20 Aug I Am Anonymous
Yes, I am just like the stars, always present in the sky but only reveal myself when the circumambience seems befitting, even if you think of this as a fancy term for longing darkness.
I always wondered what harm could light do? It rejuvenates everything around, however, it also hides the flickers. It overshadows the small glimmers. It is the same light, which causes me to close my eyes, even when I once dreamt of being that strong. Isn’t it too much revered?
I just wanted to be the petals swaying with the wind, but I was expected to be resilient like the tree in strong gales. This pliancy then became my way of living. Gradually my credence in these expectations faded and it became my safe place. There were no fears then; what people can’t see; they can’t destroy. It was a miserable power- destructive yet life-saving.
For the longest time, I tried to identify the source.
People and their expectations are just a platform where your insecurities gain shape and merge with their thoughts about you. I never thought these scars would come from the people I loved. It seemed as if they were eternal, only to be proven wrong in the end. You give everything you can, and you do expect returns. Even on the days, when you get nothing back, the lack of acknowledgement feels excruciating. The flowers surely look admiring, but the pain of holding it while thorns prick your hand isn’t beautiful. It is like hammering nails in the wood despite it already being broken in pieces. It was a slow process, increasing the pain endurance limit day by day. There were moments when my brain would automatically shut down the voice inside me as if the whole responsibility of deciding what I deserved laid in its power. The innumerable battles in my head would cause bloodshed from my heart. Giving small pieces of my heart to everyone I met, the pieces I could never get back. I thought they would be handling it with care, would keep it safely in some memory of theirs. I was wrong.
Probably these memories weren’t even worthy of being nightmares that couldn’t be forgotten. Whereas, I still have kept these memories, placed delicately in some corner of my heart, which I seldomly visit, knowing it isn’t a place to dwell.
While travelling this journey of mixed feelings and uncertainties, I met many people with different experiences. I couldn’t classify the strength of their pain and struggle as there exists no indicator for measuring ‘a more difficult experience.’ Every pain, every story and every experience was justified and deserved to be taken seriously. Here are just some of them:
A – YOU DON’T BELIEVE IT UNTIL IT HAPPENS TO YOU.
I had heard a lot about women being harassed at the workplace, school, college, public places and even at home. I thought this was something that happened with others and won’t happen with me. Clearly, I was wrong.
I was 14 and was habitually sitting with him as he visited my home for the hundredth time. Suddenly I could feel his hand inside my t-shirt touching my Bra-strap. I was taken aback. I brushed aside, thinking that it must have happened unintentionally. The next day when I was dressing up, he came to my room and hugged me. I ignored him again. It felt terrible and filthy. I still neglected it because he was a family friend. Later that week, my sister came to me; I was shattered to hear that he touched her inappropriately. She was 10. This went on for months; he used to kiss, touch my breasts and other private parts in public, around my parents. Except no one noticed, I had had enough! Trying to keep my baby sister away from the beast was my priority, but I had had enough! I talked to my mother and cousin, they thought I was overreacting and he just loved us like his own children.
But I knew I was right; I told my father then he was gone forever. But the fear he gave me years ago is still there. I would be lying if I said I’ve overcome those instances. But I’ve definitely moved past that. Lots of tears, sleepless nights, yoga and with the support of my loved ones, I’m past that.
B- LIVING IN THE FEAR OF WHAT OTHERS THINK ABOUT YOU.
Dear panic attacks/anxiety/breathlessness or whatsoever demon you are,
I think you have been my constant companion for long time (definitely an unwelcomed companion), and you aren’t willing to leave me. This terror makes me numb, weak and miserable forcing me to sink into nothingness, thereby rewinding every small tragedy of my life, most significant being people judging me and my struggle for a perfect happy life. Previously, like everybody else, I cared too much about people’s perspective about me. But pretty soon I realised that it is worthless. Why do I always try to be perfect? Why do we hide the ‘real us’? For the people who never really matter. Because the ones who matter would surely accept us with all our scars and flaws.
I asked these questions to myself a number of times and am trying to make amends necessary to myself. The joy of being ‘YOU’ is immense. The most free and beautiful feeling ever. I just want to be YOU-TI-FUL rather than being BEAUTIFUL because that’s all that ultimately matters.
C- LIFE UNFOLDS BEAUTIFULLY, ALWAYS
I hope you’re in a better place. This might confuse people but I’ll gently unfold myself and anonymously let people know a part of me. I’ve always been a happy-go-lucky person due to which people have always come to me with their insecurities, heartbreaks, problems, and every other possible thing. I’ve always been a shelter to their broken hearts. But I doubt if anybody every actually asked in return if I was doing okay. There was a time when all I did was cried myself to sleep. I had two childhood friends without whom I always thought I could do nothing. A few misunderstandings are more than enough to ruin relationships and friendships. So, life had its own plans. In a month, I lost the touch with people I considered family. However, during all this I stumbled upon a person who gave shelter to this ‘little fellow’ talking to you. I am no atheist, so, I consider that person as a god’s gift. Life changed thereafter, no more crying sessions at night and questioning myself. So, this is a sign for you to believe, no matter what, you will find the person. The person who will understand you, believe in you more than you believe in yourself, and accept all your insecurities. All I would say is never let people tell who you’re, and please patiently let people come in with all the love and warmth. They will surely change you for good and accept you the way you are. I have had a first-hand experience, and ever since my perspective towards life and love has completely changed. We grow and learn a lot of things with time. You’ll always be loved by your people; you just need to wait for them to discover you.
Every person that I came across in life, made me realise that I am not alone. It made me believe that what I feel isn’t something just made up by my mind, it exists and doesn’t have to make sense to anyone else. It takes so much courage to talk about it partly owing to our previous experiences of venting it out in front of people who weren’t sensitive and partly because of our fear of being judged. There’s no pressure to speak up, you can choose your pace and time, but make sure not to keep it inside you, especially when it drains you out. Vent it out in any form, write, draw or talk to anyone- even the mirror, objects or people. The world could probably become a kinder place to live in.
This article is a contribution by a young writer Riddhi Vadhel who is a student of BBA-MBA integrated course and has just started volunteering with us. We believe she is exceptionally good at her style of writing and writes flawlessly with her own experience around mental and emotional health. We encourage such young talents to let their thoughts out.
Edits: Team Lucid Mind