The Empty Pain

I had written about my dad a while back, at that time I was struggling with my thoughts

Hidden Pain

Broken Chains

Today I have a grip on my thoughts and know the answers to most of my question, hence I’m rewriting the blog with a new perspective.

My parent’s marriage was built on a broken promise. My dad had made it clear to my grandma that since he was not working, he could not take the responsibility of a wife. My maternal grandma had promised to look after my dad and take care of him if he got married to my mom. (Even today being a House Husband in India is looked down upon)

My mom was almost 30 and in the 70’s a woman in India had two -three kids by then. Parents did whatever they could to get their kids especially a daughter married (they still do, 55-60% of marriages in India are arranged) Even though India has legally banned dowry, a girl’s parents still gives stuff to the groom or pays for the entire marriage celebrations all in the name of ‘Streedhan’ (Streedhan is the property that a woman gets at the time of her marriage, it differs from Dowry in the way that it is the voluntary gifts given to a woman before or after her marriage and has no element of coercion.)

So, my parents got married and during the reception, my dad got drunk and created a ruckus. This incident pissed everyone from my mom’s family and they decided not to keep him as a House Husband. This infuriated my dad and his family as they thought my mom’s family was to be blamed and vice versa.

I was born sixteen months after they married and during that time my mom kept shuffling between houses. Now my dad lived in a chawl (a large tenement house especially in the cities of India) with his parents. My mom lived in a bungalow with six rooms. It was difficult for my mom to adjust with him and his family and no sooner they would have arguments she would pack her bags and come to her mother’s. This was the story I was fed as a kid and I believed it. Truth be told my mom adjusted well in my dad’s ‘small’ home because this gave her the freedom to indulge in her transgressions. Being a narcissist fidelity was not something she knew about and there used to be a battery of men at her doorstep. Obviously when questioned she would pack her bags and storm off and give a completely different story to her parents. My mom realised she was pregnant only in the eighteen week of the pregnancy and till date does not know who my father is.

When my mom went into labour both my dad and my grandma was bickering over who would pay the hospital bill. My grandma paid the bill finally.

I used to find it strange but neither my mom nor my grandma (forget about my dad), thought of taking swaddling clothes to wrap me up. Today I know the reason, the thought about getting clothes for her baby didn’t cross my mother’s mind, as a result when I was born I was left naked and cold for a few hours. It was only when my dad’s sister visited and seeing the pitiful sight, donated a few hand-me-down swaddling clothes that belonged to her kids, that I was finally wrapped. When I heard about this from my aunt of course (my mom had conveniently forgotten it) I was in a lot of pain. I couldn’t understand how or why a mother would be so careless. Today I do understand it. My mother is a fucking narcissistic bitch.

I had an umbilical hernia at birth, looking at me my dad refused to pick me up saying only the destitute have such diseases and he didn’t want to be contaminated by it. 

My mom got her reason mom started living separately. My maternal grandma used to help my mom to take care of me. My maternal side are a bunch of Narcissists fucks so thats how I grew up among selfishness and ugliness. 

The first time I remember seeing my dad I think I was four years, and he was going to the Gulf for a job. My memory of him is hazy during that time, but I remember I did not like him much. Throughout my childhood years I grew up hearing the story from my grandma and mom about his antics at the wedding reception and how what a good for nothing he was. The gaslighting and brainwashing had started showing on me. There was no bond between us because I perceived him as someone whom my mom and grandma were not fond of. Whenever he came visiting I used to spend some time with him, we used to even write letters to each other when he went abroad but I didn’t miss him, I thought maybe because he kept complaining about my mom and her family and how they had wronged him whenever we met. In reality CPTSD was affecting me. I was numbing to cushion myself from the intense emotional pain I was in.

Later I only looked forward to the gifts he brought me. No child should ever have to go through this bickering between adults because even though they don’t understand it, subconsciously it affects their personality in later years.

When I was ten he had come down for his yearly vacation and I spent time with him since it was my school summer holidays. The one month I spent with him was one which made me realise he was a ne’er-do-well. We lived like vagabonds, always shuttling from one relative’s house to another. The conversations would always be about how my family had done him wrong. All the adults in the family would tell me to bring my estranged parents together. It was too much to process, and I used to break down, for I did not know how to deal with it. Also, to mention I was biased towards my mom and maternal grandma and could hear no one talking in the negative about them. I kept a journal about all the things I didn’t like and so looked forward going home.

One morning, I remember it was the 30th or 31st May 1989. Now the month of May is muggy and sweltering in Mumbai as we have the monsoon’s approaching in June. I was living with my dad’s sister. Her toddler daughter, the maid, and I went for a mid afternoon walk to the market. It was a crowded working weekday at the market and we were strolling around. I came across a toy shop that interested me and I walked in, the maid and my cousin following behind me. I looked around and found myself asking the shopkeeper for a toy. When I reached forward to take the toy from his hand he pulled me towards him caught my nape and planted a wet, slobbery kiss on my cheeks. When I squirmed to free myself I felt him lowering his tongue to my neck below my ear and biting my neck, simultaneously I felt his hands on my boobs  (I was an overweight kid, so I always had a bit of breast). The more I squirmed the more tightly he squeezed my boobs. It all happened in a split second, I froze but somehow I managed to free myself, I remember running and sweating profusely, my neck stinging, my boobs hurting and my heartbeat racing. I was scared.

The maid who was a teenager realised what had happened and told my paternal grandmother. The incident left me with a hickey on my neck and my boobs were bruised. I don’t know if my dad realised what had happened, for he didn’t ask me anything neither did I tell him anything. A few days later he took me back to my mom’s. I didn’t mention a word about this to my mom for subconsciously I didn’t trust her to understand me without blaming me.

After the molestation incident I did not visit my dad. A year and a half later I hit puberty hence mom was cautious of sending me to meet my dad. She went to the extent of saying he would sexually assault me because all he wanted was sex. (Yeah today I know she has a sick mind and she needs help) 

Dad used to come to my school to visit me, which was very embarrassing because I had lied to my classmates and had not informed them he had left his job and was back for good. Not many parents lived separately in the 90’s.

A few years later, mom applied for a divorce, it was close to a decade they had been living separately. When the case came up for hearing my dad refused to take any responsibility for me. He blatantly informed the judge he did not want co-custody of me and he was giving up all his claims. Naturally, mom got my custody along with a divorce.

On being told about the court proceedings I didn’t react. (Emotional numbing due to CPTSD).

We met on numerous occasions later and he told me his part of the story, which made sense but I was numb and I could not forgive him for disowning me. Whatever shit happened between my mom and him was their issue, For me he is my father and as a parent, he should have been there for me, he should have protected me from my mom. Five – Six years back I broke off all contact. I knew he had cancer and was dying but it didn’t matter to me. When he passed away last year I went for the funeral because I wanted to reconnect with my cousins. I tried real hard to feel sad that he is dead, or to cry for him but I could not. His last few days or months was very painful. No one should die like that. I just cant get myself to have any emotions for him. Later I learnt that he left his immovable property to his sister, that hurt me more. Not because I want his property it would have felt nice that at least one of my parent is giving me something. I would have distributed the property among his sisters. His family keeps telling me he loved you so much I fail to understand why didn’t he provide for me and kept me safe. What kind of a twisted love is this?

3 thoughts on “The Empty Pain

  1. You’ve had a very tough life. Somehow you need to forgive and forget and move on. Don’t let the past infect your future. I’m not sure how you manage to do that but I feel it’s critical for you to do it. Sending hugs.

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