Just the word ‘love’ puts a smile across your face. It all feels rosy, great and secure to have someone around you who will be there, doesn’t it?
I used to feel the same. He always used to be there when I needed him. He used to make me smile even in my worst times. He was my friend first and that's what made me love him more. But I never knew things could change so quickly.
We were in our final year of college and it was a chaotic situation. Everybody was busy applying for jobs, and the placement fever was running high in the campus.
My boyfriend and I used to have a live-in relationship and so we used to prepare for exams and placements together. Companies after companies came, I got selected in one, but applied to another company for a better job. But my boyfriend, on the other hand, was struggling to get even one decent job, and couldn’t cope with the pressure.
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But after repeated attempts when he could not clear an interview, he started getting more and more irritable. No matter how hard I tried to cheer him up, he just wasn't ready to listen. Instead, he listened to his friends who would always say that I used his time up and that's why he couldn't find himself a job.
Then came the day when my dream company came to our campus for placements. Although mobile phones were prohibited, I still took my phone with me because my boyfriend insisted. He asked me answers to most of the questions and I did my best to tell him, despite the fact that I was also writing the test and wanted to get in really bad. Due to lack of time, I couldn't send him answers to 5 of the questions, and when the results came out, I was selected and my boyfriend wasn't. That was the turning point to a big downfall.
To cheer him up after returning home, I cooked him his favourite dish. But this time again he came home after listening to his friends and I could sense that he was angry. I placed our plates and served him lunch, but he threw everything down, smashing all the plates. And then my boyfriend slapped me, a really hard, rough one that hurt A LOT. I was just recovering from the shock when he took his belt off and he hit me with it. I just didn't know how to react. My head was reeling with shock and my mind went blank. I couldn't even shout or speak and he continued hitting me hard. Tears were running down my face and I was just silent...
If you had known me in college, you would know that I was always the outspoken one, a true feminist by heart. I just couldn't tolerate any girl facing any kind of discrimination because I was brought up that way.
But when this was happening to me, I was so shocked that I couldn't react. He had no guilt, and he just left after hitting me black and blue. I was unable to comprehend anything, and didn’t know how to react at all. I had no idea what to do and couldn’t really even grasp why this had happened to me.
After some introspection, I decided that enough is enough. No matter how depressed a person is, if a person can become this violent and abusive, then not only is he never going to change, but he’s also going to get worse. It wasn’t easy, but I thought it was better to let go of him.
The next day, I went to college, called my boyfriend crying over phone and begged to meet him. I then called all my classmates and, of course, his friends, on the pretext of planning a get together party since it was our last year. And then he came… Everyone was present and busy talking to each other. As he entered, and our eyes met… I moved closer to him and thud came the sound. Yes, I slapped him, and I kept slapping him.
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Everyone was dumbstruck and there was pin drop silence... Then, as some of them tried to intervene, I opened my mouth. The very silence that was haunting me just broke and I said, ‘Hope you know how it feels to be beat by someone.’ And turning towards his friends, I said, ‘Thanks for this, and ruining it all.’ And I left.
I know it was wrong to publicly slap him but it was needed so that he doesn't ever think of doing it again to any other girl. I loved him, but that day taught me that self respect is very important in a relationship and if that isn’t there, then you just need to walk out. Living in an abusive relationship is like a crime, not because you’re tolerating it but because you are encouraging the person to repeat it. I just hope this story helps helps every woman speak up against abuse, because it’s your body and no one except you has a right on it.
*Name changed to protect privacy.
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Published on Oct 24, 2016