No one single thumb rule

Every woman faces a different situation at home. Mixed with her competencies, incompetencies, fears, expectations etc. That’s why what is right or feels right for one woman may not be so for another. There is no one thumb rule here. There is no one solution that can be applied to every context. So you need to think for yourself and the situation you are in. It is unique and it needs you to think differently.

Watch out for manipulators.

Some people are frauds of the worst kind. They pretend, use, manipulate those who are emotionally weak. And it’s OK to call them that : frauds.

It’s not a reflection on you, it’s just that they are emotional predators. And it’s important to stay away from such people for your own personal wellbeing. Many people shy away from calling a spade a spade, for whatever reason. They would rather change their behaviour or their thresholds for behavioural integrity, just so that the behaviour of the fraud is justified. This can be one of most self damaging actions one can do.

Sometimes one can’t help it. But what can one do is to completely cut physical contact, no matter how difficult. Out of sight, sometimes is out of mind. For abused people, it becomes more crucial to watch out for such people. Especially, because they are emotionally unstrung and can be easily manipulated.

Over dramatisation.

Human emotions are nice, not nice, impersonal, personal, all kinds, thousand kinds. When your emotional system is screwed up, you tend to over expand all emotions. Nice becomes wonderful, not nice becomes horrible or deathly, impersonal becomes ‘i am not liked by this person’, personal becomes ‘this person loves me’.

Over dramatisation. The tendency to blow things out of proportion is something that every abused victim goes through. Emotional management is thus extremely important to function normally. And you need to work at it, as you would do stomach crunches to get a flat tummy.

Learn to say : Enough!

Don’t be frightened to walk away from shit, if it happens over and over again. Don’t think there is something wrong with you. There is! That you think you need to accept the crap dished out to you, because you have walked away from it before, and because it has happened again, somehow it’s your fault. And thus, you must accept it.

NO. NO. Walk away every time, someone disrespects you. Or crosses that line with you. Whatever that threshold of tolerance that you have, if someone crosses it. Don’t be frightened to say : enough!

Do your best, it’s difficult but no choice.

happy things 2 05.05.16You have to do the best you can every day. As not only what you do but even what you don’t do, changes the lives of those around you.  As much as the pain in your life, of what you go through, leaves little room for doing anything but surviving the next breath, the next day and day after, you still need to shake it all off and do the best you can at that very moment.

It could be something you have to do for yourself, for your parents or your siblings or your kids, your work etc. Mundane things in life even. Do it with a smile on your face, even a fake smile.

Because those who you love and those who love you, are watching every move you make and how every muscle in your body behaves – from a smile on your face, to a straight back, to your hair tied nicely, to the lipstick that you put on, to the nice clothes you wear. Everything.  And  they take cues from it and accordingly behave in their lives.

Do your best. It’s hard, but still.

Going overboard in doing things?

If someone wants to be in your life, they will make the effort to be in it. One classical trait of abused victims is that they don’t understand the idea of giving up. They keep trying and trying and trying to please and give their best to people. And sometimes their time and energy is spent on the wrong people.

If you are a victim or have been a victim of violence, watch out for times when you are doing too much for someone or something. Basically going beyond what is considered normal and put a break on it. Do so without thinking.

If you worry, that the other person will think badly of you, he or she won’t. Because that’s how normal people behave. They don’t go overboard in doing things for everyone.

So keep a watch on your behaviour, take feedback from those who you trust and keep re-aligning how you interactive with the outside world.

Domestic violence cases are not red flagged ones.

So there is this piece of data that is floating via #Zindagi channel – that you can easily spot a domestic violence case. The answer to this is a BIG definitive NO.

Domestic Violence cases are not red flagged ones, that you can spot a mile away. Hey there goes that woman who gets beat up. Yes, if you find a woman with bruises, time and time again, she is most probably a victim of violence. But because you cannot see the bruises and blood etc, does not preclude a woman from being a victim of violence.

Are there obvious signs for a domestic violence case? Not all the time. There was a case, where a woman left office sharp at 6 pm. She was bright, smart, aggressive, with an MBA degree. And she was a role model for work life balance. Reality was, she needed to leave at 6 pm sharp and had to reach home before her husband came back from work. Why? Because he did not like her staying at work beyond a certain time, and had whacked her before for staying late. There were no trauma signs on her physical self. But yes she was a victim of home or domestic abuse.

Another point on the channel being made, a man who is excessively possessive is a perpetrator of violence. Again a resounding NO. Men by the very nature are territorial. A man can be possessive, may not like his wife or girlfriend speaking to another man etc. That does not translate to being abusive. Unless his unacceptance is combined with actual emotional or physical abuse.

Aggressiveness in a relationship is not being abusive. This also needs to include the limits that are acceptable to women. Every woman is different. What one woman may think to be possessive is claustrophobic, another may deem it to be natural.

It’s important not to paint text book phrases to aggressive situations. Context and reciprocal acceptance and non acceptance of that context is also material, when defining a abusive or violent situation. It’s very important to bear this in mind.

Violence has nothing to do with financial status

What is it about women that drives them to stay with people who make them feel like shit? Genetically, we are inclined to take care of or to fix things, to believe that things will get better – always hopeful. But sometimes one has to dr
aw the line for oneself, as we would for those who we love and who would be in similar traumatic situations.

The conflict that Ms Nigella Lawson faced in her personal life is a testament to this. Beautiful, admired by her audience, talented, and still with such low self esteem that she allowed a man to hold her by the neck in a popular restaurant, in full view of people.

The perception is that domestic violence happens only to the lower class people. Uncouth men only belong to that strata of society. Such a fallacy to believe this! Women there have more guts to deal with men who are violent and abusive.

It is the middle class and upper class that feel that they have to keep appearances, even when they get emotionally battered. You can see from the picture the threat, the violence in the man reflected by the fear on her face. The way she is pacifying as a woman does usually to pacify her

The only way is to walk away. For women, their life’s destiny is not to change the personality of the oppressor, but to get away from him/them, so that they remain unbroken. Domestic violence is about breaking the victim’s self to shreds. That’s ‘that’ power that abusers seek and get off on. Women have to understand this. Once you take that power away, the oppressor has no go. Women have to understand this as well.