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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Story #24: The Last Time He Was In My House (The Anonymous Anecdotes Project)

The story is about my family. My dad is a patient of Bipolar Disorder. For those who don’t know what it is: it is a manic or depression phase that may last week or months.

I don’t know why but whenever this happens my dad usually indulges in a fight with my mom or sometimes with my sister or with me and I have been seeing it for a long time. When I was a kid I remember we had to stay at our my mother’s house for a while so that my dad doesn’t hit my mom again. My mom is a strong woman and a single earning parent too. My dad hasn’t really been my dad neither mentally or financially. My mom is a home tutor and she has been managing all the things, all of our expenses except our school fees that is managed by our father brother’s but other than that all of is done my mom. We have been living like for past 20 years but this year something unusual happened in the month of March.

My dad was hospitalised for sugar but after he came home something happened which changed our lives completely and I can’t get over it. I’d just left for college when it happened. I have dog and he is 6 years old and we all love him more than anything in the world. I don’t know about my dad but he doesn’t hate him either. My dog was trying to sit next to my father when my dad punched him right next to his ribs and started crying. My sister couldn’t control her anger and she hit my dad really badly; I know that was wrong of her to hit her dad like that but he really hasn’t been our dad since the starting and we don’t have that kind of affection for our father like we have for our mom or our dog.

But what my dad did was something that no father would do to his daughter. He grabbed my sister by her hair, pushed her down and started hitting her. My mom tried to stop him but she couldn’t; he punched her at least a 100 times. She immediately called the police. My dad left for his shop and that was the last time he was in my house.

We realized that when we were kids my dad hit my mom and we could’t do anything as we were kids. But now, my sister 23 and I, 20 decided that we couldn’t live with our dad anymore. My sister and I immediately went to out father’s elder brother and told him that we wouldn’t let him enter the house. My dad didn’t come but another one of his elder brothers called us atleast 20 times that day so as to convince us to take him home for once. But we could’t take the risk because when he left the house he’d told us that he would kill our dog and we were afraid of that.

My father has a big family and at least 10 brothers and 2 sisters but not one of them called and asked about my sister. All of them were only trying to convince us to let him enter the house once but we knew that once he entered he was not going to leave. I was very angry on my dad. I couldn’t control my anger. I wanted to beat my father but we didn’t see him for a week or two. The thing was that no one knew about the thing which my sister did- we didn’t tell anyone about that except my mother’s younger brother and his wife. My dad called all of my mother’s family and all he did was say shit like how much your sister would take to leave my house, abuses against my family and a lot of shit. He didn’t even have a single drop of tear; all he wanted to have the house to him and wasn’t sorry at all.

He came back once after 2 weeks, but I guess he didn’t even say sorry at that time. He only came because his elder brother had convinced him to go but we didn’t let him enter then. His brother came and tried to convince but my mother, my sister and I didn’t listen to him. We gave his things to his brother and our father left.

Seeing him go like that made me think that I should go and get him back but I didn’t. My father is now living at our relatives’ house but on a different floor. He gets food, electricity and water but there is no one to talk to him. There is no AC or cooler; maybe not even a bed. Not that I know of, but these things don’t let me sleep.

It has been 3 months and there hasn’t been a single night when I’m able to sleep before 3 or 4 am. All night I think I’m here sleeping in my comfort with a bed, AC and my father has nothing and this thought rolls in my mind over and over again. Sometimes I feel I should get my dad back but I don’t know what I should do. Should I talk to someone about it in my family or not? My family would never be a complete family even if my dad comes back, he always have been a just another person in my family. We don’t love him that much and neither does he loves us but still biologically he is my dad. I somewhere also think that my sister was wrong and that I should get back my father . That is all I wanted share right now.


We come into this world, and spend the maximum amount of time of our lives with our family: no, not the extended one, but the three people in your life that stick with you through thick and thin. The people who have seen you grow and become what you are today. Your parents, and maybe, a sibling.

These are the people who mean the world to us, and when things don’t turn out well with them, nothing feels alright anymore.

I believe what I have drawn from this is to not let go; sometimes as we suffer because of somebody else, all we really see is the pain that we are going through at that time. What we don’t see is the internal battle that person must’ve been going through; perhaps a problem unique to them that is the root of their behaviour (in this case, bipolar disorder.) Maybe I’m saying this because my inherent psychologist is surfacing. I don’t know. I just think empathy is important, but not at the cost of someone’s self respect. 

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(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. If you’re interested, you can send me your story at ratti.priya5@gmail.com.)