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Alone in India

Author: Shweta

Location: Gujarat - India

I am feeling fed up with my life. I have felt burdened since I was born, I am one of four children, 2 older brothers and a younger sister but my parents have told me that I was an unwanted child. It has always confused me why they had another child if I was unwanted?

My parents are still married as in India divorce for their generation was heavily frowned upon and carried a social stigma. They believe it is better to compromise.

They treat my sister better than me. Growing up whenever I wanted something or to do something, for example, I was very good at sports, they would say no, but allow my sister to do what she wanted. My sister is 3 years younger, we didn't get along growing up but now we are friends, I have felt envious of her life as she is happily married & I think she has everything that I don't.

I am 49 now, when I was 19 I got married & a year later gave birth to a daughter, there were complications during my pregnancy & later the doctors told me I couldn't have anymore children. My husband was very upset as he wanted a son so he left me. We were married 3 years & I loved him so it was devastating for me. We got divorced, I moved back to live with my parents. He remarried.

 Because I was a divorced woman I was treated like I had committed a crime. I started to hate men. I lived with my parents for 15 years, they didn't treat me well even though I did all the cooking & housework & managed their business.

In 2001 I remarried, my brother & sister-in-law also lived with my parents & my sister-in-law kept telling me I was a burden on my parents & needed to remarry. They had 2 kids & I looked after them. She wanted me to remarry so it would benefit her as I would move out of my parents home. In India at that time it was difficult to be single. My parents are very strict & I just wanted to settle down.

 I met my 2nd husband through my younger sister, he was her friend's uncle, he hid his age from me & I later found out he is 22 years older than me. We didn't spend any time together, he didn't court me or take me on a date, there was no romance, I knew him for a year & we got married.

 On our wedding night he ordered me to take off his socks & put oil in his hair, something I did for 2-3 years, as he expected it was my duty as a wife to groom him. This was surprising to me but I did it.

 He also expected sex daily, if I protested he would verbally abuse me & rape me. He was aggressive and would hurt me. He doesn't show me any love or respect. I don't have a voice that he listens to, he is a womaniser & I suspect has slept with many women, he doesn't respect women.

He has 4 kids, 2 sons & 2 daughters, they are married & live in Mumbai, my daughter still lives with us, she is an art teacher & she doesn't like him but won't say anything.

When he is angry he won't give me any money, I can't visit my parents without money, I don't have a job as I lost it when he had an accident 6 years ago and injured his knee. The Dr told him to have bed rest for 3 months & I had to look after him. He is a businessman & now works from home. He is 73 now, because of his injury for the last 2 years he hasn't been able to have sex which I am thankful for as I hate him. Next month is our 15 year anniversary. My days are filled with cooking & dusting. I am a good cook, I like to cook soya biryaani.

I have thought about leaving him but it is very difficult to get a job after a certain age in India, they want young people, I have no options without a source of income. My daughter isn't paid very much either.

I am very frustrated with this life, I don't have any friends. I try to be strong but I feel alone, there is no one to talk to & share my feelings.

 I am learning pranayama yoga to keep me cool and fit. I believe in karma and maybe this is in my destiny. I just pray for my daughter she finds a good man.