The whole truth and nothing but the Truth

I initially started this blog to tell the world my story. I thought I’d be creative and write like all those fancy writers and perhaps maybe turn this into a book. Then the whole world will know how unfair my entire existence has been.

But that’s not who I am. I am not creative. My story doesn’t have enough to pull in a crowd and heck I’d be lucky to get even one reader in this blog.

I’ve decided to be me. I am going to be direct. That is me. No filter.

The basics

I had a childhood like everyone else. I grew up in an upper middle class home. My mum was a teacher, my dad an accountant, my sister (who is 7.5 years older than I am) was like a second mum to me. Due to the age gap and the sheltered life I lived in India I was naive enough to believe everything my parents taught me. “Family comes first” “Girls wear dupatta everywhere they go”. Before you get ahead of yourself… I should tell you that this is not a story of feminism.

Everything I thought I knew about my family was put to the test the night my uncle used my hands to give himself a hand job. I was probably 7 or 8 years old. I did tell my mum and my grandma the next day but there’s only so much an 8-year-old can explain. I can’t quite remember what I said but I do remember my mum and my grandma saying “your uncle was showing you how much he loved you”. I knew that explanation wasn’t quite right. But I also knew, there would be quite an extreme drama if I kept pestering and I just let it go. He was leaving to go back to Australia that afternoon anyway.

We migrated to Australia when I was 13. The only logically place to stay was at my Uncles house until we got our life patched together in a new country. I did this thing subconsciously where I packed enough in-skirts to wear when I was taking showers but I didn’t let myself think about why I was doing this.

As luck would have it. I got my first period when I moved into his house. I turned clumsy, always aware of my surroundings and who was or wasn’t watching. Always timed it so I wasn’t home alone. Never took showers without my clothes. I was bullied at school and I had no friends. This was the first 8 months of my life in Australia.

My parents are proud people. My parents were now laborers in a factory. From a teacher/ accountant to carrying loads of God-knows-what from one end of a factory to another is enough to turn anyone to depression. And it did. I saw the depression take over them so I never said a thing. I didn’t tell them about my anxiety, I didn’t tell them about the bullying, I didn’t tell them how I used to eat lunch on my own in the nearby bushes at school.

We eventually moved out, got our own house, my parents eventually got into good jobs and our life was normal. My anxiety was somewhat gone and sneaking alcohol in my Coke bottles gave me enough courage to make friends at school and I could finally go through my normal teenage-y, “i-hate-the-world” phase.

The Sibling

To be completely honest, I don’t know much about my sister. All I know are facts of what I have seen and What I have heard:

  1. She had a hard childhood because mum never wanted kids (as opposed to my parents making a conscious choice to have me.)
  2. Mum would scream at her everyday after coming back from work (mum has never screamed at me)
  3. She didn’t study well (I never got anything below 90)
  4. Dad was never home when she was growing up (Dad was always home for me)
  5. They didn’t have much money either (we had 3 servants, 1 driver and went out every weekend, I even had a pet dog)
  6. She always hung out with the bad crowd ( I wouldn’t dare look in their direction)
  7. She would jig school all the time ( I didn’t even know what Jig meant)
  8. She would go clubbing in uni without telling my parents that she will be late and my parents would worry all night about where she was (I would die of guilt just thinking about doing this)
  9. Mum and dad would leave me in my grandmas house or my aunt’s house just so they can go looking for her. Once I woke up alone in my house in the middle of the night (I have never left my parent’s side)
  10. She moved out of home to live in a hostel while doing her Masters (I was never allowed to)
  11. When we moved to Australia, she pretty much did the same thing. Never telling us where she was and always out (I was not allowed to do this)
  12. She fell in love with a drug dealer pretty much as soon as we moved to Australia (I was not allowed to…fall in love)
  13. she got into drugs, No one knew except me for a very long time (she never had to go through keeping a secret from my parents and the secret killing her from inside out)
  14. When my parents found out they blamed me for knowing and not telling them (she’s never been blamed for anything her whole life)
  15. My sister would come home in her drugged state and try to kill my parents (I never tried to kill my parents… at that point)
  16. She doesn’t remember any of this (I remember everything)
  17. She was kicked out of home because we couldn’t handle her anymore (I was not)
  18. We did not have any contact with her for at least 3 years (I never left my parents)
  19. When we finally started talking to her, she once called me to stay over he place only for her to have sex with her boyfriend in the other room while I was sitting outside in the porch in the cold trying not to hear the moans and groans ( I wish I could do this to her)
  20. She now thinks she is God for getting her life together without any of our help (she also thinks I am weak and has not experienced life as much as she has)

My sister’s keeper has a new meaning when it comes to my life. To say I loathe my sister would be an understatement

The impact of being my sister’s keeper

You could say it is kind of like that prodigal son story. Where the bad seed leaves the house but when he comes back they chuck a party?

My life after we moved out from my Uncles house was kind of the same deal. For Example: My sister did whatever she wanted. My parents would kick and scream but would not be able to do anything about her. So they’d do it to me. While she got to study whatever she wanted. I wasn’t. I was told what to study. There was even a time when I told my mum I wanted to be a doctor and she laughed at me.

When she got into drugs, the house was always dark. I don’t know if this is my imagination remembering that time in our lives like that or if my parents kept the house dark so as to not provoke my sisters habits. I was doing my HSC and I was completely ignored. I was left to do my own thing but I couldn’t because my sister was trying to kill us every day. Coming home was literally a nightmare. One day my sister slashed my mum in her arm and there were little drops of blood all over the floor from the kitchen to the bathroom. Watching your own mother bleed because of your own sibling – well its a strange feeling. Like a slow motion dark noir film, being played out over and over in your head but you cannot do anything about it. you cannot help and if you let yourself feel it would hurt so you don’t. The knives eventually got hidden after that… a few days later the wooden cutting boards… and then all the glass items.

When my sister got kicked out of home it was like we all lost a part of ourselves. I mean, I think we lost it when she turned to drugs but when she was not home anymore we felt like it was set in stone. She was gone.

My aunt would come into our house everyday and she’ll walk into my room and she’ll stand there right in front of my bed, while I was hiding my face in my pillow and make list of the reasons why I should be ashamed of myself. Indirectly hinting how I should take my own life. “The day you were born is the day my father died” she would say. “you were born in a thunderstorm, you know what that means” “you knew about your sister and you did nothing” “you are an embarrassment, a disgrace to your own parents”. Every conversation we would have and she would make sure that she adds these three lines in. She would also talk about how great my sister was. What a good-looking baby she was “she was so round and had the biggest eyes, you were so skinny and white” “she was so smart, she got the third in the state when she was doing her HSC, you barely passed yours”

You would think that at barely 18 years of age, when you are being verbally abused everyday like this that I would have, at the very least, lost my sanity. I didn’t. I knew she was doing this to make herself feel better. Everyone deals with grief a different way. and my sister IS her favourite niece. So I did nothing. I would lie there in my bed, face down on the pillow, sometimes crying, sometime not, but mostly just reading this bible chapter pasted on the wall next to my bed:

 Psalm 91

  1. He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.”

Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler And from the perilous pestilence.
He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,
Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.

A thousand may fall at your side,
And ten thousand at your right hand;
But it shall not come near you.
Only with your eyes shall you look,
And see the reward of the wicked.

Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place,
10 No evil shall befall you,
Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
11 For He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you in all your ways.
12 In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.
13 You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra,
The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.

14 “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him on high, because he has known My name.
15 He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him,
And show him My salvation.”

My uncle would also use this opportunity to take his grief out on me. He would do a prayer with my parents in the lounge room, and have a meal with them and then he would ask my parents where I was. They’d say that I have been in my room all day crying so he would walk in and to console me he would rub his hands all over my body, mainly concentrating in the chest area. I still cried and kept reading that bible verse over and over again. Sometime he would chant the verse with me while he felt me up.

14 “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him on high, because he has known My name. “mmm and then what? Tell me!” he would say loudly 
15 He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble; I would cry
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him, “GOOD GIRL!” He would say 
And show him My salvation.”

What kind of child would tell her parents that she just got molested by her uncle when her parents were moaning the loss of another child to drugs and had no idea where she was. A heartless child. I, for one, was not a heartless child. Not then anyway.

My dad one day came into my room and I am not quite clear of the reason, but he started hitting me. He has never hit me before that. But that particular day he hit me. He hit me with all his might that my arms turned green. I never knew the human body could turn green before that. I also broke down for the first time that day. I went into the toilet and I kept hitting myself. I hit, I hit and I hit. Eventually I hit myself so bad that I could not feel the pain anymore. So I hit myself some more. And then a little bit more until I turned blueish/ black green. I also found that the human body eventually does run out of tears. You can keep crying but the tears will stop.

15 He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him,
And show him My salvation.”

I would keep telling myself. I still had hope.

The day I realised my hope was not going to last me very long was when I walked into the house one day after uni. I see at the end of the hall my dad watching the news and it is about a girl getting pregnant at 19. By the time that part of the news ends, I am walking past my dad to get to my room and he says to me “look its a teenage pregnancy, I bet you are going to be one of those too”

Up till that point my parents had only ever taken out their anger on me. They had hit me because they were angry at my sister. I could handle that. But telling me that I will amount to nothing because… because of nothing. I did  nothing. That comment was uncalled for. That made me angry. It made me realise that no matter what i did, they were forever going to assume that I am my sister. That I will end up like her. So I screamed. I swore at him and I screamed some more.

And that’s when it started; My mum would follow me around at home. She would follow me from the front of the house and stand outside my room while I got changed to my pj’s. I knew because I could hear her breathing. Then she would follow me to the toilet and sit outside while I peed. Then she would stay awake until I fell asleep and then continue this stalking until I left the house to go to my classes.I never knew this until much later. But they would follow me to uni and then wait outside until I finished and then follow me back home.

Eventually I lost my sleep too and would pretend to go to sleep. Wait for them to doze off and then go online. They caught up to that too and restricted my internet access. So I did what any logical person would do. I did something Unindian. Un lady like. I gave them exactly what they feared I would become. I fell in love

and boy did I fall

He was tall, European, long blonde locks with muscles. He was basically Thor. and he loved me too. Can you imagine that? There I was a short skinny black Indian girl with so much baggage and this God like creature has fallen in love with me. I didn’t want to ask why so I just went with it. He cheated. I forgave him. He cheated again and was friends with that girl. So I was friends with her too. He wanted me to make more money. So I left Uni and worked full-time. He cheated and I pretended I didn’t know. He was protective and jealous and I pretended it was okay. He proposed. I said yes. He took back the engagement because and I quote “my mates think I’m took young”. Eventually 2 years later, the whirlwind relationship was crumbling, I had lost all my friends and I had broken up with him for the last time. My parents however found out about him and tried to restrain me in the house. So I asked him for help and I ran away from home.

The beginning of the end

I lived alone for a few weeks in a women’s hostel in the city. It was the best few weeks of my life. I was liberated. Free from any human interaction. I was not forced to interact with anyone I didn’t have to and I loved it. I wanted to make this life on my own and I could have done it but… BUT I am was not a heartless Child. Not then anyway

So with the promise of my pastor that my parents will not force a marriage on me, I went back home and I went back to Uni.

A week later, my parents showed me a xray of my mum’s brain and said that she had developed a blood clot in her brain and that she will lose all her memory. For days she would cry all night telling me how she is going to forget her mother and how she wanted to see her for one last time.

I knew, very clearly, that this was a ploy to get me married to a random person. but I never said a thing. She booked the tickets. I never said a thing. The visas came through. I never said a thing. She packed my suitcase. I never said a thing. We were in the plane. I didn’t say a thing. In fact, I was cracking jokes. Because I wasn’t a heartless Child. They were still my parents.

The morning after we landed, my grandma called me into a room and asked me to marry a guy. I questioned why. She said “If it was not meant to be, this would never have happened” “Trust God” she said. My mum told me that she will kill herself if I did not. I asked her what his name was and she didn’t know. I looked at her and I said “OK, whatever”

I met him that night and I felt free. I could be myself and I straight away took to his mum.I knew she would save me. We got engaged a few weeks later. and I rebelled. I cheated on him. I ignored his calls. I blamed it on exams but I ignored him every chance I got. I knew he didn’t deserve any of it but I hated him already. I faked every emotion though, because I knew if it wasn’t him, it would have to be my parents. I was stuck no matter what. My only way out was either to marry him or to kill myself. and you know, I am not a heartless child. I was however a gutless one.

Three months later, I was back in India preparing for a wedding that I didn’t want to be in. I liked him though, I could see the typical Indian in him but he was different to the others. He was always smiling and cracking the lamest jokes and I knew that given any other situation, we could have been great.

So the day of my wedding I prayed

14 “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him on high, because he has known My name.
15 He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him,
And show him My salvation.”

I told God that I am doing this for him. I could have killed myself, but I trust you that this is all happening for a reason so I am going with it. I am putting everything in line for you. I have called on you, so I know you will deliver me and honor me.

I held my husband’s hand as tight as I could and I told myself I will never go back to the life I had.

 Little did I know, what was waiting for me on the other side.. was exactly the same life.

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