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   Volume 10 |Issue 05 | February 04, 2011 |

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Write to Mita

Write to Mita

Dear Mita,
I am a 16-year old college student. I am an okay student, I have a great circle of friends, and according to most of my friends and family-members I am a “jolly good fellow”. But I know I am not. I have severe family problems. My parents are not on good terms. They fight every day. When I return home from college, and the evening approaches, I literally start shaking with fear because I know my father will start drinking and then he will say rubbish things to my mother and beat her up. Sometimes I try to protect my mother but my father does not spare me either. If I come in his way, he beats me up as well. My mother is a self-dependent woman but she is sticking to this family and enduring all the torture only for me. She knows if my family breaks up, it will have hazardous impact on me and my future life because our society still cannot take a single-parent family positively, especially when the single parent is a mother. My mother cannot even share it with anyone because no one will understand her pain or be able to actually help her. Out of frustration, I always feel like killing myself. Sometimes, out of guilt and pain I cut myself with blades or anything sharp I can find. When my hands or thighs burn out of pain, I feel I am getting what I deserve and I feel good. Now it has become a habit. Please tell me, what should I do? Am I going insane? How can I save or protect my mother?

- Psycho

Dear Psycho,
First of all, you are not a psycho so don't call yourself one. You are feeling helpless leading to guilt and have convinced yourself that hurting yourself will get rid of your guilt feeling. Let me tell you, this kind of behavior will not solve any problem, on the other hand will increase your mother's suffering. Please convince your mother to stand up for her rights, take help from family and friends. If your mother is financially independent she should get a divorce but make sure that she gets maintenance for you. The fact that society does not accept single parent, especially mothers, is a myth. I know many women who have chosen to divorce rather than live in an abusive family environment. In fact, this situation causes more psychological harm to children than living in a single parent family. Therefore, don't feel guilty and stop cutting your hands straight away; and instead of sitting idle, find your mother a good lawyer and a marriage counsellor.

Dear Mita,
I am a 29-year-old male. I have a great job and I don't think I have any psychological problem. But recently, I have started having problems with my girlfriend. She is also 29 and a very independent woman. She is smart and very high spirited. In fact, she is much wiser than I am and she also earns more than I do. I have no issue with that. In fact, I respect each and everything she is made of. My parents know about my relationship and they like my girlfriend as well. As we have been in this relationship for more than nine years now, my family wants me to get married to her. Since the beginning of our relationship, she has always been telling me that she does not believe in marriage; she thinks if two people love each other enough, they don't need any bonds to keep them together. I always took it lightly and thought when she would realise that it's just a social norm which is a key for us to be together, she would not say no to marriage. But, six months ago, when I told her that I wanted to marry her, she reacted very negatively. She tried to convince me that it's impossible for her to do something she does not believe in. Recently, she has even told me to break up with her as marriage is so necessary for me. I love her and I don't know why she does not understand that marriage is the only thing that will allow me to be with her for a life-time. I feel so confused! Usually, I have seen men not wanting to be committed. My case is just the opposite. How can I convince her?


Dear Committed,
You are right, this is an unusual situation but not totally unheard of. Women are now opting to have an independent life without feeling encumbered by family responsibilities. This requires very serious discussion between the two of you in which one of you will have to compromise. Often in this kind of situation the question of children comes up, and both then want to get married in order to give children a legal name and identity. You also might want to see a family counsellor who will help resolve some of the issues she has with marriage. To be honest, marriage as an institution is discriminatory towards women and presupposes an unequal relationship. Women today are actually rebelling against that accepted norm. This is a long debate and will take years to resolve. For now, try to reassure her as best as you can. Perhaps she will be convinced eventually.



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