Updated June 2020

Sometimes we are forced to accept the things we can’t control and focus our energy on the stuff we can control.

I could call myself an ambivert, I love meeting strangers but there are times when even my family battled to get hold of me because I’m busy hiding from the world.

The voice that I spoke about in my last article is helping me to be more transparent and speak my truth. The days I spent hiding my story are long gone.

Screw conservative

It took me a very long time to build up the courage to be who I am, without fear of judgment. I grew up in a conservative environment and eventually married within my Indian culture. This was the norm years ago and is still very much the norm in some places today.

You would think with all the women empowerment campaigns and feminist support groups, women should feel free to be who they want to be?

Well, it’s easier said than done. I moved in with my then-boyfriend, which was forbidden in the Indian culture. My father insisted that we marry. So, it’s no surprise that the marriage only lasted for six years, but even whilst married, my mind was trapped inside a jail cell that I didn’t even know existed.

You don’t know what you don’t know

I thought everything was great, I had a husband and I think that most people thought we were doing great as well. I didn’t know there was so much more to life than just having the title of wife. Now that I think about it, I cringe!

To the world, I was a trophy wife, but I didn’t realize it at the time. People thought I lived a life of luxury…and to some extent I did. Designer clothes, expensive holidays, all the things that didn’t matter, all the things that sought external validation.

All that glitters, isn’t gold

Let me tell you (and I know MANY) people are still living this life. In front of others, we were happy. Behind closed doors was a different story.

I worked, cooked, cleaned, paid the bills and so much more all while studying towards my degree.

I used to wake up early and do my wife duties, then go to work, then rush home to do some more wife duties such as cooking, then rush to my night classes.

I remember getting home late at night and being so hungry because I didn’t even have time to think about eating. A simple task living beings need to do to survive. A simple task that could take 5 minutes…which on most days, I didn’t have time to do.

I’m not surprised the marriage crumbled

Lots of people asked me what the cause of my divorce was, my answer is always the same – we grew apart as people.

Bullshit! I just opened my eyes to the reality of the situation I was living in for all those years.

I was married to a narcissist. Well, at the time, I didn’t even hear the word narcissist before so I assumed that my life was ‘normal’.

The last nail in the coffin was when a truck hit my car and I needed to claim from insurance, the policy was on my ex’s name and he refused to claim. Can you imagine? Getting divorced over a smashed car! Well, there were other things too but this time I reached my limit.

He didn’t love me

I am sure he cared a lot about me, but I don’t think he actually loved me.

To love another person, you need to love yourself first. I don’t know if he loves himself or just gets high on outside validation.

But nobody treats the person they love the way I was treated. I am also not innocent. I tried to communicate and tried to solve our issues but when I saw that I was getting nowhere slowly, my mind left the marriage and focused more on completing my degree. This led to our demise.

So yeah, you could say…we grew apart as people.

I moved out with nothing (by choice) even though he said I could take whatever I wanted, I didn’t and started life from scratch. Four months later we were legally divorced.

I’m in love again

My family and friends were 600 km away so my only option was to go through this whole process by myself. Looking back, I would do it all over again because I know I have a fire deep within my soul. These lessons can only be learned through experience. Now I’m in love again, but this time, it’s with myself!

Since my divorce, I met an amazing person, and although we are not together anymore, he has helped me to grow as a person just by being kind and understanding towards me.

It is only now, about four years after my divorce, that I’ve realized, there is so much more to life. We can be absolutely anything we want to be. This realization came with a heavy price tag though – judgment from those who have not walked in my shoes.

I am still learning to deal with the opinions of others, but one thing is for sure – negative opinions or not, I will continue to keep moving forward, no matter how many setbacks I have or how hard it might be.