One fine morning I received a letter in my mail. In my 10 years of career as a psychiatrist and working as an agony aunt in a leading magazine I hadn’t come across anything like this letter. Below is the exact content of the letter that I received.
I know you are a very good psychiatrist, I follow your column in papers and also regularly read the advices that you provide as an agony aunt. I know you have helped a lot of people by giving them guidance and leading them towards the right path in their life. It’s with the same faith and hope that I turn to you during this hour of despair in my life. I want you to advise me because I don’t think that I can decide for myself at this cross road in my life. But before you can advise me I want you to listen to the entire story of my life. Have patience please, because this is a desperate woman’s plea. This is the confession of a murderer.
I would be considered a bad omen had I been born in any home other than Mary’s because the month that I was born, my dad was killed in a car crash. It was a freak accident, an accident that was not supposed to happen, an accident in which my dad was not supposed to die. But die, he did. And many of the so called friends and relatives came to Mary, my mother, and said to abandon me. They said I was bad luck to the entire family. But Mary was the finest and a very wise woman. In fact everyone’s anger brought her closer to me and she protected me as only a mother can. Slowly but gradually our luck changed for the better, Mary got a job in a bank. She met another man, George, who seemed to be a nice gentleman. They fell in love with each other and soon they got married. I found a father figure in George and all though he seemed to be distant, he was a kind enough man. Mary and George had a little boy whom they named Philip. Philip was my soul brother, my partner in happy and bad times. We were the 2 musketeers who never felt the need for the third one because we were so happy with each other.
I was 6 and Philip was 4 when the world shattered and fell around me. George was a chief mechanical engineer in a factory site, but he was a very negligent worker. One day a labourer in his factory became victim to George’s negligence. There was a mishap at the factory and the labourer lost his limbs. George was blamed for it and he was fired from his job, escaping legal charges by a hair’s breadth. Initially he was optimistic that he would get a job somewhere else but as news of this accident spread, no one was ready to offer him a job. His reputation preceded him where ever he went with his resume. Soon George felt dejected and he found solace in the bottle, he took to drinking heavily. At the home front too, things were not looking good. Mary tried to console George but he rebuffed any help or guidance. Mary started spending more and more hours at the bank. After all she had to provide for the entire family, she was the sole bread earner. Obviously, this did not go well with George.
I still remember that night; it was a cold and sultry night. Mary was as usual working late at the bank. I and Philip were alone in our house. George came in more drunk than usual. He was so drunk that he could not walk properly, his words were slurred. As he sat in the couch, I saw a strange gleam in his eyes. In his intoxicated state, his eyes fell on me and I swear that I saw the demon in his eyes that day. He dragged Philip and locked him in the next room. And he raped me. He raped me in the house that I was born and brought up, in the house that I spent the first 6 years of my life. He forced himself on me and that day he not only broke my body but my spirit and soul were broken into thousand pieces. My innocent mind did not know what happened to me, but I knew it was something bad and horrible. After he was done, George warned me not to open my mouth in front of Mary or anyone else, otherwise he would kill my mother and Philip. I very well believed that he could. George went out of the house and dint return that night. Neither did Mary. I had only Philip to comfort me and although neither of us understood what happened, he held me that day, wiped away my tears and hugged me until I cried myself to sleep. The next day when George returned home he did not meet my eyes. Mary also returned in the morning but she was distant, in a far off world. She seemed to be distracted and edgy; I feared that she was losing sanity. She didn’t notice my bruises, my silent cries for help.
After almost a week, George came to my bedroom at night and forced me to have sex with him. Again that night Mary was not at home. After many years I learnt that Mary was having an affair with her colleague at the time I was abused at home. Maybe this was the reason that she was never at home. My nightmare continued for the next 4 years. My body and my mind were badly battered and I went into severe depression. I was just a child and I dint fully understand what was happening. I could tell no one, except for Philip who didn’t understand a word of what I said. But still he held my hand when I cried and when I was hurt he hugged me till my sobs subsided.
Do I blame Mary for what happened to me? Yes, I do. I don’t want to dwell much on that line of thought, but I sincerely believe that as parents we have responsibilities towards our children. And if the person is not able to fulfil it then he or she has no right to become a parent. When I needed my mother the most, she was not there and that was it. Period.
When I was 10 the abuse stopped abruptly. It was as if George had enough of me one day or maybe his conscience pricked him. But my guess would be that, he was scared that I would start menstruating and become pregnant. Whatever the reason I became free from abuse and I breathed a sigh of relief. My life turned better too. When I turned 15, I left my house and started living independently. I waitressed at the local restaurant and saved enough for my college. After my graduation, I got a job as a financial analyst. The pay was good and finally I felt that my life couldn’t be better. But God had even better plans for me because he made me meet Keith, the only love of my life.
Keith was my colleague and he was the most kind and thoughtful man I have met. I thought that after my nightmare, I would not be able to trust any man in my life, would never be able to have a happy married life. But Keith proved everything to be false. His love for me made me want to trust him, made me want to live my life with him, made me want to love him back with equal honesty.
Very soon I and Keith got married, we were sure that we were meant for each other. So we didn’t want to waste time on courtship. During this time, Mary and George were living separately but were still married to each other. I made sure that George was not invited to the marriage. I dint want to see his face on the happiest day of my life. And since Mary dint care much for him either, she didn’t question his absence. Philip was the best man and he looked the second most handsome man that day in church. Of course the first was Keith.
Life with Keith was exceptionally beautiful and I had almost forgotten my childhood bruises when my world shattered again. And this time the pieces were broken never to be built again.
To be continued...