Hope you all are enjoying 2017. This year started on a real disturbing note – The Bangalore mass molestation case! It was very disturbing for all of us. Don’t let that feeling go away as a piece of flashing news, which lasted just for few days!
We all interview celebrities and post their views, life story so, I have also decided to interview the real celebrities amongst us. After my last blog about divorce, I got several stories from several people but this one touched my chord. Hence, sharing it with you all here a real life story of a Strong, Single mother/Woman Richa.
Me: Why did you decide to divorce your husband?
Richa: He was not being true to the relation, I kept my patience after marriage thinking that things would turn out for the better going further, but he proved me wrong. I feel that the 3 chances I had given were enough for a person to either realize and get back or for me to walk out of the relation.
Me: How difficult was the decision to divorce?
Richa: It was a pretty difficult one because it was my decision to marry him.
I had been into depression during my pregnancy period and later on too. I had to get back to work 1 week after my delivery for financial reasons. I had given up my career post marriage thinking that I will take up a new career after moving along with him, which was a myth.
I joined the gym for a change 2-3 yrs after delivery when my health was taking a toll both mentally and physically thinking that probably meeting and talking with people would help me. It did for some time but didn’t last for very long. Even today 9 yrs after my divorce, I still get depressed. I still breakdown at work or at home. It really hurts when you have to go through this pain inspite of being true in a relationship.
I have a friend who had proposed me before my marriage who did say, “See had you married me! Life wouldn’t have been like this” All I could do was laugh back. There are things I have learned to ignore and some to retaliate.
Me: Was it easy for you to share this with your Family?
Richa: When I got to know that my ex was cheating on me, I couldn’t believe it! A person whom I thought would stand by me was cheating on me that too after our son was born. I couldn’t hide the matter from my mom as she was staying with me. For 4 or 5 months I tried keeping the story between mom, sis and her husband.
It was difficult to discuss it with other relatives, because I knew no one would believe my story. I had to show them all the documents to prove my innocence.
I realised it then that People who stood showering flowers during your wedding, instead of supporting your decision would be doing or telling things to make you feel even worse”.
I am still finding it difficult to manage my mom and my son. Both are close to me and I want them to be with me but, mom doesn’t want to move in with me and I know she cannot stay without my son, and how long do I need to convince myself and my son that we need to stay apart for some more time. Wonder when that time would come when we could be together forever. ☹
Me: How’s your social life after divorce?
Richa: I was asked to resign from my job due to my divorce status and hence decided to move back to Kerala (My hometown). I had to file for divorce in Bangalore (a different state/city) court as my family members thought it would be a social stigma to them. I worked from home for around 4 yrs and only a few relatives knew the fact that I was divorced. A lot of people raised questions and those who asked, my family members said that he didn’t get leave from work and would come soon.
But these lies kept eating me and I told my relatives how long would they keep lying about it and it’s better, to tell the truth.
There were very few friends who really kept in touch or checked upon me. For others, I hardly existed after they got to know that I was divorced. Few were normal with me at least on my face ☺
The toughest decision was to move to a new city Pune for a job and leaving behind my 5-year-old son. I kept myself quite reserved at the office. There were people who spoke nonsense with me once they got to know about my divorce, but I had to ignore and keep silent.
Finally, when I decided to socialize and started meeting people. I met someone, I was getting to know, spend more time with him. The only people who knew about this were my roommates, I thought they would understand and be supportive but didn’t know that they were the ones who were talking behind my back, giving me different titles. Their words did hurt me real bad, but I knew if I let these things affect me it would pull me back into the shell I was within four years.
2 of my married college mates re-confessed their love during this period that they had for me. I told them “Please don’t dwell in the past! You have a loving wife and children. Please move on with them. Coming over now and confessing your feelings that you had then is useless now. One of the guys was very persistent, at one point I had to cut off the conversation with him totally. Don’t know what were they expecting out of all this?
“Mostly people looked at me as an available commodity due to my marital status”
Me: How do your co-workers, single or married friends perceive you when you tell them that you are divorced?
Few of my co-workers tried to take advantage of me. Some thought I would be available for them, while the few who looked at me as a strong person.
Since my work manager was my close friend no one dared talk to me in a wrong way, but once he moved out of the company, one of my colleague approached me quite a few times nicely and then on a weekend he asked me about my plans and I said I might go out with my school friends to which he said, “Why don’t you spend some time with us too. My wife is not at home so why don’t you come over”. I felt like giving him a real tight slap or complaint against him, but since I didn’t want to create any problem I let Karma play the game which did happen over the time.
Few of my colleagues approached me for a divorce consultation as that’s the only qualification I was known for to them.
I am glad I could be of some help to them!
Me: How difficult is it for your son to deal with all these questions? Is it easy being a single mother?
Richa: My son had to mature sooner than his age. I had decided to have a discussion with him about all this only when he would ask me. One of my school friend who is a doctor told me to slowly start discussing the matter with him. So, in May 2015, during his summer holidays, I tried to initiate the talk. He told that he wanted to say something to me too. His friends at school made fun of him saying that how is he born, when his mom is not married! It really shocked me! So I asked him his reply and he said that, “I know momma is married. I have seen her wedding pics and I have told my friends that mumma is married and my dad had some work so he left us.” I silently agreed with what he said as I didn’t want him to know that his dad had cheated on us.
I feel he is too young to know all this because it could affect him mentally.
I wanted to hug him at that moment and just yell out “Thank God!”
He told me he wants a family and asked me to get married again. I said, “Ok” but this is a secret between you and me. Since then we have a different level of relation, a more open one! He kind of understands me better now and I feel that I can speak or discuss things openly with him now.
It is not easy being a single mother for someone like me, who is not able to stay with my son due to financial constraints. Challenges at each step, making life difficult to live, but as they say, the show must go on, each day is going on with a hope that tomorrow will bring us together.
I missed his childhood. I haven’t seen him standing up, taking his first step, his teething, a lot of things that I missed, even my 9 months of pregnancy were spent in depression waiting for that man who never returned.
I couldn’t be that normal mom who sits beside her kid during their study time or play games with them, but I try and do as much as I can over the calls or the times when we are together. All I wish for at this moment is that I need the courage and the willpower to do the best for my son and help him grow into a wonderful person.
Me: Has anyone ever told you “Shouldn’t you have stayed together for the kids’ sake?” What’s your answer to them?
Richa: Yes! People said, “that men are men they can do what they wish it’s the wife who should understand and adjust”. I would have stayed together. Had it been some other reason that could be adjusted but not where your husband is registering himself on matrimony sites and hunting women for his own needs.
These women who spoke ill against me were the ones who knew me since childhood and some who had spent years with me, but didn’t know anything about my situation or what I was going through! They never thought of talking to me to find out why’s & how’s of my decision?
Such talk did make me feel like I should move out of India with my son and settle off in a place with new and unknown people. When people whom I thought were my friends or well-wishers became strangers!
Me: Has your self-esteem gone up or down post-divorce?
Richa: My self-esteem is at a slightly higher end now. I cannot trust people like I used to earlier and that does backfire on my current relationships at times. I have built my set of standards, might be wrong or right, but I am not ready to compromise on them right now.. But on the weaker side, I am still an emotional person and I need to start working hard to get out of those boundaries now.
Me: If there was anything that you could change in people’s attitude/society norms? What would that be?
My family members’ attitude is the first thing I would like to change. Let a person choose his or her partner. Had they been with me during that time, I wouldn’t have had to go through all this. Thankfully, I could help my sister and a cousin with it.
To the society, that’s something very difficult to change as it needs to start from our house, but I wish they change the way they think about a divorced/single mother. It was not a choice or an option, it was a decision that we had to take on the basis of circumstances we had to go through. No lady would want to break a relation until she clearly knows that things wouldn’t change in their relationship. It’s easy to blame a person without knowing the real fact behind her decision.
Sex – an overrated requirement of/by Men: There are men who asked me how could I survive without a physical relationship for 9 yrs and my answer to such people would be – Sex is not the only thing required for survival when you have other things to concentrate on. I am a normal person but this is not a requirement for me. I know where I am headed to and I have the motive to live my life for!
Depression around us: To the people who ask me about getting into depression, yes I do get depressed, there were moments when I felt suicidal but that was not the solution to anything. I cry out vent out my nightmare and get back to the pavilion ready again for a new battle every day with the hope that “Yes tomorrow would be a better day for me and my son”. ☺
A Little respect: Please let us live a respectful life for ourselves as well as for our family and children. If you can’t give respect leave her alone but don’t speak ill of her or her family. Divorce is not a stigma it’s a heartbreaking decision that the person has to take.
I wouldn’t say it’s always a woman who is right and a man is wrong, but in my case, I did give, enough try to save the relation before I decided to end it when I clearly knew that my relation was going nowhere!! And I didn’t want to live under the same roof with a person to whom my son and I meant nothing.
I wish the society today accepts women like us who are struggling our way to make a better life for us and for our kids, the employers help us give our best in career and help us grow in a better way rather than treating us like we are the culprits or victims.
Life is not an easy game for women like us, but we are not yet ready to hit the QUIT button!!