The Cultural Difference

I am a Not quite Australian Born confused Desi.

Which basically means I was born in India but grew up in Australia so I fall into the “neither here nor there” category. There are a few of us, trust me. We don’t fit in anywhere in India because we were babies when we were there and we don’t fit in anywhere in Australia because well…. you’re “black”…OMG how do you speak english so well? ūüėí

I watch Bollywood movies and Hollywood Movies. I enjoy both…no not enjoy… i APPRECIATE both. I also APPRECIATE both cultures. It is however true that, in some instances, one culture in me stands out the most. For example, I don’t quite understand the Aussie dream. Not sure what it is either… go to the beach and eat a pie? Not sure? Have a beach house maybe?

 Anyway… the Indian in me screams “OH no… that’s  just lazy! How about education and a good job????” 

But it also goes the other way around… when I got married I wasn’t quite sure why I couldn’t speak to some respected family members the way I usually do. My husband’s grandfather is a very respected man in South India. He is a bad ass real estate agent (you only need to delve into the politics in India to know what this means). Everytime he walked in and out of a room people stood up and said hi to him the respectful way (put your hands together in the praying position or fall at his feet..no…really). Male… female.. babies who couldn’t walk…seriously it was insane. And then along came little ole’ me. I walk into the house to meet him for the first time and he is standing there in his traditional clothes (always wears it)

And I said “Hi”… everyone giggles like the way you giggle at a baby for doing something wrong but it’s cute. I look around at my mother in law and she asks me to fall at his feet. I said out loud “Seriously?” and she nods… so I do this awkward fall feet thing and everyone is in a silent laughter fit (even the kids!)

I was more confused than embarrassed because I had no idea why I had to do that. When I got up, he smiles at me and says “We won’t do that again. How about we just let you be you?” 

It took a few more months of me living with my mother in law for me to realise why people in India did the things they did and it made sense… most of it has a scientific reasoning behind it… some of it just a matter of respect. None the less I came out of that experience thinking I knew who I was and where I fit. 

9 years later….

I was rewatching Kal Ho Na Ho. For those of you who don’t know what this is… please do Google it. There are some really fantastic videos out there that I cannot access due to copyright issues.

It is a story about a boy who is about to die meets a girl and they fall in love but her best friend is also in love with her. When she comes to tell the boy that they should go out…he says no and instead sets her up with the best friend and they live happily ever after. Except for the boy….he dies.

I asked an aussie mate of mine what she would do if she was the one that was dying and had to make a choice. Would she set her love up with someone else or be selfish? And she said to me “I would make the person I like make the choice” 

This blew my mind. 

In all my years of watching and rewatching this movie I never EVER thought about this choice. What about the girl and what she wants? The Indian in me came out and just said well he did whats best for her. He gave up his love so she would be happy isn’t that sweet? But how could I think this when I have been in kind of the same situation?? I have been forced into a marriage because people thought that was what was best for me. They never made me make a choice and here I am thinking it is okay for another (fictional) girl!!!!! I am quite shocked at myself. 

I won’t deny that there is a difference in the way women are treated in India. You walk behind a girl not hand in hand, because you can keep an eye and make sure no one touches her inappropriately while you’re walking down the street. It’s just something you do. Not taught, it’s just natural now. This is not necessarily a dominance thing for the male population as some would make you believe. It’s just as hard for them because they have this duty to forever be the “manly” one. Until recently men were not allowed in the labour ward. Can you imagine that? Not being able to watch your baby being born? 
Maybe it’s just a matter of which characters percpective you watch the movie from and not really a cultural thing. (We can argue that one’s percpective is influenced by their culture).

Whatever it is percpective or cultural difference… the fact that I never thought about the girl just threw me off. 

I am 30 years old but I am still learning so much about myself. Growing up I thought I’d know it all by 30. Now I know the people who taught me when I was younger had no idea what they were doing either. 

No Manuals

I need to know how to react to something, otherwise I won’t know what to do. Everything I know is learnt…. there is no originality here whatsoever.

The problem is…. my life is quite…. unique so an answer to some of the questions my brain asks me is hard to find. Some originality is needed most of the time.

I was the only one in my circle of friends to be bullied
I was the only one to go through a crisis of having a drug addict in the family
I was the only one to get forced married
I was the first one TO get married
I am the only one to go through the pain of being told that I could not have children
I am the first one to have kids
I am the only one that I know of that have parents who blatantly dislike me…. very much

I feel like I am the only one with so much drama in my life day in and day out that I just cannot talk to anyone. Because no one will understand how hard it is to move on from these situations…. and then when you finally do move one another one hits you like a ton of bricks…. one after another… theres always been something.

I know I can do this. I know I’ll make it. I know I won’t give into this depression but I don’t know if I’ll ever let myself be happy and that scares me.

Life as I know it

I feel my anger filling me up again because everything is just so unfair

How much do I sound like a teenager right now?

I want to write why I am angry but it’s not just one thing… it’s the little things… like the house being a constant mess, and it’s not just because of the kids, my husband seems to be okay with living in a sty as well. I am getting sick of picking up after everybody. At least if it was my house I would be able to do it later but now I have the added pressure of my mum or my dad nagging about everything dirty the entire time. And they don’t nag me, they expect my husband to clean up… which deep inside I know is fair because he is the one that leaves the coke cans and the laundry everywhere but for goodness sake DON’T TELL HIM THAT! If you do he’ll hate you more… and if he hates you more then he’ll hate me more…. he’ll be in a grumpy mood for the next 6 months… even the slightest thing will make him hate everything even more and then I would have to compromise more and more until I get exhausted and get angry and then the kids would cry and then the kids would hate me and run to their dad….. who was the one who started this all in the first place!!! So I conclude that this is entirely my parents fault for ruining my life.

So…. there it is… my reason for anger….. it’s the little things that make you realise how controlled your life is.

Just you know …. I just need to hang on for like 20 more years till my kids are old enough to move out and then I’ll leave him …

Just hang on for 20 more years… then you can ask your parents to forgive you.

Just 20 more years.

I don’t have much hope for our counselling session because it is just how my life works.

Christianity and why I don’t believe it exists

I come from a culture where we are taught that religion comes first. No matter what….God is first. The problem is, that same culture confuses cultural rules with religious rules. Like for example; we are not allowed to drink at weddings. When I was younger, I was led to believe that this was because it would not sit right with God…. but the truth is, God doesn’t  give a shit… people just don’t want to spend money so others can get drunk.

I started questioning these rules during my late teens. I researched and got a pretty good idea of what was right according to the Bible and what was just a cultural thing. Up until this year, I was a pretty religious… I even named my first Born “Faith”.

I finally questioned the fact that a God exists during my 20th “conversation” with my mum about my uncle almost raping me – twice and her not caring… I thought to myself… “why would I be put in a family where they just don’t give a shit? I know that God only gives you as much hardship as you can take but surely after almost 3 decades I would have had some kind of resolution/ closure with this? And if marriages are made in heaven…. what the fuck did I do to deserve an asshole? Like force married to an asshole!”

I cannot disregard that a God exists because there are some things in this world that I cannot explain… but I cannot say he exists either because well…. why are all these children being hurt these days? Why can’t God stop it from happening? I know humans do alot to themselves and they have the choice to go ahead with a bad decision or not but how would a kid being abused have a choice? The Bible says that I should respect my parents and honour them… do I still honour my parents even though they blatantly don’t care about me?

I am feeling ridiculous writing all of this. I know there are going to be comments with a yay or a nay in it but I just don’t get it. So I am just going to say…. if there is a God he is not all powerful. He is there to give us hope during hard times so we have the strength to move on and not kill ourselves. Scriptures are there to help us live lives as good people and that’s it. There is nothing supernatural about God. There is no heaven and our lives on Earth is hell.

This is what I believe. I wish someone out there would prove me otherwise.

Therapy

My therapist agrees that my life is Chaos and she wants to see if my husband will work with me to help it get better and I asked her… what if he doesn’t and she said

“Then we’ll work in the two of being parents rather than partners.”

I hope this happens. I want to start my life again.

The whole truth and nothing but the truth

I have been trying to write the third part of my story for a long time now but the truth is I am not the type to sit down, think about it and then put it into words. Good or bad, emotions drive me so that’s exactly what I am going to do. Just let the emotions write the last part of my story.

The whole reason I started this blog is because I needed someone to hear my story and validate it, to say … “man oh man that’s tough!” Yea I know how it sounds like… like I was just looking for attention? But I was… I AM! And this is why…
Part 1 here
Part 2 here

A few months after my wedding, things in my parents house was getting unbearable. There was an argument that broke out between my parents and I and this was the first one we had had since my sister left the house. So it was BIG. In my moment of anger I asked my mum If she remembered the day I told her about my uncle. Mind you, we don’t talk about anything taboo in my family and in my question to her, I never specified which uncle or what day.

Mum says “Yea, I do. You were around 6. You were wearing your light pink dress, you were standing in the lounge and I was sitting in the dining room with your grandmother… you told me he touched you”

Continue reading The whole truth and nothing but the truth

Arranged Marriages

He saw a picture of me, saw my long black hair and my big pouty lips and my smile and probably said “Yes, that would make cute kids” or “Yes, I can see myself having sex with that” or “Yea she’s cute, she’ll do”

And then the wedding was done and gone, the marriage started and the baggage that came along with (what he thought to be a) cute face became more transparent…. and he couldn’t handle it.

He couldn’t handle the abused, bruised, stubborn, depressed girl and he regrets everything.

This is the truth.

 

Nothing

You know those movies that have this mother figure, that was never there for the kids. When she was there she was great but she was battling something else. So she runs away. One kid ends up hating the mother and the other kids ends up searching for the mother, only to be disappointed in the end.

I feel like I’m that mother.

I am trying so hard to be there for my kids. But it is becoming clear, more and more each day, that I am not right for them.

I think I have been using band aids all my life to try and fix what was broken. Honestly, I think my kids were a type of band aid for me to try and fix a broken marriage. I think they were that¬†love that I had been craving all my life (Indian arranged marriage cliche anyone?) But kids only mimic what you do, and it’s kind of hard to keep up an appearance of love when you are not getting it yourself.

I keep thinking, if I run away, they are still too young, they will learn to live with it. It’s harder to watch them get hurt every time I have an episode, but then I think.. What if I want to come back someday… what happens then?

To be honest, I don’t know if what I am feeling is depression. I have never been officially diagnosed. I am too scared to be officially diagnosed, because if I do, then it’s just another excuse for family around me to tell me how insignificant I am.

I cannot, I CANNOT, see anything happy around me. Nothing. Not even my kids.I only see fake, made up happiness around me that was done to mask whatever bad deed that was done before. I don’t see love around me, I only see selfish people using the name of love to get what they want from others. I definitely don’t see peace, I don’t think any of us do. All I see is ignorance.

I have been here before, the last time, it took me months to ignore these thoughts and move on to whatever hope I had left. The last time this happened, I had a baby to mask the thoughts of death.

This time around, I have kids, who are hurt because of me and I am running out of time. I don’t have months to fix myself, Months means the kids would be hurting for all of those months. I cannot mask it either, because it is just going to come back stronger than it is now.

But I have no support to help me either. 

I don’t think I am going to make it this time.¬†

Daily Update

Today has been a particularly hard… tiring day.

Good old Mr. Virus decided to attack me last night, so I have this incredibly feels-like-glass kinda sore throat and cough. To top that off my entire body is shivering and hurts like I have been hit by a truck. Not sure if this is from the accident or the flu… or both. To top THAT off, when I woke up this morning my dad decided to pick a fight with me.

I told him that the tow truck driver was coming to drop off the car until the dispute gets resolved and his reaction was to call me names, he called my husband names, My kids were crying,  I called him names, My mum was trying to diffuse the situation and I regret not punching him.

I am so drained. Physically and Emotionally completely and utterly drained. I cannot give anymore, I don’t have the energy to take either. I have literally given them my entire life and they still keep asking for more WHILE wondering why on earth I am actually mad! I just want things to work out for once without me having to go through so much sorrow.¬†I know nothing comes easy in life but honestly asking for some help when I have just nearly died a few days ago is not that bad to ask is it? Is God not watching this? Is he even there?

I’ll be honest and I promise I am not over-reacting. I wish I had died in that accident. I would like to think that, that might have let people know how much I actually do in this house. But I know it wouldn’t have. Me dying would have amounted to nothing, because they would have just blamed my husband and kicked him out of the house.

Because that’s just my Indian Family.

The Whole truth and nothing but the truth (pt2)

I can’t talk about our first night. Because at no ones fault…¬†¬† it was incredibly horrifying for me. My depression was the only thing to blame. To this day my husband has no idea about this. It will break him if he finds out. I cried myself to sleep that night. But I picked myself up again and I woke up the next day as if it was all okay.

A couple of days later I was at my in-law’s town. I would be meeting every single member of my husbands family here.¬†Walking into my their house, felt like walking into one of those old ads that they show on TV. The mum with the apron in the kitchen making delicious food. Everyone smiling and laughing, the whole family together, joking around.

I wanted this life. I wanted the atmosphere,  I wanted the peace, I wanted to smile and I was in it and I loved it. My father in law would call me his daughter and my mother in law would tell me everyday how much she always wanted a daughter. She would take me out around her area and show me off. I never had to cook, i never had to clean. I was a princess.

Continue reading The Whole truth and nothing but the truth (pt2)