I’m Hritika, 21 Years old living in a small village in India.
People tell me that they envy me because I live around beautiful landscapes but I cannot wait to get as far away from here as possible, there is an ugly part about being born and raised in a village. No matter how much I love my family and I try, I really try to see the beautiful parts of it and ignore the ugly ones, but it gets hard when your worth is decided by the kind of job your husband has and if you’re not married till 20, you must be characterless or there must be something wrong with you.
I have been struggling with suicidal thoughts for more than 5 Years. there is this constant voice in my head that pushes me to the edge, urges me to give up, and just end this misery (one of my friends from the village took her life for the same).
I have been escaping reality through my imagination, TV shows, books, and movies, these unreal worlds have been my heaven for so long that I no longer know how to survive without them.
I struggled since I started forming my opinion based on the outside world and the world that I was living in; having my periods and was treated as some “untouchable disease”, had to follow these rules, listened to EVERYONE talking about women as an object and someone who’s supposed to be submissive to the men in her lives, listening to the marriage proposal my nani was telling my father about when I was only 15 and OVERTHINKING EVERYTHING. But I had faith that my well-educated parents would understand me and will NEVER do what others do, just for the sake of the society.
I was 19 and my parents tried to force me to marry someone I barely knew, that was the first time I took my heart out in front of them and told them that I’m not in the right state of mind to start a new life when my mind is a mess, I’m not even sure if I believe in marriage and I want to be self-independent first, everything a girl says in the movies and her parents understands. They did everything they could; emotionally blackmail and said some horrible things about being a woman and not getting married, it only made me disguise their mentality.
My father told me that “I would rot and die alone if I don’t marry this person” as well as other horrible things that I don’t even want to think about. Till then I thought high school was the worst part of my life, but the helplessness I felt during this year is just indescribable. Not even a single soul in my entire family listened to me, they didn’t even try to ask me if I want it or not, everyone just kept forcing this decision on me and I was so frustrated with their voices and the voice inside my head that I ran away.
I never went anywhere besides the local market alone and I ran away to Delhi, I had a plan and I’m so grateful for my friends who helped me but then, at Delhi station, my nanji (my nani’s brother) along with my mama were waiting for me, they traced my phone and waited there all night. I shouldn’t say this but I felt a relief seeing them and for the first time in a year I had someone who understood me without even listening. My nanaji who lives in Delhi scolded my parents for doing this without my consent and they told them to cancel the marriage or they would not send me back home, IT WAS A RELIEF. I spent February in their house. It was lonely because everyone was at work but I felt safe there, I felt like I’m sleeping somewhere in my body and my body is in autopilot mode, I felt the same for a year.
When I got back home they STILL started persuading me for marriage!! I then realized that society is all they cared about and I was JUST A GIRL. I refused to marry and became a burden to them, a shame to the entire family tree, everyone would come to my face and say stuff I don’t think should exist in the 21st century. I’m still living in the house. I still struggle with the voice but now I have hopes and motives for my future. But living here feels like a part of my soul is decaying somewhere and I need to get out as soon as possible because I need my mental peace and I’ve talked about this thousand times to them but in their dictionary mental instability is just an excuse and praying can solve everything.
I stopped binge-watching TV shows to face reality and get my shit together.I feel worthless every day and I convince myself that I’m worth every single breath I take.
If my voice would ever matter, I would use it to tell the women in every small village of India that they are worth every single decision they make for THEMSELVES, and they should not feel or make other women feel guilty for thinking about themselves before the society or their husband.
My mother doesn’t even eat before my father, you can imagine how low their self worth is forced to be.