Total 47 Stories

  • 01 Jan
    Shiva Raman Pandey

    Diary of a teen mom

    Diary of a teen mom

     

    Today is the second birthday of my son Samar. When I go to my part-time college classes, people can hardly guess that I am a mother. It feels strangely weird. I am glad that people can’t guess but I also feel robbed of my identity.

    Its been almost two years since that horrible day when Akhil broke up with me. We had been having a relationship for a while, and recently he had asked me to get physical. I do not blame any of us at all. The intimacy was good and it bought us closer. However, I did not know much about birth control options and he would use the condom on and off, assuring me that he was mindful of my period cycle and planning it accordingly and that nothing would happen.

    But it did. I missed my period. In India, it is so difficult to get a non-judgemental gynaecologist. I remember how that test came positive, following which I went to the doctor and she gave me a moral lecture. How do these doctors forget that the male partner is equally responsible? They put it so easily on women. If we had been educated of birth control options instead of all the moralizing, I would have been better off.

    I told Akhil and of course, like the typical Indian man, he walked off. I was beyond myself with tears. I remember my sleepless nights. Finally, my mom asked me what the matter was, and not able to keep it inside me anymore, I told her all of it. She was shocked, but she thought quickly on her feet. The useless doctor I went to did not even tell me about abortion options and the two months had already passed. My mom immediately took me to our Shimla hill house, and I stayed there till my delivery. We submitted an ill-health application in my bill and extended my admission.

    The toughest part was Dad. He never really looked me the same. My mom understood it would be tough to change his mind, so she just got me a rented apartment and visited me often. I thought initially that I may hate the child for all the consequences I am facing, but one look at Samar and all my anger would fade away. He is the joy of my life. Soon he will start going to school, mom and son both will study, I think, and smile.

    I think sometimes of the hypocritical society India is. We want girls to get married at 16 and 18 and have children, but look at the attitude people have towards me and my child. Just because once silly contract and one man is missing (who would have gobbled up tons of dowry, no doubt). I have decided, I am not going to define myself through societal standards. I love my son and we will live life for and with each other. I don’t care for anyone who may look at my child with anything less than affection.

  • 20 Dec
    Shiva Raman Pandey

    My ugly nose

    My ugly nose

    A lot of us are unsatisfied with the way we look. We want to be taller, fairer, and thinner. But all this is just idle talk for most people – grumbling about weight loss while devouring a fried snack. But what if some aspect of how you look becomes a constant fixation.

     If you meet all my friends and find out what I spoke to all of them in common, you would find that I have asked them all for their opinion on my nose. Is it crooked or straight? Are they sure it is straight?

    I don’t know when I started obsessing about my nose. It probably began when I was entering teenage. I remember my father saying when I was a child that if I made any noise at all, he would hit my nose and make it crooked. Needless to say, I was terrified and wouldn’t say a word in front of him.

    Initially, I would just check the mirror again and again, to see if the reflection had changed. Then, slowly, I started to ask people as I was no longer sure what I was seeing were real. People agreed with me, and some disagreed as well. It was all very confusing.

    One day, at the height of my anxiety about how I look, I decided to hammer my nose back into it’s place. My roommate walked in as I was about to damage my nose and then took me to the emergency section of the hostel. After a while, the college counselor came to see me. She explained that I had body dysmoprhic disorder, a fixation that one’s particular body part was not alright.

    Slowly, we worked around issues of my father and how the way he was with me may have affected my upbringing and led me to have this disorder. We channelized some of the aggression I felt towards my father and also slowly changed the absoluteness of my thoughts regarding my looks.

    I am still in therapy and treatment is far from over. But I feel much better these days.

  • 20 Dec
    Shiva Raman Pandey

    My beliefs were wrong

    My beliefs were wrong

    Belief is very important to humans. We all believe in something that keeps us going. For some, belief in God is important, for others, belief in themselves. But what happens if your beliefs are wrong?

     

    As my children grew up and spent long days in college, I started to feel more and more alone. Slowly, I lost the energy to do my daily tasks and could no longer enjoy the tasks I used to before.

     

     My daughter suggested that I may be depressed and that I should go to a doctor. She offered to take me many times but did not want to force me and I didn’t say yes.

     

    My husband was always travelling for work, ever since we got married. However, it was only lately that I started doubting that there might be another woman in his life.

    My depression made me feel all these thoughts I was having must be true, and that I was no longer an enjoyable partner.

     

    I was convinced to the extent that I had stopped eating regularly and fainted out of weakness one day. Then my children took me to Nagpur where we have our family home and of which I have many happy memories. My husband came to. We went to a good clinic there and they said that I had delusional disorder.

     

    They said it was very common for this to occur if the partner was absent during depression. My husband felt extremely guilty and requested his office to give him a steady position in Nagpur.

     Currently I am staying with him in our old family house, and with medication and therapy, am able to deal with the delusional belief I had about him being unfaithful. Things are slowly getting better.

  • 20 Dec
    Shiva Raman Pandey

    I hate school

    School phobia

    Today’s times are so different from the time I was a child. Back then, we had no choices like today. Life was simpler. If your mom says you had to go to school, you just had to. Being bought up like that, I could not understand or accept it when my son Adi had school refusal. It was so strange and difficult. Everyday there was some new excuse, but somehow we coaxed him. He cried and thrashed around but we made him go. One day, he just refused to go, no matter how much coaxing or threatening.

    I was getting late for office and so was his dad, but when we saw him like that, we got really scared. We took him to a doctor for check-up. The doctor said Adi is physically fine. But something is troubling him, he said. Something about the school must be troubling him. He sent us to a child psychologist.

    She spoke to us at first, then spent an hour alone with him, and called us back in again. Adi looked much more relaxed. She asked him to wait outside. She told us that his best friend had died, did we know? We were shocked. He never mentioned it to us. Adi’s best friend Rahul had a troubled home and was thrashed a lot by his father. Reportedly, he had sought help from the teachers at school but no one did anything. Ever since the news came to Adi that one of the beatings had been fatal and Raul had passed away, Adi had quite obviously hated his school.

    We were so busy, we did not notice that he had stopped mentioning Rahul, and neither did we see his mood changing. We felt really ashamed. Earning money was important but not so important that we don’t give a good life to the one we are earning it for. We resolved to be better parents and entered therapy ourselves and got better with our communication and parenting skills. After counseling, when Adi was better, we also changed his school. We are a much happier family now.

  • 20 Dec
    Shiva Raman Pandey

    Sleep Walking

    Sleep Walking

    I was the epitome of calmness. No incident was bad enough to anger me beyond control or impulsively. We underwent huge financial crisis and I lost my mom and dad, and of course, I cried like any child would, but I had a grip on myself and was back to normal pretty soon. I surely felt it all inside me, but I was able to study and work just fine.

    It was only me and my brother and bhabhi at home now, with my parents gone. One morning, I woke up to find myself not in my bed but on the lobby bench. How did I get here? I was really puzzled. The next day, I woke up with a knife in my hand.

    I and my brother were really worried. He said I used to get up in the middle of the night and go out. He was scared for my safety so he had double-locked the door. Angry at the locked door, I had picked up a knife from the kitchen. My brother tried taking it from my hand, but that just made me angry, so he gently put me in bed with the knife.

    First we thought this may be some black magic or something paranormal, but later we decided to see a doctor first. We were sent instead to a psychologist specializing in sleep disorders, and she told me that I had sleep walking disorder. She said it was triggered by all the stress I went through, plus being a closed sort of person I did not confide in anyone and so it came out like that.

    Slowly, in therapy I expressed all my doubts and fears and sorrows, and cried bitterly. But I got better. I slept well and gradually the sleep-walking stopped.

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