Latika had just turned 18 when she was married to a guy 9 years elder to her. She was yet to appear for her board exams, so she came back to her parent’s house. It’s been 2-3days, that she was home. But instead of focusing on her studies, she had been crying for hours together.
She could manage to hide the bite marks on her neck and arms from her mother, which had turned bluish-black by now. Every time she urinates, it would leave her with a burning sensation in her vagina. The first month after getting married, her periods continued for over 2 weeks. She would bleed and her husband would insist to have intercourse when denied he would bite her and masturbate. But not every time she was this fortunate.
Before their first night, Latika’s mother in law had told her son to be nice and gentle to the new bride as she is just a kid. He tried to tame the beast within for initial few weeks but the first time that she was chumming and wasn’t available for him in bed, he found it difficult to hold himself for 5 days. Every month.
After a couple of months, he decided to give up on the wait. He would demand her to be ready for him, every night irrespective of her physical or mental readiness for it. There were times, she couldn’t feel her body below her naval, it would go numb like her brain.
The only person she could confide in was her mother-in-law. Her own husband had died at an early age, leaving 3 boys behind. Because she had sharp and courageous, she managed to take charge of the business gradually. Since that day, she never had a man in her life. Mustering all her courage, she poured her heart to her mother-in-law, one day. Looking at the bite marks and the bruises, she was shaken. It was then decided to send her to her parent’s house until her exams were over, which was still 3 months away.
When her son came to know about this, he was furious. They had a long heated argument till late night but her mother-in-law didn’t shake. She was firm on her stand that the young girl has to finish her exams and need time to focus on her studies. For the first time in the past few months, Latika had felt happy and safe, in her new home.
Now at her mother’s house, she would suddenly get up from her sleep only to realise she was wet with the sweat. She couldn’t breathe well, her throat would run dry. Her mother when came to know the reason tried to pacify her that it is very common and usual part of getting married. She had to learn how to get the best behaviour from her husband. Her husband would give the occasional visits that would leave her shaken as before.
Her mother-in-law, supported her to pursue further studies and as she grew, she could convince her husband to be a bit reasonable in bed. Just when she thought her life was settling down, her husband died in a road accident, while returning from the nearby town. He was riding his motorbike and was heavily under the influence of alcohol. She was 5 months pregnant then.
Latika’s mother-in-law felt like life has gone 20 years back, once again leaving yet another young girl devastated. But she stood like a rock with Latika, who was totally shattered. She pulled her through the pregnancy and helped her with the newborn. Because she herself had gone through those situations, she knew that Latika needs another chance with life. She encouraged her to pick up a job which eventually she got with a private bank at an entry-level. Latika was academically very strong and generally hard-working so took the ladders of success faster than most of the colleagues. Her mother-in-law would insist from time to time that Latika should now consider marrying again as she was only 25yrs. She would often say,
Life is a long road which you have to walk…alone makes it appear even longer!!
Once bitten, twice shy was her situation. There were guys in her office who would make passes at her, unaware of her background, and she wouldn’t pay any attention to them. While she had made peace with her life, her mother in law wasn’t willing to give up. Not yet!!
She spoke with her now, eldest son if he would consider marrying Latika. It wasn’t an easy situation, not a usual situation too. All these years, though he had admired her beauty and courage but as his brother’s wife. He was looking after the family business after his brother’s death, would often play with the little nephew while Latika would attend her job. But he had never thought of her with that perspective. That evening when she came back from work, she noticed his brother-in-law looking at her several times with a little lost expression. She couldn’t understand if he was looking at her or through her.
When Latika came to know about the discussion that had happened between the two, she felt humiliated and embarrassed. She cried in her mother-in-law’s lap, told her how she felt like an object. Begged her not to put her in an awkward situation. Convinced her that she was happy staying with her and doing her job and that she should get him married outside, elsewhere with someone of his choice.
Year’s later, today Latika a living his life with her mother-in-law and her 15 yrs old son, she is working at a zonal position with a reputed MNC bank. She didn’t marry again, she laughs and says,
Once was enough for the lifetime!!
I am thankful to her for allowing me to share this story with the world. All the times that I met her, I found a strong woman who survived through a marital rape at an early age and took the courage to live life on her terms. All she needed was a bit of support, which fortunately she found in her mother-in-law!!
PS: This is a true story of a banking professional that I met while doing my research work. I totally respect her desire to be anonymous, but it’s important to share her struggle & success story with those who need inspiration in life. This story has two heroes, which one is yours? Please do let us know.
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Me & My Hero!
#maritalrape, #abuse, #selfbelief
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