(20th April, 2021)
When I wanted to get clicked wearing this set of clothes, I could see a huge disappointment and panic on my bua (paternal aunt’s) face. I guided her how to to click this picture (the exact place where she had to keep the mobile in hand) and just tap on the button. She was hugely annoyed to even look at me, spare clicking the picture. I asked her “what happened” although I was known to the answer already. She said “from where have you learnt wearing these clothes and clicking these pictures??” to which I replied that these days many people wear them. There’s nothing wrong in them. They are casual clothes. She went a step further and said, “nobody cultured wear this. Only sex workers/sluts wear this, that too, not from India, negros wear this.”
If I was dealing with her 3-4 years ago and listened to these words, I would have left the house (saying this very seriously as I had tried once in 4 years ago), but now, having her as a responsibility to me, I cannot do that or even think about that. Instead, I said, “You are very backward, biased and narrow-minded. Look around you, and see how much the world has progressed from this backward mentality” and then carried on with sharing the picture on instagram. After that, she was like “you are ruining your dead father’s name. You do this kind of stuff. (Mare hoye peu da naam khraab kri ja ese kamm kar kar ke)” I think this was quite a big another trigger for me usually, but I am glad that I still kept my cool and told her “nothing like that happens. You are over-reacting for no reason and anyways, he’d tell me in my dream if he’d be disappointed. And I am an adult, you have no right to question what I wear and what I share anywhere.” Seriously, she was still looking at me like I did some crime, although she had been saying utter bullshit all the while. She went onto saying “I never prohibited you from wearing anything or meeting anyone.” Well, that was quite a LIE. She always panics whenever I go onto meeting any person. She even used to panic when I met a female friend, meeting a male friend or going on a date was like making her understand the whole idea of the meeting, details in advance and repeatedly telling her “it’s just a meeting. You must be thinking I am going to have sex.” because it was always about my father’s reputation according to her; and honestly, it was never that she let me wear anything I wanted, it was always a hell lot of drama from her side about my clothes (uptil my good age of 24 years she even had a problem with me using any kind of make-up). Soooo, again, I kept my cool and told her “see, you just made a big issue out of my clothes right now and you never let me meet anyone peacefully ever, you always did fight about that. Just accept that you are socially backward, not cultured or traditional and stop thinking that I won’t do what I want to do.”
The point: Sometimes what you see is not true. The one who seems rude has become so when that person had no other option left and the one who seems to be very protective and caring is just an immature energy vampire who sucks on the mind and energy of that ‘rude one’ without any limit making that person to react really rude or cruel as a result. Some people, be it a family member or a friend or an outsider break one’s boundaries way too much just because that person made them comfortable in doing so, by not standing up for one’s own rights. I did that a lot in my childhood, adolescense and adulthood as well. I always thought about the comfort of my family, their wishes about how I should have lived, just so that they could not have any mental or emotional issue because of me. BUT I realised over time that I made them way too comfortable in interfering in my life. Initially, I used to get triggered badly by such comments from them, but I am glad that I learnt handling the situation, calmly, over time.
Honestly, I am feeling guilty sharing this because it feels like I am bringing my family’s issues here on a platform where people do not need to know about it but on the other hand, I think and feel that it is crucial to share such incidents. I used to be held back, depressed and not myself for years because of such nagging, controlling and biased behaviour of my own family members, and never shared a thought with anyone faking it that everything was perfect whatever was happening and how-so-ever I was being treated.
It does not mean that they don’t love me. They can even die for me if the need arises, to save me, but, the main problem is that they never let me live either. I never feel mentally, emotionally and socially content and safe. I have become really tough and walled because of strong boundaries, but I really feel that just in case, they had gotten some counselling from an outsider professional, they might have had a better mindset and behaviour, that could as a result let them and me live freely without any fight on very menial and personal stuff like make-up, clothing, and being social.