The Stigma of Menstruation.

This is an explicit post. However, I have been struggling with this for the past 9 years and I have to voice it out. There were many days where it made me feel like “why am I even born a woman?” Some may agree to this and some may disagree but nevertheless, this is something I feel that I have to voice out. The thoughts have been lurking within me for years and it just irks me. Today, I just broke down in tears. I just needed to voice it out.

Question: WHY DO MOST INDIAN PARENTS FREAK OUT AND MAKE IT A BIG ISSUE WHEN THEY SEE A MENSTRUAL PAD OR/AND BECOMES EXTRA CAUTIOUS DURING THE MENSTRUATION MONTH?

I get it. It’s not a nice sight to see a pad just lying there but it’s wrapped in a paper and plastic. How does it even affect humans or/and the environment? There is global warming, people throw rubbish everywhere, there are still water pollution and air pollution and there are oil leakages almost everywhere in the sea now. And of all things to be worried about in this world, why do they find this to freak out about? I don’t get it. Does it even affect mother nature?

We, Women, tend to forget too. We forget to throw the pad away and perhaps, take our time to throw it away [the reason why we wrap it in a paper and plastic]. Yet when that happens accidentally, they are quick to label it as dirty and bad vibes during that time of the month. It’s not on purpose. They make it seem like being a woman is a curse or we’re some kind of an omen every month.

I feel that this whole “oh it’s dirty”, “oh it’s not good for the house.”, “oh the blood is bad.”, “oh it brings bad luck if someone sees it.”, “Oh you can’t go into the prayer room to pray.” is utterly ridiculous. This whole concept in Hinduism wasn’t there in the first place. How did this come about? What happened during the days before pads were even made?

Question: IF I CAN’T GO INTO THE PRAYER ROOM OR TEMPLE? WASN’T HE THE ONE THAT MADE ME THIS WAY? BUT I’M TOO DIRTY DURING MENSTRUATION TO GO IN TO PRAY?

We, Women, were born this way and we didn’t ask for it. Nobody can justify or argue this fact.

It’s natural for us to bleed and it’s not dirty. We are not dirty. I’m the type whom emphasises on hygiene and cleanliness but i strongly don’t support the fact that we, women, are treated like we have some kind of disease. It’s not fair. This is normal.

In this generation, parents should come to this understanding that we also have our days of exhaustion and tiredness, we tend to forget or delay the time to throw it away. It’s not on purpose. Of all people, mothers supposed to be understanding. Stop being stuck at the stigma of women’s bleeding, their pads or menstruation as a whole. Support your daughters, sisters, friends, girlfriend. Support them instead of putting them down. Stop being angry at them, nag at them and make them feel disgusted of themselves. We are already in so much of pain and emotion during period. We have the tendency to explode in emotions. Stop adding on to it.

So what if your sons or the neighbours see it? So what? Is this out of the norm? Why don’t you’ll teach your sons that this is normal? This is something sacred and it’s not dirty. It’s just really hurting for us of how Indian parents just behave a certain way. You’ll shouldn’t make us feel embarrassed about it and emphasise it negatively for something natural.

Just because we were born as a Woman, we have to behave a certain way or do things a certain way.

Stop reacting negatively.

Trust broken

Rebuilding trust when it’s been broken is not dependent only on the person who has broken it, or how many times they can prove they are honest. It depends on the person who has decided not to trust anymore. Though they may be totally justified in their decision not to trust, as long as they choose not to, the relationship has no hope of survival and should be ended. If or when they decide to trust again, there is hope reborn – Doe Zantamata

This quote is 100 percent true. Trust rebuilding is not the duty of one person but two person regardless whether it is family, friendship, relationship or anyone. It is easy to break someone’s trust within a split second but it is near to impossible to gain back the same trust.

However, it’s unfair for someone to break a trust and expect the other to trust them back the next moment. Whereas, it is also unfair for someone to keep pushing away the other for trying to gain back their trust. All i’m trying to say is; Trust is a two-ways street. It only works when two parties work together. If i am expecting it from you, you can expect 100% from me as well.

It is going to be tough to rebuild the trust because i’ve been bashed up mentally and emotionally by uncountable people in my life that the impact has been etched on till today. With that said, i also blame myself for putting myself in such positions for others to break my trust i have for them. If i trust you, it’s a big deal. If you break it, i can’t help you.

The fear (of getting hurt and stop believing your loved ones) just keeps building up to a point where i started protecting my loved ones from breaking my trust because i know that it is going to be so difficult for me to believe them again. I have self-awareness and i know myself very well. It was not easy for me then and it is not easy for me now. but i hope it would be easy for me in the future.

One person, just one person in this world to prove me wrong that not everyone is the same. That one person who knows I am emotional, sensitive and vulnerable and I hurt easily and that person will never hurt me or take me for granted. That person can be someone from my past, in the present right now or maybe in the future but all i want is to be proved wrong.

However, it is also my part to give chances but what if i gave in so much already? Thus, I am going to doubt, i am going to fear. But i know that one day, i’ll be able to overcome my trust issues. I will also make the effort but it is going to be difficult. It’s not going to be easy.

 

Pain

Everyone goes through different kinds of pain in their lives.
Everyone has a story to express.
But I have no story.
Perhaps, I do.
But I just don’t know what is my story.
I get lost in my own musings.
And what keeps me alive?
My family,
The one I love.

I still feel suicidal at times.
The loudness of those voices in my head,
it’s unbearable.
Every night is a struggle.

Thereupon, I think of you.
I feel better.
The voices stop.

This time,
Last year,
I had no reason to my life.
This year,
I do.
You.

But I could hear myself internally screaming.
The demon within me.
It reprimands me.
“You are not living for anyone.
You should just not live anymore.”
The constant battle between me and my demon
is getting out of hands day by day.

I am afraid that one day,
My demon might conquer my soul.
What if that day,
The oxygen that I’ve been gasping for
would defunct my breathing forever?

At odd times of the day,
I become breathless.
My heart gets heavy.
Often anxiety attacks.
Waking up to teary-stained pillows.
Some days, I get so dependent on sleeping pills.
I would have cravings for alcohol.
My worst craving: to hurt myself.
It became an addiction.
At this very moment, I’m craving for it.
I’m controlling.
It just gets tougher.

I thought I’ll overcome this soon.
But it’s never ending..
I do have lifelines to go to for help.
But I just don’t want to disturb anyone.
Different people has different perspectives of advices.

I can’t even help myself.
How would someone help me?
I can’t fix myself.
How would someone fix me?

However,
I get a little satisfaction when I help someone.
It makes me feel that at least
I have the ability to aid someone’s pain.
It is a priceless feeling.
Yes.
I’m a complicated paradox.

– H.

Inner Demons

To whoever that comes across this write-up, first of all, thank you. Secondly, the topic that you’re about read is something extremely personal which i don’t favour to talk about but today, i felt like talking about it. This write-up is neither about creating sympathy nor to offend anyone. What you are about to read is about my experience and what i feel like saying in my opinion.

So here it goes, it is exactly about 7 months ago that i discovered that I am battling depression. Depression. Woah, it’s a frightening word (for me). Honestly, never did i imagine that I’ll be going through it or even writing about it in my blog. Never. You know, some things are meant to happen in life. But i got to say, it is a helluva roller coaster ride.

A short description about me: I am a shy and a socially awkward kid since young who gets bullied for my weight but was always bubbly and curious to learn about everything. However, I am sensitive and emotional but I know my mind very well. I tend to take certain things seriously but I don’t show it at times. I was a girl who wanted to change to fit in(I failed in that too. nobody still liked me.) but although I was an average kid, I eventually realized my capabilities and stop trying. My past was a nightmare(One of the reasons which lead to my depression). Some things are better left unsaid. I’ve tried so much to let go of my past but it got stuck to me like a venom. A venom which slowly crept into me and engulfed my mind and soul. Over time, I became an over-thinker. I think a lot. Every second, there is something running in my head. But you know, i have accepted myself for who i am. This is me and this is who i am. I always find ways to prevent my flaws to conquer me yet something unexpected started happening to me which i didn’t see it coming at all.

Everything was going alright in my life when i came into polytechnic. I overcame my fears, my social awkwardness(slightly) and slowly building up my confidence. I was part of a troupe which allowed me to expose into the world of arts. I have always wanted to do arts and something i have always been passionate about. Like i said, everything was going smoothly because from who i was 5 years back and now, i am thankful to god for constantly giving me opportunities to continuously chasing my dreams in something i love and gain experiences. I also got motivated to lead a healthy lifestyle and i’m slowly losing weight. I am blessed and happy. Thank you for that god. Until…

It was mid of february, I suddenly had to battle with myself; my angel or demon whatever they call that. My emotions started playing a big part in this. I suddenly felt the void in me. The pettish feeling in my stomach. I felt extremely lost within myself. There were times i would start crying for no reason.. i would run to the toilet just to cry because thereafter, i had to face many people and have to totally be okay around them. I didn’t want to portray myself as this weak person. So, i had a brave upfront at all times whether is it with family or friends. Especially my family. Being a daughter who didn’t wanted to worry her parents and to let them know that i am totally fine, i had to act at home that i am perfectly contented in life. There are days i don’t feel like waking up at all. Every morning is a struggle. I had to force myself to get up and start the day but i have no direction, no motivation and no drive to anything. I felt like a dead soul walking around.

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Photo: tumblr

There are days, i feel so pointless to be even alive. It’s a constant battle between my demon and me. At times, it won over me. I used to take pills to go to sleep and feeling stoned the next day. I craved for alcohol more than food. I was suffocated by my own thoughts. There are times i can’t breathe. It felt like i need oxygen. I knew it wasn’t me at all. I knew i lose myself already. I lost Hamsavalli Dorairaju. The only thing that kept me going is my passion for arts; acting, dancing and being involved in various roles in productions.

My room heard my loud mind and the toilet felt my tears. That is how my life has been going. It was during april where i came across an interview by an actress i love watching on screen whom have been struggling with depression last year. Before i even watched her interview, i still had no idea what was going on with me and i barely knew what depression was all about. So, at the end of the interview, i realized i was crying profusely throughout the whole interview. That was when i realize there was something unusual was going on with me. I lost myself. I was in denial that what i am going through is depression. So, after a few days, i met up with a coursemate at starbucks.  We were quite close then and i felt like sharing what was going on. She immediately told me to go and see the school councellor that she was going to.  I contemplated and pushed myself to go for it and help myself. That’s when i came to know Ms Carol. I went for my first session. I poured out everything. At the end of the session, i asked her, “so what is wrong with me?” and then she explained that i am going through a trauma of my past and depression. I broke down. I knew this was what i am going to hear but i was still on denial. However, i managed to accept it.

In amidst of this 7 months of hell, when i was out and about doing my tasks given, going for drama and dance class, occupying myself with a lot of commitments, i was okay. I was completely normal for about two months. I swept my feelings under the carpet because i kept myself so busy that i didn’t had to time to think for myself(which i wanted.. not complaining). I didn’t had time to go for my sessions at all. In fact, i thought i was okay already. One day, i went into relapse suddenly one night. And it continued to haunt me again. Like again, i was okay then i’m not okay. It was like a roller coaster. I was daunted all over again. I am continuously going on relapse. One of the month(I can’t remember), i went for an appointment and Ms Carol wanted me to close my chapters (which I was affected in the past) one at a time but i have no time. I have school and i have errands to do after school. When i’m free, she not free and vice versa. So, i’ve stopped going for my sessions. Moreover, last month or so, i met up with a new friend and she was talking to me about how she battled depression for three years. After hearing that, i was so happy for her that she had overcome it without any medical help and with only loved ones support. It was nice to hear and i told myself that i will get through this one day as well.

It is the 25th of October 2015. It has been 7 months already. I am still battling with my depression. I still have nobody to go to at the end of the day. And again, i’m not trying to make it seem like i’m a loner but yeah, i just don’t have anybody to go to. I don’t have much of a good support system. I’m still clueless about how to gain that support system whether is it from me or others. I still yearn for love and support. It’s not about what i have or don’t have. Depression isn’t about that. It’s kinda scary that it creeps on you any moment. For instance, i can be a room full of people but feeling lost and empty. Honestly, i would never want anyone to go through this because it’s hell.

I am very sure that there are lots of people out there who feels this way. You are not alone in this. If anyone out there who has a daughter/son or even your friend whom you know that he/she is going through depression. Please help them. They need your help very badly. Help them realize that they need help. Don’t ever mistake them for trying to get attention. No, don’t ever think like that. That is when they need you the most. They need your moral support. You don’t need to help them financially or anything. Just assure them that you’ll be there during their bad phase. Sometimes they don’t realize what is going on around their surroundings. Don’t scold them for being a pussy in the name of support or pushing them because you are not making them feel better but worse. They are fighters but every soldier in a war need his other soldiers team to fight with him as well. Depression is like a war. If possible, guide them and fight the depression away with them. Give them countless love, radiate positivity around them and make them feel important. Don’t forget to give them a big hug the next time you see them.

Finally, i’ve come to the end of my write-up. If you’re still reading this, once again, thank you for hearing me out. I just hope i will find my way out of this. In fact, i am finding myself and retrieving myself back through self musings as i can’t afford for a therapist. I hope to get love and support throughout this journey. And not forgetting, my own support. I believe that i will get through this.

P.S. If i had offended anyone in this post, please pardon me. This whole write-up was thoroughly in my opinion. After posting this, i don’t care what others going to think about me or what they are going to judge me for. Either if i talk or don’t talk about it, people are still going to judge. So why not i take the risk? Cheers.

 

Hamsavalli D.

The world i would rather be in. 

A place where i would rather be at with me, myself and I..
The sound of  the ethereal waves will give me chills which passes through my veins…
The wind blows as I slowly drown myself into my own world..
It would leave my whole body numb with an icy cold feeling..
As I close my eyes, I would see a world I would rather be in..

H.