So, as I finally achieved my space and that too peacefully (as much as possible), I learnt couple of things in the process.
1. Honesty is a long road. It’s rough and patchy too. But, in the end, it has great rewards. I wanted to live separately. For a long time. And, because it was a ‘solution’ in my mind, it used to crop up in my mind whenever there was a feud at home. But, because I was honest to myself, I knew that I’m just looking for an escape. In all those occasions, I never accepted this course of action. I cried a lot, I got hurt a lot but I accepted the truth and my mistakes.
In the end, when it finally happened, I knew right from my heart, that I have done my bit. I have tried my level best to make it work and it is not working for me anymore. ‘I am guilt-free’. I don’t feel guilty of breaking a family. I don’t feel guilty of dividing a son from his parents. And because I was honest all this long, my husband knows today that I’m not faking it. He stands by me now only because he knows I’m and have been honest.
2. Breaking relations is always easy, keeping them is difficult:
So many children break apart from their parents. Parting is never easy on parents. No matter what the conditions or reasons are. But, understanding that part is important. Children need to make a conscious effort, keep their wishes/issues/problems at the back and give importance to their parents’ feelings to be able to keep that relation.
Tarun very maturely handled it. He never discussed the minute issues that caused the rift. He didn’t hide the fact but he didn’t detail it either. I was not involved in the discussions that he had with his parents because he knew that my mental state wouldn’t allow me to remain calm. And that helped big-time. All the outbursts happened between the parents and himself. Some may call it manipulation, some may call it being dishonest. But, I believe that in this case it was The Gita driving us – ‘ If one lie helps you save someone’s life, someone’s feelings, it’s better than a hundred truths.’
There were times when I strongly felt that discussing issues is important and healthy in a family and we should discuss it with them. But, Tarun always said that parents get emotional and their pride gets hurt very easily because they have always been so honest in giving their full to us children. And, it’s true. Parents never do things for themselves. They always have the children’s happiness on their minds all the time. Now, when times are better, I realize that bringing up those minute issues would have only caused discomfort and long-time-hurt in our hearts. Breaking out without opening that Pandora’s box has been the best decision. Because we can now continue to visit them happily. There’s no hurt in anyone’s heart. They see us happy and it makes them happy. They have learnt to make their lives without us and they are finding their happiness in that too. We’re trying our level best to make them feel close and connected always. Whether it is through continuing the family tradition of celebrating anniversaries, birthdays together, or through making a conscious effort and taking them out to movie, or by ensuring that we visit every weekend.
These are all small steps which are helping in healing and maintaining the bond.
3. Relatives, Society, and my parents:
In all this process, I tried to involve my side of the family at the last. I have never been a strong supporter of discussing my marital problems with my Mom/Dad. I feel like that adds to the negativity and brings unnecessary sorrow in their hearts thinking that their daughter is not happy. So, while I was going all through this, I never shared my issues with them. When we had started our dialogues with Tarun’s parents, I then shared with my parents. As expected, they were critical of my decision and weren’t supporting. But, because they understood that Tarun is supporting me they didn’t object vehemently either.
In this complete process, as things unfolded, I found my Mom being the only person supporting my decision ‘openly’. She understood how big a step it was, she understood how hard we were trying to keep things easy for my in-laws, and she understood my need of moving out. And, she openly supported it. Even when her brothers and sisters were feeling shameful on how I had brought dishonor to their family by breaking such a good home. She became my voice and totally supported my decision saying that it is better to get out of a derogatory situation than continuing to live in at be regretful later. The children have given all the financial support to their parents, and are still continuing to do that. They are taking all the burden on themselves. So, they are doing right by trying to work towards their happiness. So, nothing is wrong in that. Just because it is not the societal norm as of now, doesn’t mean it has to be wrong.
It was a major step. And, though I wasn’t looking for support, or least expecting it, I realized I very much needed it in this time.
And, while I faced rejections from my side’s family relations, I found astounding support from Tarun’s relations. All the Buas came forward in supporting and cajoling my MIL in this process. None of them ridiculed her or sent comments to make her feel deserted or anything. They supported her and I am so thankful to all of them for that.
That’s with the society, if it supports you, it makes life so much easier. Just because it has the capacity to make it so much difficult otherwise.
I knew it will not be easy on the 4-yr old. His concept of family is when all 5 of us are together with him (Badi Amma, Chhoti Amma, Daadu, Papa. Mummy) and that was changing. When I broke the news to him, he asked me only 1-2 questions while internalizing all the news. I told him that we would be moving to this new flat, and only the 3 of us would be going there. He asked me where Amma-Daadu would be living and I told him they will continue to live in our old flat. He asked me if I would be leaving him with them? And, I said ‘how would Mumma like without my Anay. Mumma will always be with Anay’.
And that’s all he needed to know. We had to leave him with Amma for one day, while we settled things at the new place and he was very unhappy and cranky there. We got him with us the very next day and he easily moved with us.
The changes have been many. Times have been difficult for him. Both me and Tarun are trying to make it better for him. Time that could be spent at home are being moved to times at a day-care. It’s not likable. It’s not fun. But, a 4-yr old is not cribbing then I would say I am very blessed to have such a 4-yr old. I hope God gives me all the senses to make it worthwhile for him. And, not let him miss on anything. I strongly believe that things will work out in our favor.
Dear God, be with me.