I sometimes look inside my mind and wonder, “Have I always been like this?”
I used to be a really innocent girl who no matter how much she tried couldn’t understand the meaning of ‘picture’. I couldn’t understand a lot of things. I never said anything and used to pretend that I got it right out of the innocence of my heart. I was naive and I was stupid even, or at least that was what I used to think. I remember once I asked my twin sister and a same aged friend what ‘picture’ meant and they laughed so much on me like I’d grown two heads and my nose was uplifted toward my forehead. It felt bad because nonetheless, they were my age and as naive as me. So what if I asked? They didn’t have to make such a big deal out of it. I hardly believed that they themselves knew the meaning and they pretended they did. I consoled myself thinking that may be it was okay. I of course didn’t let myself hold a grudge. Because I knew my sister was boastful and hopeless and even though I had problem understanding the word for weeks longer, I never asked her again. One day my tutor simply understood my word problems and he showed me a photo on the wall and told me that was what was called a picture.
I obviously felt like an idiot but he made it as if it was okay not to know. I’d gradually started to learn and understand new words and also the fact that my sister somehow, competing with me. She’d always been interested in whatever I did which most of the time, lead into an argument and I’d give up doing it. She obviously pleased with the result would pick it up where I left off. Meanwhile, when I saw that she was doing good in school, she had placed in the merit list and I hadn’t and the teacher of course was very pleased with her result. We were ‘the babies of the class’ because we were the only twin pair that year. All the students, even the teachers loved us. So when I didn’t make it to the merit list, my class teacher told me “No, no dear, no claps for you sweetie.” That hit. You know,
like a physical blow.
That was when I realized, I had a long way ahead of me. She became the class-attractor, like a shiny new toy and I felt gradually falling behind. I don’t remember what I did, but I do remember, I ended up doing better. When her position was eighth, I came sixth. All I can say is- that felt good. Really good. I was back to square level and I was dancing in my head. Competing with your sister was good, but I ended up compete with her nature and driven by jealousy, struck head-on. It ended up bad, obviously, affecting our very sweet relation and my innocence. It was a war, and because my sister was the apple of the family, the blame always was on me. I started nurturing anger. And I wasn’t even ten, I think. In those days, there wasn’t a day I hadn’t cried my eyes off. I hated myself, I hated to be a part of my family.
And of course, I was naive. I didn’t understand the rules of this world. I grew up in an environment which was neglectful of a child’s healthy maturity, because of a lot of reasons. In that age I knew that there wasn’t much choice ahead of me. And I accepted that. I accepted that in the future I have to look out for myself and some other things in particular. There’s problem in every household, but whichever I witnessed, I prayed no other child like me would have to witness that. I felt little, I felt weak. My hands were tied and I couldn’t do much. All I could do was stare at the hostility around me and still hoped that things would get better.
Around when I was a teen I remember one day my father breaking everything in the house. He’d done so before. He was hideous- beating my mother and all. No daughter would have to witness that but I did. I was deprived of many things, and I almost didn’t mind but that was the day when I actually started hating my father. My mother suffered endlessly- all her life. And my life had just started. It was awful. I used to look out for my mother but somehow I wasn’t exactly her favorite daughter. My older sister and twin sister seemed to get whatever they wanted and all I used to get was her taunts. I don’t know how it worked but it had been like that since I was a child- when the tug of war was just starting between me and my sister. I’d heard every mother loves her children. I used to cry in the bathroom and used to ask the Almighty why she hated me so much. If my twin wanted to go to her Friend’s house, she was allowed and I didn’t have a right to
say no. But when I’d make plans, she’d say no. Always. I never knew another way around. By that time I had got rude, moody and I used to stay mad 24/7. And of course everyone in the school loved her because she was sweet and hard worker and a charmer, and I knew she was a pretender. She loved attention, I hated when she got it. Eventually I was the bad guy because of the way I behaved and I came to be careless. I discovered if I didn’t care, it wouldn’t hurt that bad. In the end, I’d become so careless that no one bothered about me anymore. I just had to help my sisters, listen to their lectures, my mother’s taunts, tag along with my sister’s friends and forget mine. Even there were days there was a plan and I was only told the night before or even in the morning when it was time to get ready.
It was okay to be neglected and unloved. And in the end, I used to hate myself. I’d forgotten to love myself. When nobody loved you there is a tiny piece in your heart would tell you to let go, to just end all of it. And I tried. A few times I attempted killing myself. If you didn’t love yourself, you’d succeed. I hadn’t. And it meant that there was piece of me that still loved myself. My best friend would often tell me why I suffer so much. Why I kept everything bottled inside of me. So when there was expectations from me, I failed and it caused more hatred form everyone. And because I let myself not to care, they started seeing me as a hopeless. Pity. I asked Almighty, “Why me? If You had to give me so much pain, why bother to even keep me safe? If You wouldn’t even look at me, then why make me suffer? Couldn’t You at least be pitying me? Couldn’t You at least show me mercy? What had I done? Why me of all?” I sound like Dean Winchester but that was the question I used to ask every night and every day.
I was pathetic. What I did was simple. I gathered myself up. I stood before the mirror and thought, “Have I always been like this?” Then I remembered that cute little child who was innocent and who didn’t know the meaning of picture. I wasn’t innocent anymore and I’d come a long way. Yeah I’m still cute but not naive. But I don’t have to show to people that I don’t love myself. I don’t have to show people what I’ve been through. I want the world to see me as the girl I could be. So I put up a smile on my face, talk so much useless things that people would immediately think, “Where is this girl from?” I walk with this confidence that no matter what, if I’ve been able to come all these way, then hell, there’s more way to walk on. And I will walk until my mother loves me and tells me, “I am proud of you.”