Kavya Ganesh @kavyaganesh
I’m here today to talk about my father.
I’m usually against the idea of talking about someone behind their backs, and that too, so visibly. But I also believe in the idea that if someone is fine with harassing someone, they must be okay with other people knowing about it too.
My father is a bully. He hurts and insults people who don’t have the power to say something against him. He browbeats people into listening to what he thinks is right. I used to try to pacify myself by saying “He’s only doing this because he wants the best for you and loves you.”, but it’s been a few years since I really understood that he acts this way just because he can.
Whenever I start thinking about the mental and emotional abuse this man has given me, one incident always shines bright. TRIGGER WARNING When I was in 11th-12th, I used to self-harm and I was suicidal. My mom cried when she found out, my father didn’t even address it. A few months later, I remember sitting on the floor in their room; my parents and I were having a conversation about what my problem was. Somewhere in the conversation, my father said this: “You can die if you want to, no one’s stopping you. I’ll feel bad for a few days, and I’ll accept it after a few days. It’ll just be hard on your mom.” I think he meant for it to be motivational, but those are words that I’ll never forget in my life. I always laugh when I think about it.
That was just the icing on the cake: I’ve been body shamed, called ugly, called dumb, given the silent treatment for 2 months, mocked for my grades, etc etc etc. It continues today too when he tells me to just quit trying to become a doctor.
He has no clue about the things I like, the things I dream of, my ideals, my thoughts, things that I’m passionate about, things that make me emotional. My dad doesn’t know me. And I don’t think I want him to even try anymore.
See, I understand that he is the way he is because of the way he grew up. His actions can be explained, but they can’t be excused. I don’t have it in me to be upfront about all of this. The reason is that I have been honest about the way I feel when he body-shames me, but he still continues to do it. This is a man who’s so blinded by this belief that what he’s doing is right, that he can’t ever stop to reconsider. I don’t want to put myself in a vulnerable position, only to be insulted again.
I always ask myself why I can’t find the strength to work hard and get out of this hellhole. It’s true, I can’t bring myself to keep working even when I fall. I find it really really hard to get back up. A part of me believes I’m soft and easy on myself because everyone else is hard on me. But if I keep being soft on myself, will I ever get the chance to live without being bullied and criticized; without being controlled? I really hope I have the strength to try.
(PS. When I say ‘abuse’, I mean ONLY mental and emotional abuse, NOT physical or sexual abuse.)
It can be tough.
I have been distant from my parents too because it’s hard for them to decipher certain things.
My parents and I are not close-minded. You can see me laugh heartily and behave as a perfect daughter with no issues but its deeper. I have been suicidal since the age of twelve and a certain before that. My mom addressed my wounds certain times, both concern and mocking and my father never said a word except, “What will the groom say looking at that” to what my reply was “don’t worry about it”. I gave up arguing and explaining.
My life has been tough, now to say my entire life story will be long and this reply is long enough already. But in that, there comes a chapter where my sister-in-law eloped with my brother and there were series of happenings due to that. Her father did her best to get his daughter back and everything to search for her. One day my elder brother addressed me about it that if I had to run my dad wouldn’t give a second look to if I died or lived and I would be disowned. We share a terrible rift. I gave a terrible reply which led to a fight but I am kind of more open-mouthed than sugar-coating (problematic!) which was, “I wasn’t raised to be that much of an idiot” but those words haunted me.
My father can be real aggressive like 'throw you under the bus"- statements and I wouldn’t be surprised if he would bash my brains out; you might think I am saying you so casually but I cried a lot. He has temper problems and sometimes he doesn’t understand that how much I look carefree is not because I am but because I am done being sad always. I cry too but he should not expect me to howl. I have seen my parents fight and it wasn’t …
Body shaming is terrible. I have 5 feet 7-inch lady with PCOD. I gained weight, like 20 kg in two months and had serious emotional problems, mental problems and to add there was that from everyone, even some uncle I never spoke to would mock to a waist of 26 I went to 36 and that was a breaking point.
How am I now?
I have lost weight. Worked me to 30 waist inch. I stopped hating, the world, or anyone. The problem was me and I accepted it. What the problem was? - I stopped loving myself. I depended on ‘love’ for happiness and I had to end it.
I worked hard to be healthy for myself. Stopped cutting (2 happy years now) for myself. Stopped depending, I made myself happy. I didn’t eradicate love, I have a fiance but depending is unhealthy. I study and I try my best and that’s what matters.
You cannot think to start a war with your father and probably never reason out so put it aside. You say you cannot find strength and I did too once, faced the same thing and thought it was useless but what inspired me was 'if I want a better life it won’t just come walking like ‘hi, I am here, the end to all problems’ the moment you have the strength to face yourself at the moment you take the first and the biggest step out of the agony.
Kavya Ganesh @kavyaganesh
That was really wise and it honestly made me cry. Thank you <3