Tag Archives: Desi Relationships

Happiness: A Work in Progress…

13 Dec

Happiness: A Work in Progress…

December 13th, 2011

Yes, DG has again done the Houdini act for no apparent reasons. She was gone for 3 months and three days. While she was gone GGTS turned two on October 16th and a week before that it hit the 100,000 hits mark. Few health debacles and travel trips later she is here. Lately she has been getting emails from some desi bahus combating psychological warfare waged by in-laws and few are asking, Is it possible to be happy when people are messing your life? This post was penned in Oct 2009 when GGTS came into existence but it never felt right time to post it until now.

A lot has been written about happiness, “It is in Your Head: Thinking your Way to Happiness,” “Happiness is an Inside Job,” “Baby Steps to Happiness,” “Happiness: How to Find it and Keep it” and so on. DG does not claim to devise a formula that will turn all unhappiness in one’s life into happiness. This is how she learned to claim her happiness. It was a slow journey, but it was worth it. She believes if it helped her then it will help anyone who wants to try it.

Few years ago, DG was in a situation where she was immensely unhappy and miserable. Those who loved her, asked her to be happy, and not bother herself about petty things people said to her or did to her. Someone suggested she should fake being happy, until she became happy and gradually she’ll start feeling happy all the time. That seemed so simple but it was not. How could she not be bothered when her spouse told her she was mean, because she could not keep his mother happy? She did not want harmony in the family. She was going to separate him from his family. She had no such intentions but was blamed for everything that went wrong between him and his family, to the extent of family dog running away…

She wondered what would make his mother happy. Her combing hair the way MIL wanted her to, covering her head when MIL had company or cooking the egg plant according to her recipe. She lived 11,000 miles away, but her one phone call was enough to ruin the weekend. She wanted to know what time DG woke up. What did she do all day, if somebody from her family or friends visited her, her son’s home without MIL’s permission? Who visited us, what we served them and what they brought as gifts all had to be reported to mummyji-in-law. It was like the saying “when they came, what they brought, and when they left what they gave.” She always had something to say about everything under the sun and so did her son. At times, DG thought they were more anal than anus because even rectum exhibits some control of place and time but their tongues had no bar (excuse the analogy this is a transliteration of a Hindi idiom [muhavra]).

All this was normal to them, a sign of affection. There was no concept of boundaries. At times, it felt we were three people sleeping in the bed. One time, past midnight MIL called during very intimate moments. He rolled DG aside to answer the phone, but it disconnected. His mother immediately called back, and chided him for hanging upon her. He cried, and begged her not to say that. He yelled, screamed and threw things, and went to the other room to sleep. DG stood there, like spectator not hurt, but bemused. At least this should have made a wife happy, but she felt pity for him, and wondered will she ever be happy in such an unhappy company.

At that time, DG was so overwhelmed by the emotional blackmail and manipulation in and around the relationship. The modesty taboos prevented her from disclosing it to anyone it was so humiliating to tell this is the marriage she had for love. Maybe that was the reason her well-wishers thought she was choosing to be unhappy. All that was visible to them was a big house, a husband with fat salary and the mother-in-law living in another city so why was she choosing to be unhappy. It started showing on her health. The ongoing stress messed her hormones, she suffered from insomnia, gained weight, and was unhappier than ever.

As a teenager DG spent my Rupees three diet allowance to buy her best friend a poster that read “better alone than in bad company.” She wanted to follow that quotation but felt helpless, as she could not find a way to change the situation or leave the bad company/marriage. What was humiliating then is entertaining today, it is fun to share it with the world. Why should DG be humiliated? She should have been humiliated, if she had chosen to stay in that company. DG knows, she is not alone all those who are reading this have their own share of amusing stories to tell. Yes, DG recalls Shannu telling how her MIL had the audacity to ask her if they had sex during the navratri. Nimi, DG owes it to you, remember one day you asked DG if she was so unhappy then why not leave him. DG was speechless and you said “I see you ten years latter still with him, miserably unhappy.” That sentence kept pounding in DG’s soul. Many nights she stayed awake just wondering if that was how she wanted to live rest of her life. You remember Rinky from the previous posts, she had almost given up. Her MIL created so many rifts between her and Pinku they are staying separate. Rinky has moved back with her parents and her bhabhi keeps making snide remarks. DG can go on and on we all have our unhappy tales to tell. You are aware SILs have their own agenda how to extract as much from their brother’s coiffures.

DG has read on so many desi blogs and otherwise how in-laws are the cause of most unhappiness in a desi bahu’s life. Those providing suggestions usually recommend tit for tat passive aggressive tactics. DG keeps wondering is that how we’ll live our youth fighting these old unhappy souls who are frustrated with their sexless mundane lives. Most of all DG wonder if after certain age all causes of our unhappiness are limited to our spouses and in-laws. Remember those days in the hostel we use to be unhappy about that khadus warden, unavailable thesis supervisor, that girl in the corner room who spread rumors about everyone. Guess we were unhappy all along our lives other than the time we spent in the company of our girl friends. There was something about friends when we were together we forgot about our unhappiness. When we were away we were secretly jealous of each other’s lives. Some where deep inside we thought the other was happier and I deserved what the other had (2 months ago Rinky disclosed on our 25 years together she was secretly jealous of DG coz’ she could do anything, yes, DG was Rajani of her times 🙂 . And DG told her how at one time in her life she was jealous of her good marks, oh Atiya too has confessed she envied DG’s guts and DG was jealous of her intelligence). It felt the people we knew owed us our happiness. Together we agreed that inside can make you happy…..but fact remained that it is the outside world that makes us unhappy!!!!

Journey to happiness

Along the journey DG learned unhappiness is a sign from the universe/God to us to change something. If we don’t then, universe/God makes us even unhappier in a hope that we will change something. Even then, if we fail to change something to revert to a state of balance (happiness) then it has to take some drastic measures. Like for DG the universe had to break her legs and put her in the bed so that it could fix the things that she failed to.

DG remained unhappily in an unfulfilling relationship for a very long time. She followed whatever anybody suggested about how to create happiness. She thought buying harmony and peace by doing what her spouse or MIL/SIL wanted her to would create happiness. It was never enough within few days there was some other cause of their unhappiness. The list of causes increased in geometric progression but the principal participants remained the same. DG faked happiness in a hope it will become her reality. Yes, she did change something that was herself. She could not recognize herself anymore. She was unhappy and bitter. She exhausted her emotional resources but nothing changed about her situation.

In the second stage of her unhappiness she even lost motivation to try to create happiness. Her energies were invested in maintaining status quo. She did not want the unhappiness to increase so her best practice was to do nothing about it and wish it will go away. Go away how? May be he’ll be killed while crossing the road. His mother will have food poisoning or our plane will crash. Nothing of that sort happened rather physical abuse ensued because her not reacting made him feel he was losing control over her and the situation. Every inch in her body screamed this is not what she wants. The more she focused on the unhappiness the more it emerged in her life. She wanted out but did not know how. She was in a foreign country on a dependent visa with no job and money. That was not all her worst fear was what if she fell sick how will she care for herself, what will people say if she broke up, who will stand by her, is she even allowed to break up a love marriage etc. On and on went the list of her “what ifs….” The T-map she drew of pros and cons of leaving or staying just increased her confusion. She didn’t want to even think anymore.

Her core screamed it wants peace. She was created to be happy she married this person to be happy then how come she is unhappy. She felt cheated, used and ashamed. She lived in relationship ambivalence to leave or not to leave and most of all how to leave. Everyone around her asked me to leave and nobody suggested how. She did not want to take any action. She was tired and exhausted of fighting this unending war with someone who claimed to love her. Guess it was time the universe/God stepped in. One day she reported the abuse. She became homeless. The so called well-wishers came forward and showed sympathy and asked why she didn’t tell them they would have talked to him. For some she just became invisible and few others chose to chastise her for bringing a bad name to the community and creating legal hardships for him. All of a sudden DG felt she was socially invisible rather dead.

One day DG took a leap of faith and decided she should explore resources how to become free of him. She begged the universe/God for one chance to help her get back on her feet. She promised she’ll honor her life. She made this promise but she did not know how she’ll keep it. The same evening she was hit by a car while walking. She woke up in the hospital with no cognition of what happened. All she remembers saying was thank you lord for the gift of life. She had asked for another chance and this is what she got, as if being homeless, without money and a pariah was not enough…

Rest in the next post. Yes, DG promises it will be posted in 2011.

Desi Sons,Victims of Their Mothers II: Modus Operandi

14 May

This post is in continuation from previous post. Original comment is here. The bold, CAPs and italicized is addition from DG.

Thank you DG.

My post was not against parents, I loved them and still do but I cannot see them because of the actions they took and think they were right in doing them. It is true that I have not come across a woman as toxic as my mother.

I posted my story partly because I wanted to inform people that there are guys in this mess too. Most desi men are very lost, between two poles 1) wife 2) mother.

Desi parents alternate between two poles :

a) Downright ignorant, nasty, abusive.

b) Controlling, manipulating and over protective.

Narcissism reigns supreme in both forms. Mine were in the second category, emotionally engulfing and very manipulating, in particular my mother. My father’s toxicity was of a different sort but it was my mother that really had everyone wrapped around her little finger.

I am not sorry about estrangement, in my ideal world it would never come down to this because my parents did a lot for us. I had this ideal picture in my mind where I would have done anything for them but then things changed ….

My mother underwent a changing I did not fathom at first and did not understand. It was around the time where I had confessed to her that I want to be self sufficient independent adult. At some point she realized that her only investment is her sons (she openly admitted this many times and made it very clear to me that she will let go, “I will NOT let you go.” … yes she said this many many times). Everytime she said this my stomach would turn but I kept quiet, patient that she might ease up on this.

When an abused declares or decides they will nolonger be controlled and will walk away from the controlling intimate the abuser feels loosing control. The idea of loosing control makes them intensify abuse or induce more manipulative ways to keep the abused trapped in their design. Abusers usually begin with sweet talk, how they cannot live without you if that doesn’t work they employ limiting your access to survival means, finances, social isolation etc. When that fail they resort to violent out bursts. This is a very dangerous time. If you are contemplating leaving your abuser do not declare it to them. Move away and then inform them that IT IS OVER. And thereafter there is no going back or working out until your safety (physical, emotional, mental, spiritual all included) is guaranteed, sorry there are no guarantees in the books of abusers.

However it became worse with time, the mistake I made was that I kept thinking that if I did this one more thing for her she would ease up. But as soon she was pleased she started pressing for something else, her aim was to steal me for me… kill all sense of independence so she can control my life as she desires. The guilt an manipulation I faced for a year before my arranged marriage was probably my most miserable year of my life, I was torn between leaving and staying.

Abusers suck the abused into perpetual cycle of people pleasing. The harder you try to please them the harder it becomes to please them because they have made a choice not to ever be pleased. You’ll finish on task they’ll be ready with another. It is a choice they have made and you can’t do anything about it so stay out of this game of making them happy.

Her strategy was multi-faceted, understanding is golden ….

Facet 1: RECRUITING ALLIES

A general nasty level manipulation tactic was to keep me engaged, keep my mind busy so she can have my time. She would start talking to me in subtle, looking at my face to see my reaction to it and thus adjust her. This was the most irritating form of manipulation because it assumed that I stupid and child like. I used to laugh at this behind my back, I pretended in front of her that her manipulation worked to ward this form of incessant manipulation off.

She would get my brothers to do the same, both my elder and younger brother to engage me, keep me busy with tasks, giving my false praise in an effort to smother me and make me give in. She used to pump my brothers for info regarding me and my brothers fully participated, my mother was very good at manipulation. My elder brother though she was right and younger brother mocked and berated me behind my back many many times.

I took me a long time to figure out this facet as my mother was and is a master of guilt inducing toxic lump. When I realized it I understood that anything I say will be used against me so I better watch what I say, how I say and who i say it too.

Abusers will watch your every move and expression keep a ready log of it and use it against you when ever you try to challenge them. Abusers, especially emotional blackmailers recruit allies. Allies are usually people in your immediate circle who have stake in your life; relatives, cousins, friends etc. If you still don’t give in they’ll summon their allies to convert you and make you submit to their designs. You are exposed and shamed in front of these allies thus to escape such future humiliation you start towing the line. Parents often use siblings against each other to maintain control over all of them; siblings relate to parents differently. Some abusers create immediate allies in strangers by shaming you in public or posing a martyrs in public.

Facet 2 : ABUSIVE EXPECTATIONS = YOUR OBLIGATION

Using circumstances to gain sympathy and induce massive guilt. This was very difficult to figure out because there was extreme guilt involved. Basically my mother would complain about someone (my sister in law, my elder brother or father) about something seemingly horrible they did to her and how she is miserable. After telling me the garb she used to observe my reaction to it and keeping coming back with the same manipulation in one form or the other until I reacted to it in a emotional outburst – at this point she knew she got me. Few days of peace followed then the bullshi* again.

The purpose of facet 2 was to keep me close to her, so I never do anything that I wanted for myself. The higher purpose of this facet was to keep me engaged, she knew my weak spots and attacked them whenever she pleased and when she pleased.

A common tactic was to request a task of me which I had to do, during the task she would give me false adulation and pump me for information about circumstances that were later used against me at convenient times. A fight between my brother and father would be used to press her own agenda on me, she was clever and knew when to press & how much to press.

Abuse is cyclic in nature, in order not to alienate the abused and loose the game all together abusers strategically employ praise and admonishing. Abusers go around portraying themselves as martyrs; making an impression that they can be rescued and made well if you will step up. “I am sad or sulking because you would not do X. I’ll be happy if you do X.” “Look how miserable you have made me.” “So and so wronged me you are the only one who can make it better for me, if you listen to my sob story or do as I want.” Thus it is your job to keep the abuser in good humor. An abused starts believing it is their job to keep the abuser happy this induces guilt every time they try to do something for themselves.

It is important for abusers to keep the abused engaged at all times because time to themselves will make them analyze their situation and ask for a better deal or rebel.

Facet 3 ELIMINATING COMPETITION

Hate for other women. Toxic or no toxic, this was just plain crazy.

She often used to tell me : “You are naive and don’t understand women”. (Underneath my breath I used to tell myself : ‘but I do understand you …..’). Any women who even looked at were vilified openly. I missed out on women a lot a lot of time girls that I found downright gorgeous.

My sister in law used to face the brunt of this nonsense, she realized the game early on, I requested her to be calm and concentrate on her life. Of all the people she would know why I left my family. I used to feel for her but her life is hers to deal with. She will eventually divorce my brother who unfortunately is one of the dumbest men I know when it comes to deciphering my parents actions.

As abusers recruit allies they also tactfully check any competition. Their competitors are all those people who have the potential to lure the abused away from the abuser like, friends, sympathetic relatives who call out on the abuser or an attractive suitor. Abusers are insecure and will do anything to paint their competitors black. To stay on top of their game they have to systematically eliminate all competition.They prefer to dwell with those they can control thus their allies are their mini-mes.

Facet 4 DRAMA MONGERING & CREATING FEAR

“I will die …… something will happen to me”.

Geez do I really need to say more? Pathetic shi*

Abusers create so much chaos through drama that abused in an attempt to buy peace and cease chaos gives in. Thus a mission accomplished for the abusers. Desi mothers are known for making suicide threats or they suffer an unknown aliment when attention is one someone else. At T’s wedding her MIL had a fainting spell; everyone rushed to her and they forgot to do the wedding pictures; mission accomplished.

Something will happen to me… is the favorite and nothing ever happens. It is a fear induction mechanism to keep the abused and allies in tow. The fear of blame induces guilt

Facet 5 MINIMIZING & DENYING

Plausible Deni-ability.

She would deny everything and shake off her responsibility when it was convenient for her. My marriage was part of this, oh “you said yes to the marriage …. no I did not, you confirmed the marriage while I was asleep and then manipulated me into it”. She chose my wife carefully, seemingly meek and controllable, someone she could keep under her thumb at all times.

Abusers never take responsibility for their actions. They always have a reason to everything they ever did. If they broke stuff in a anger fit, it was because you made them angry. If you call them on their misbehavior or unreasonableness they out rightly feign ignorance about what you are talking about.

I learnt this the hard way, I would suffer in silence, then read about it & THEN realize this is the shi* my mother is pulling. She know what she was doing all along taking satisfaction in putting me through a emotional roller coaster and then taking satisfaction that her goals have been met.

Estrangement was depressing but necessary, wish it was not like this but thats life and it is not all roses and tulips. Peace of mind is good, I love peace and quiet so I invest my time in working towards goals and pushing myself to limits I didn’t know existed. Most people would classify me as a freak given I am away from my family but I can make choices that they can’t, this does not make me better than them but the thrill of having a choice is the essence of being human, remember even God gave humans a choice to accept or reject Him.

Do I hate my parents? No.

Did I forgive my parents? There is nothing to forgive, I forgave my-self and that gave me the comfort of being true to myself. If one does not confront reality it will force itself upon you and you will kick yourself for it, make your choice before you have to make one.

Before we can forgive someone it is important to forgive ourselves because we beat ourselves for being duped.

CONGRATULATIONS FOR RECLAIMING YOUR LIFE.

Desi Sons: Victims of Their Mothers

13 May

DG is usually accused of gender bias towards women’s oppression, her detractors have failed to notice how vociferous she is about the nature and actors of violence in intimate/familial relationships. Many bloggers have lamented based on their personal experiences about desi men’s failure to draw a balance between their mothers and spouses. Some marriages have ended on this point and others are hanging in limbo. Just the other day this comment writer asked if men feel guilty too? This post comes partly in response to that question. Yes, DG will post another post exclusively about your concern.

Familial relationships are very complex, the option of walking out is very limited. A Punjabi phrase aptly sums it

Sharike da kauda daana, pher vi khaana (extended family is nuisance but you have to live with it). Just like the faceless strangers called log we desis lament about.

Women bloggers and otherwise do talk about oppression and discrimination within their natal families and their relationship with their mothers but men rarely talk about how they feel about their birth families and individual members. Both men and women learn doing their gender in the birth families and they become what their natal families make them. In doing their gender they also learn what they can express and what is proscribed. These boundaries on expression never let us know the whole story when courageous few come out and name the game either they are painted black or treated as anomaly. Here is a comment that DG wants everyone to read to see if it is happening in their lives, if yes then what do they want to do about it.  

Peace,

Desi Girl

This is coming from a desi dude :

This is very true, sometimes I think about my Pakistani parents and it is unbelievable how incredibly toxic they were. My mother in particular with time became emotionally blackmailing, manipulating extremely toxic. This eventually after many years of blankets of guilt led to my estrangement from my entire family, even on the day I was leaving without telling anyone I was covered with guilt and feelings of selfishness. After years of being torn, guilted and manipulated I felt I had no choice but to go.

It is strange several years ago (before estrangement) on a breakfast table when my mother was having one of her hissy fits my younger brother called out to her :

” What you are doing is just blackmail… “,

My mother’s response was :

” … because it works…”.

At another time I recall her saying :

“.. mardon ko ghumana bohat asan hay …”

which means :

” … it is very easy to manipulate men …”

She had become very skilled at emotional blackmail, using circumstances to her advantage, pumping one family member for information regarding the other and using it against both. The aim always was to get what she wants : control over everyone and all dynamics.

I got into an arranged marriage due to this guilt which was inflicted for several years. During this time all family members had turned against me, my younger brother mocked me behind my back denying that my parents were doing something wrong by guilting me into marriage. The manipulation is so subtle it is difficult to recognize it, difficult to pinpoint and say this is what is wrong. Come to think of I had refused the marriage 2-3 times however my mother refused my refusals by countering them with blackmail, confusing arguments. Her strategy was to inflict the blackmail long enough until I break and give in. After I give in my parents smothered me in an effort to convince this is the right thing to do.

I realized the game too late, after I got married. My wife unfortunately was a product of the same codependent system. She was sweet but under the skin the same blackmail, manipulating personality existed – she just did it in a different way. I realized with time that she would just be a copy of my mother in a few years, be possessive, crazy and toxic. She was also emotionally unstable and was not very good at managing her feelings, having wildly conflicting emotions one day to the next.

So one day I got very angry with myself when I realized the game my mother was playing. The thought of estrangement depressed me, I lose whatever I do : I go I lose, I stay I lose – geez what a situation to be in. Slowly I began to accept that if I don’t go I’ll be stuck in this forever : stuck in my mother’s basement and an imported wife from desi land.

Then one day I decided to stop giving a *hit. I went away (I almost did not) & never looked back, got a divorce, full of doubts although the understanding of my mothers actions had helped curb the damn guilt. It’s only when I went did I realize that I won the desi game. This is the secret to this game : “you can never win, the only way to win is to depart the game”.

One thing to grasp is that people in these living conditions think this is normal. They don’t know anything else but don’t more importantly don’t want to, they are convinced they are right. Then one day they realize life went by them, the outside world away from this mesh of dysfunction did not care about them. All there is misery and regrets, what a waste of life.

My biggest regret was the time I wasted in this and my biggest gain was I got control of my life back.

CONT…

How to Talk to an Abused Daughter

4 Mar

Beloved IHM does an awesome job of bringing up burning issues in the desi world on her blog and heavy discussion ensues on what ought to be and why things are the way they are. Two of her responses compelled Desi Girl to pen this post.  I wish I could say the right words to the mother – to make her let her daughter come back home and start living again.

The girl lives in another city and the mother didn’t give me her email address, I wanted to send her a link to some sites that might help her at least understand what is happening.

I did tell the mother about cases where if not intentionally the abuser has killed the victim accidentally or caused severe injury. She sounded worried but continued to say the girls doesn’t want to come back. In the beginning she had told me they did not want her to come back – but now she says it’s the girl who wants to make the marriage work.

We all know what is wrong and why it is wrong but we fail when it comes to how to address it. The best service we can do is to be informed about intimate partner abuse; what is IPV, nature of abuse, how abuse begins, what is a cycle of abuse and what an abused can do and how to help an abused.

When an ordinary fight with wife escalates into bloody nose it is no longer a fight but a law and order issue, a public health concern most of all it is a question of human dignity and it is your problem too even if it is not in your home.

Familial and intimate partner abuse is not accidental. Someone purposefully decided to hurt another person who they consider they have a legitimate right over. Abusers do not hurt strangers even when strangers step on their toes but they choose to hurt their partners and children because they know they can get away with it. The faceless strangers called “log” cross all boundaries of decency and hurt your sensibilities in all possible ways through their mean words and actions to ostracize you, still you do back flips to be in their good books. Aren’t you in an abusive relationship with these people? Have you thought how your daughter feels while living with an abuser?

Your initial reaction of distrust and reprimand of her choice to marry for love just closed the doors for her to come back to you. You judged her once, what are the chances you won’t judge her again. The “log” will say something and you’ll get into blaming and accusatory mode. Basically you cannot be trusted. You lost your trustworthiness, the minute you said “I told you so…” Your daughter has a hard time to believe that you will not judge her and even if you did trust her today what are the chances you’ll not throw it on her face in future. Now you want to help her and you do not know how because you closed the first door of communication with your judgment and now you do not know how to reopen it. Just saying, “Come back and everything will be fine, we’ll support you” is not enough, there is a way to open the door and keep it open. This is how it can be done:

Communication Agreement

Every time we open our mouth we sign an unspoken agreement/contract with the person we are interacting with that says “we are in a relationship I’ll not hurt you and you’ll not hurt me,” it is realized only when this contract is broken. When this contract is broken the first thing that goes out is respect for each other. This contract has three constituents:

1. I agree to be non judgmental, you can feel safe to tell me what is in your heart.

2. There will be no repercussions for what you disclose to me.

3. I’ll love you unconditionally.

Agreement To Communicate

Non Judgmental:

Your daughter has broken this contract with herself. She lost respect for herself, is feeling guilty and bad about herself. You broke this contract with her when you judged her and it shut that door of communication on her. How do you feel about it? Do you respect yourself for that? Opening the door begins with reinstating this contract and this time make it spoken instead of unspoken. Create a safe space to communicate and invite her for a conversation and begin with:

“I understand you are going through a very tough time in your marriage. I want you to know I was wrong to judge you when you first reported abuse. I am truly sorry for what I said them. I want to assure you today, what ever you tell me I’ll not judge you. You are being abused it is not your fault. It is a choice your abuser is making. If you made a mistake of picking a wrong guy as a partner I too made a mistake of judging you. Today, we can look beyond our mistakes and explore what we can do together to keep you safe and happy.”

Does anyone know “judgmental” equivalent word in hindi? DG could find none, please help.

No Repercussions:

“First time when you reported abuse I blamed you for your choice that was wrong on my part. I promise you what ever you tell me today and now on will have no repercussions I will not throw it on your face ever. I want you to feel safe and be assured there will be no repercussions about any disclosure you make. I will never blame you for what happened and I will never hold it against you here on.”

(People complain all the time that their teens do not want to talk to them even when they have an open door policy. Who are they kidding, your children are of you so they know you inside out, and they know what you are capable of. They know you’ll blame them and punish them.)

Unconditional Love:

You love her and you are concerned but are you sure your love is unconditional? Are you kidding, you already said, she made her bed… You meant had she had an arranged marriage she could have counted on your support. Unconditional love does not mean ignoring the behavior or not addressing the behavior, it means there will be consequences for your actions but my love for you will still be the same. In this particular case it would come out something like this:

“What ever you decide, to live with the abuser or walk out, I will support you 100%. I will not question your choices. I want you to understand my position as a parent, if you are hurt or are contemplating of hurting yourself; I will do everything in my power to protect you. As a parent I want to see you safe and happy nothing matters to me more.”

This is not unconditional love:

I love you but...

I love you BUT…

Once a “BUT” comes before or after LOVE it is no longer unconditional love.

For parents of teens:

“I see you did X and I want you to know I love you so I want you to be safe. In order to be safe we have to follow the rules. If we break rules then we face consequences. Your choices are no bike keys for next 8 weeks or no allowances for next 8 weeks.” Give them choices of picking up their consequences. Once your children are ready to step out of home without you chaperoning start laying ground rules and consequences for breaking the rules. The consequences have to be reasonable and consistent and equal for all kids irrespective of their gender and grades. “Promise me, you’ll not drive with a drunk driver, if you are in a situation where you do not feel safe, call mom or dad. We’ll be there and we’ll not ask you any questions. Just call us.” Once safely home you guys can decide the course of action and consequences. Remember children too have a social reputation to live up to just like you have one, they feel embarrassed when you throw a tantrum even if they are wrong. Do all the drama at home not in front of their friends. That helps build trust and begets you their respect that you care.

This same script can be used to open doors of communication with anyone just remember the steps, to be non judgmental, no repercussions and unconditional love.

PS: Learned this technique while working on a workshop with Ms Nichols of “The Secret.”

Desi Ex Files

5 Feb

The shrilling phone woke DG, it wasn’t early but any hour before noon on Saturday is technically early. It was T* hauling her heart out,

T: Are you up?

DG: Yeah sort of, tell me what’s up?

T: Baw, baw, baw….world is an unfair place, there is no God, there is no justice.”

DG: Um (yawning), oh my, what happened? Are you ok? Tell me what happened?

T: You know he is getting married to her today.

DG: Oh, how do you know?

T: I saw they have posted for registry, I saw it on their wall and you know what, I told it to my dad and he had the audacity to ask, “we could not understand what went wrong between you two?” what part he couldn’t understand that he was cheating on me with his ex-girl friend and he married her.

DG: Yeah, that is really insensitive. After all your dad is a man and he is from a generation that thinks woman is responsible for all marital debacles. But why did you go to their wall?

T: All our friends are common so I can see other people’s comments. It is injustice; he ruined my life and now is enjoying himself with her. I wish they should never be happy. What did I do to deserve this? Did I ask anything outrageous, just a marriage, a home and a family life, is it too much to ask?

DG: I can understand your feelings, but it is beyond you and me to ensure their unhappily ever after… This will hurt until you get what you want and move on… Yes, it’s been years since you enlisted on shaadi.com and encountered numerous scum bags. Each time you face an MCP you are back to square one… Give it a break and may be that will make a difference for now…

T: You know that medico I told you about, she filed for divorce because he could not get it up. She has been cursing every one now even she is married and pregnant. When such a negative and jealous person can get remarried within two years why not me? What is wrong with me? I feel like cursing him and his folks…

DG: Love, I do not know what to tell you. If you want to curse him then do it and get over it there after we are not going back there ever again.

Little more crying and sobbing and life went back to normal until another hurt. When ever we so called desi divorcees struggle with life and face social discrimination, it brings back all the bad memories and all the hurts back to life. Life for many of us just stopped (in desi sense) the day we were kicked out of married people’s club. We are not invited to desi gatherings; if we ever get an invite then dirty looks welcome us and keep an eye on us all evening. When some married woman is kind to us her well-wishers especially other women run to pre-warn her of our evil gaze and designs. God forbid if one of their men exchange customary greetings with us they make 100 meter sprint record to stand in between.

At times we pity these so called happily married women who think we’ll be designing to entice their pot bellied, half bald husbands. We may be looking for companionship but definitely not a married man who is straying on his marriage. Those of us with children (especially young or teen kids) see their exes introducing new girl friends to their children as flavor of the month prefer to stay single so that children have at least on stable household.

Dear ladies, if you are so insecure in our presence, then something is definitely wrong in your relationship kindly work on it than painting us black. Some of us still have it in us and getting a guy is not a problem. Yes, we know there are numerous desi scum bags who want to oblige but the ball is in our court. We can get what we want and we’ll not settle for anything less and why should we? One time compromise is enough we do not believe in second and third…

Such are the times when one wants to blame someone or curse the one who put us through this; who could be better than a spineless squid we now call ex.  All these feelings are normal but our desi upbringing often makes us feel guilty and then divine wrath scares us, wishing bad on someone begets bad karma.

Ah karma, isn’t it good we are done with it in this life time?

*Amu wants to be called T now on.

Desi Cougars Vs Desi Wolves

8 Dec

Desi Cougars Vs Desi Wolves

This msn piece on relationships caught Desi Girl’s eye, she did not know what to make of it. The story as usual had mentions of few bollywood icons that dared to swim against the tide. These were all married couples where women were older than their spouses. The author in her over zealous attempt pulls in a psychiatrist to give his expert views on the issue (just wondering if he is qualified to even speak on this issue). He does mention it is not about feminism but about women and men making choices. Wao, it feels as if feminism was just a waste of time, we were all born with right to exercise choices, only we did not know it; caste, class, gender, religion etc. do not have a bearing on our choices. Then he goes about explaining daddy fixation in women looking for sugar daddies and mommy fixation in men leading them to sugar mommies. Coming back to the issue the author borrows the word “cougar” from the western media (along with pictures) and juxtaposes it on desi milieu, as if bollywood represents everyone living in Des.

If these ladies are cougars then we have had enough in the past be it political marriages of the royals or marriages in agrarian communities. For the royals it was a marriage of convenience with allies and for the agrarians it was marriage of labor; an older bride meant she was able to provide farm hand and progeny as soon as she came into the new home. Then there was the custom of “nata” (levirate) where older brother’s widow was married to his younger brother or cousin. None of these women really had any fun, it was just marriage and marriage in desi communities is an obligation not a choice. If you consider it a choice try staying single after certain age and hear rumors about your sexuality and sexual prowess in circulation. DG believes some people just get married because that is what everybody else is doing and few others try to shut up family and the faceless strangers called “log.” In her enthusiasm to write this author did forget explore the literary world and mention the name of Amrita Pritam, Manu Bhandari and many more that swam against the tide by choice in times much before these bollywood trinkets sprouted and nobody called them cougars.

The marriage, in patriarchal societies essentially rests on the shoulder of the woman who is younger than the man. A junior partner is easy to induct into the new household (at marriage women move to live with man and his family) and dominate (a senior partner can boast of more experience and earning power). Some will jump in with their evolutionary theories about female’s need for a strong father and provider for her progeny; it is another story that many strong and providing are wife beaters, child abusers and often found wasted in gutters. And few others would rather make good grandfathers to their kids than father. As women are younger to men at the time of marriage they are bound to loose on the fun part before marriage and once they are married there they are unlikely to have fun because remote controlling in-laws will make sure they have no girls’ night out. 🙂  The whole cougar concept becomes problematic if the woman marries the man, as fun is subtracted from the equation. In the west the cougar label is accepted as part of fun not just marriage, the end.

If women could have fun with younger men[1] and not get married then it could qualify for cougar label. It is not that it is not happening it is but there is so much stigma attached to women having fun with no strings attached  that it is concealed and where they can be in the open and out these pink chaddis march in. Could we call them “wolves,” the old men having fun with younger women? These young women are often called gold diggers. What would you call these young men who are willing to oblige some cougars with their masculinity for wads of notes?

[1] DG has strong objection to the word auntie (coz’ she is one to her niece) coz’ men in similar situations are not called uncles.

What is Desi Sex?

10 Sep

What is Desi Sex?

This blog (GGTS) gets an average of 80-90 hits a day. One good day it received 120 hits and Desi Girl was pretty rejoyced.  Out of curiosity she looked up the search engine terms people used to find GGTS. Her curiosity to know how people found her blog just killed the cat. Rest was taken care of by spams from Viagra, Cialis, other ED medications and penile extension websites, all posted on this and this page. (… and Freud said something about penis envy. DG is aware of western homophobia  even though desi masculinities are eqaully insecure but there is less homophobia. Read  Holi in Banaras and the Mahaland of Modernity by Lawrence Cohen);  In a phallus centric desi culture one can sell snake oil in the name of male sexual prowess (search desi viagra on youtube, it is a common scene across the country) and sand to women to lighten the complexion. Desi Girl is dumbfounded what part of GGTS screams sex and perversion. Women’s sexuality is definitely obsession of all patriarchal institutions be it society, community, family, marriage, religion, polity or education. Each defines women’s sexuality through male gaze for the aggrandizement of male egos by ownership of women associated to them through marriage and family (need not be just consanguine or conjugal but even imagined kinship); our women = pure women, their women= impure and wanton women. Be it colonial nationalist elite discourses hypersexualizing European women or lower caste women or be it Hindu fundamentalist discourses on Muslim women (there are simultaneous and binary discourses on hypersexualized men and victimized women in need of rescue and hypersexualized women in need of taming). Each patriarchal institution corroborates the other to maintain this stance of male honor through control of women bodies and sexuality. When ever a woman asserts right to her body and sexuality she immediately becomes immoral (read prostitute, vibhiyacharini).  It is interesting to note when men define woman, women and femininity be it erotic poets of middle ages or Vātsyāyan penning Kamasutra all becomes classical literature where as if women define themselves their needs and sexuality they become whores, a threat to social order and literature.

Search Engine Terms

These are terms people used to find your blog. 

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Still wondering if there is something called Desi Sex and if yes then who gets to define it. Why aren’t there search terms like desi men sex, desi sex man.com etc 🙂 . 

The only golden lining to this gloomy cloud is that there are serious readers who motivate Desi Girl to research and bring forth important information. Desi Girl sincerely thanks all her readers, comment writers and chat pals.

Peace,

Desi Girl

 

From the wet market

Mostly vegetarian meals from Asia

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LOKSANGHARSHA

जनसंघर्ष को समर्पित

Talking to the Wall

Posting about this and that :)

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"कुरुक्षेत्र"

मेरे विचारो का

समाजवादी जनपरिषद

वैश्वीकरण विरोध हेतु

Own your relationships. Don't let them own you.

W.S.S.A @ UWindsor

Women's Studies Student Association @ University of Windsor, Ontario

Shafiq Ur Rahman Khan

Own your relationships. Don't let them own you.

Beyond The Second Sex (स्त्रीविमर्श)

Own your relationships. Don't let them own you.

नारी , NAARI

Own your relationships. Don't let them own you.

Own your relationships. Don't let them own you.

Sparsh

Own your relationships. Don't let them own you.

Zerqa Abid

Own your relationships. Don't let them own you.