past memories to me and I was feeling really low. So the next day, I ofcourse don’t want to stay in that mood, so I made a reel on Instagram on how not to blame the circumstances to uplevel yourself. Right after that, on the Instagram story, I asked a question to tell me your circumstance that is blocking you to grow and I will tell you how to deal with it.
To my freaking surprise, even people who have not shared anything before started to share about their family, the toxic parents, siblings. And I was like, my goodness, there are so many people who are living a similar life as I do and they are so courageous to share it openly with me and trust me that I could help them. So, I said to myself, Sneha stop beating around the bush and get bloody candid so others will have more courage to open up.
Since my last episode, I would sit to script about sharing this, and I would procrastinate. Even 2 days ago, I scripted some other topic, somehow the family issues have again started at home and I was feeling this is also a sign for me to share this, (see what healing does, when a problem comes, you see that as an opportunity to help someone) and I want to get this message to everyone going through family issues to tell them that they are not alone, so here I am presenting my story to you that I have been holding on for a very long long long time.
This may be triggering for some of you, if at all it does, stop reading and come back when you feel you are ready. I am going to go deeper from my childhood and my Parent’s background, this is how I began my journey towards healing family-related trauma. As it is important to know, how our parents were brought up before we spew the venom completely on them, this is how I see it because I don’t want to live a life with a grudge against anyone-be it family or a friend.
MY CHILDHOOD AND PARENT’S BACKGROUND
I was born in the same village as my Mother’s birthplace, As I spent most of my holidays there, I was much closer to my mother’s side of the family and I don’t know why we were not really so close with the father’s side.
Mother’s family is pretty huge, my grandfather was the head of the village, A well off family, and my mother was the only one who studied till 12th and she was also working in a school before marriage. And then she was married away to my father.
With respect to Father’s family, from what I have heard, he had a pretty traumatic upbringing, struggling to make the ends meet, a big family to feed, working on fields early morning, and I have heard stories of them eating Food with water. My father studied till 10th and then moved to the city for the job and then got married to my mother-I was born first and after then my brother.
From what I can recollect from my really baby childhood days, we were very happy. I remember good memories with my mother and also playful memories with my brother, but the kind of job my father was doing, we barely spent time with him. I only remember him taking us shopping for birthdays or festivals.
Things shifted a lot after I was stepping to adulthood, I could see toxic traits from my Mother on me. She would say things like, after I attained puberty, as in after I got my first periods, I got in Bad luck to the house. She would treat me very badly every month when I get my periods, for example, she would make me sleep on Gunny sacks, also an FYI-she would do the same when she gets her periods too. I use to see, her treating my brother very well and not me, this ofcourse is from the conditioning that most of the girls go through in India, I am sorry I am generalising but this is what I have seen mostly.
For silly reasons, she would give me the silent treatment, not talk to me for weeks, when I do approach, she would say things like you always need me for everything and you show attitude. If at all my periods and the silent treatment comes at the same time, she wouldn’t give me food on time. My teenage self was not able to understand her. She would curse me with foul language-which I remember every word of it, and I am not going to share it here. And, there was physical abuse too on and off.
My father like I said, as we barely saw him, whenever I did, it was just a strict upbringing and pressure to study well, score good marks, get photos in the newspaper and if at all I question anything, there was abuse-physical and emotional. Whenever I mention the word abuse, I would want to remind you that, I assumed that it was normal. Ofcourse it was hurting, I knew that it was painful but I also thought it was extremely normal. I saw my uncles do that to their wives and kids, and I should also tell you all that at a younger age I developed hatred towards the men in this community and I had declared that I will never marry a man from this community. hahaha
He would say things like Daughters are always a burden, they are a liability. It came from the view of spending money for weddings, dowry and all that nonsense. I remember this day very well and I told him, I will make sure that you will not spend a single penny on my wedding.
Anyway, I was not a shining student like he wanted me to be, but I was a little more than average a student and did well in studies, studied BCA and then MBA.
Unlike my brother, who was not very well in academics since he was little, we moved around to different houses all across the city just so we stay closer to his college for him to study well. But for me, I use to travel 2 hours one side, changing 2-3 buses.
My mother was extremely fond of my brother like I said, again a boy so why not! She did everything she could to help him but he did not thrive in his studies, he is an amazing artist, ofcourse that was not recognised and he was constantly pressurised to study.
JOB AND MOM FALLING SICK
I finished my MBA and found a job and then as much as I can recall, my Mother’s abusive behaviour kind of reduced after I got a job. When I was in the second job, I was 24 years old, she was diagnosed with Motor Neuron Disease-also known as ALS, if you are hearing it for the first time, it is the same disease, the great Stephen Hawkings had.
This was another good amount of traumatic years for the whole family, she passed away in 2014.
During those years, when she was sick, I was continuously pressurised to get married, that typical Mom will not see your wedding kind of blackmail but I did not budge, I said I am not going to get married just for the sake of it and not ruining my life.
My father developed more hatred towards me on this, because I did not get married and he would pass on silent treatment all the time when we were struggling with my mother on the bed. And my brother was on a different track, god knows what he was upto, he was constantly demanding money from my father and he would hardly be home.
There was one thing that was clear to me, whatever my mother did to me, she was like an anchor in the family that held us all together. I knew it will not be the same anymore, I knew, that I would not be able to live in the same house with my father and accept all his toxic traits on me.
LIVING WITH THE FATHER
Even after mom passing, the pressure to get married did not stop. My father’s constant torture and my having to live with him all the time was causing me too much fear. So, I use to spend a lot of time in my office, fortunately, the company I was working at Cisco was heaven to spend time in. And then I fell in love with writing, I started a blog which most of you know, I left the job to travel.
At that time, I thought I was being super cool like everybody by leaving my job to travel but all that I was doing was, escape from the reality of living with my Father. Every time I make a stop at home, there would always be some sort of abuse and fights with him, which made me distant from him even more.
I was questioned at everything I did, don’t leave your slippers here, don’t do this and that. My friends back then would always complain about their Mother in laws doing this to them and I was so ashamed that my Father was doing this to me. I had purchased a car when my mum was sick, whenever I wanted to use the car, My father would hide the keys from me to give to my brother hahahahah
Even though my Brother always threatened my Father for money, I was still not able to understand how my father was so fond of him and mistreated me but put him on a throne, Oh wait! I do understand because it is the son!
In 2020, before the Pandemic hit, I had quit my job in the school I was working at, again to travel a lot more. But Covid happened and I was stuck there and then I had no choice, but to come back home. So in all of these years, my father was constantly feeding money to my brother and they were not sharing a healthy relationship.
While I was still there stuck at the school, my brother would give threatening calls to me and my father. I remember talking to my cousin and telling him, I am tired of running away, I am coming back and I am going to freaking solve this shit happening. How much ever I run away, this torture is not stopping anyway so I might as well just face it.
At this time, My father was living in his village and my brother here in the house I am living in now. My father probably realised that he mistreated me, and when I asked him if he could come and pick me up, he did, he was also concerned about me staying with my brother and he was suggesting me to get a house in the city and live and he will help me with it. But I said no, I am going to change my brother and I cant live a life like this with you people anymore.
It was not easy, but I was stuck to bringing that change in the house. My brother would always snap and abuse for little things and I would react for it too. It was a loop, the house was a mess, most of the days I would spend cleaning it and slowly I could see him opening up and we renovated to house a bit and we shared lunch and dinner, and I was all happy that it’s all going well.
There was on and off small fights but it was fine. During these fights, I saw this pattern in him, where he would get super angry and he will not know what he was doing or saying and after a few days he would calm down. He is still the same by the way. So in some of these fights, he would threaten me to kill me and I barely even got scared of his threats. And, again one of those silly fights, he physically abused me. He is a big fellow, it was not easy for me to defend him, even though I did.
Right after this happened, My father was really sweet at this time, he took me out to a relative’s house and was super angry at my brother.
Next few weeks I mostly lived in fear with pepper spray by my bed and locked my room door when I went to bed.
Now it seems funny but at that time, I was so much in pain that I barely could think of anyone to share as I was scared that I would be judged.
I called my cousin who is a little close to me, & told him this and he barely reacted, he behaved as if he knew it was going to happen, I told a friend and all she said was stay safe. Hahahaha
Ofcourse, at that time, I was looking for someone to give me that emotional support and whoever I told to, I did not receive anything so I just kept it to myself.
Also in India, where parents are treated as God, all of this that I just shared is considered normal behaviour. Toxic Parenting, Toxic Sibling relationships are all freaking real. Even last week, I had to witness a threatening fight between my father and my brother and heard abuses.
If you read till here, Thank you all so much for reading. My heart finally feels safe and free that I now have a platform to share this. Always grateful for the technology and the tools that are helping all of us connect.
Hugs to all of you for taking the time to read my story.
Before I end, I want to say, I am neither a Victim nor a Survivor, I am the Victory baby! I am the Victory.
Work with me 1:1 to heal your Inner Child & transform yourself into a better version, Click Here.
Consider me as your Mother, Father, Sister, Brother or whatever you feel there is a lack of! I am that connection for you and I am also that space for you to feel safe. Okay?