Story #38: Beyond The Imperfections (The Anonymous Anecdotes Project)

I’ve had a privileged childhood. I’m sure it was better than what majority of children in a country like India get. I got everything I needed, had parents who loved me, who cared about me, and what not. And trust me, I’m very grateful for all that I’ve got. 
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But like everything else, nothing is perfect. And for me, it was my parents. My father although a good man at heart, very honest and has high morals, intelligent and knowledgeable but is also very aggressive and irrational at times; maybe it is because of the alcohol. He is not an alcoholic, I don’t think so, but does consume some alcohol on regular basis. My mother is a relatively simple person intellectually. She is not as intelligent and knowledgeable as my father, and this is one of the main reasons they don’t get along very well.
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When I remember this part of my childhood, I remember fights almost everyday. My father screaming; sometimes beating, mother crying, me and my sibling wondering what we should do and in general distress. My mother may make mistakes often, but nothing deserves such treatment from one’s life partner. A lot of times we were the victims to my father’s aggression too. Me and my sibling were slapped as children, shouted at, and what not. Somehow we grew up fine despite all of this happening. 
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There is this one specific incident that changed me and my family. Don’t get your hopes high as this does not have any happy ending, at least not at the time I write this. A lot of such “fights” happened late in evening, after my dad returned from office, and probably drank alcohol. I put fights in quotes because it wasn’t two-way, it was mostly my dad screaming and hurling horrible abuses at my mother in the loudest tone possible. I’m sure all the neighbors heard them. I would not go in too many details about this, because that’s not the point. 
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There were talks about being divorced. I must have been 14-15 years old then, and my sibling 12-13 years old. We were even asked pretty directly who we would want to stay with when our parents split. I don’t think a lot of kids are asked to make that hard a decision that young. It was devastating but somehow we got past it. 
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There was this night. I don’t know exactly what happened, but this was normal by our standards. Dad said something, mom said something. I am not sure. Me and my sibling were upstairs, and didn’t know what happened. Next thing we know, mom comes upstairs crying, and says, “I’ve called the police.” 
Our worst nightmare came true.. Police got involved in all of this, and I guess from this point of time, I could no longer not accept that this was the sad reality. Earlier if any relative asked about this, I said it was okay. Pretty normal. A few arguments here and there and that’s it. But I could no longer deny everything was wrong anymore. 
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I don’t think I should go into too much details about what happened then when the police arrived as I don’t think there is any point. In short, we played pretty chill. Since nothing significant happened that day, and no screams or abuses or violence was involved, there wasn’t much for the police to do. They thought that it was a case of wife getting upset at husband saying something, and the policemen started cracking jokes to make my mom happy. I guess the call was just the outburst of everything mother had to go through. Maybe someone advised her to do it the next time it happens. I don’t know. Policemen asked mom if she wanted my father to spend the night in jail, and thankfully she said no. Police left. Time to sleep for everyone. No conversation.
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I remember sitting on the bed, looking at the whole scene then, when everyone was talking of divorce, police being involved now. I mean, this was major for all of us. Earlier there were talks of divorce, mostly in a semi-casual manner, but after this, everyone was pretty sure something concrete would happen. Father could not believe this had happened to him, and I believe he was pretty sure he could not take this marriage anymore. Mother obviously could not take this, since she had called the police. I was wondering how my sibling felt, very young at that time. I felt bad for my younger sibling to have to go through all of this at such age. In that one second, I saw my whole family completely destroyed. I knew everything would change henceforth; how I would have to choose who to live with, no more usual family things. I felt a large building full of responsibility falling upon my tiny shoulders. I had to do something now in my life, for my sibling and parents. That one moment, It felt like everything froze, and I turned a man from a child. This was the moment that changed me, forever. 
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PS : No divorce took place, usual family again. Me and my sibling turned out fine, without any psychological trauma whatsoever. Of course everything still isn’t okay. There are still many such instances of shouting and cursing, in fact one right now as I write this. But I guess all of us are pretty used to it now. “Being happy isn’t about everything being perfect. It’s about seeing beyond the imperfections” Right? 
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Please don’t feel bad for me. It’s all okay. Things happen. I live an amazing life. I’m very grateful for it. No complaints. I have many amazing people who love me, and likewise.
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Love you all.
Thank you for taking the time out to read this.
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After reading some anecdotes, I felt like speaking to the writers of the anecdotes but unfortunately can’t. But incase anyone wishes to talk to me, my email is abd14789632f@gmail.com.
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It is tough to even talk about something so difficult that one’s family is going through, let alone writing it down. But this person did not only come to terms with the facts to talk about them, but also to write them down in a way that has surely resonated with me. 

I love the fact that despite the fights, despite the parents being so vulnerable, this person wrapped this story up with the words that they have an amazing life and no complains.
I, too, like the writer, believe that nothing is perfect. We all have, in our lives that one thing that constantly holds us down; it maybe a disease, a mental problem, or like in this case, family. But you know everything is going to be okay once you realise that you need to come to terms with your circumstance and accept things as they are. Only then, will you be able to make an effort to change the things that bother you. 
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Any opinions, comments or ideas that you may want to put forward to the writer of this story can be mailed to me at ratti.priya5@gmail.com. Positive feedback and constructive criticism are more than welcome. 

(The Anonymous Anecdotes is a project under which anyone can send me a memory, a story or an experience from their life that had a profound impact on them. It requires people to write their respective experience along with the way it changed them or their perception of life. According to the project, these stories are being published anonymously, with the intent of spreading a positive message and a hope that anyone who reads, relates or learns.)

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