Archive for January, 2015

30
Jan

Do You Want to Break-Free Too?

Since I started writing on this blog, I have had many people share their stories of confusions with me. Recently, one story touched my heart and I felt the need to write this article.

This is a story about a young girl in her late 20’s who is going under a severe depression phase. All attempts by even the most reputed doctors have been in vain. She just wants to be alone and not do anything.

I spoke to her several times and asked her to get out, go for a world tour, a hiking trip or try something which is adventurous and out of her comfort zone. She told me that she would love to do all those but she belongs to a very conservative family and her parents would never let her travel alone without them. Her mother accompanies her even to visit the doctor.

Probably her depression is due to being confined in an environment which she cannot breakfree and run for her freedom to be happy. She is confused, she wants to get out but her restrictions from family won’t let her.

But she is not alone, this is the story of almost every adult who is still living with their parents, ofcourse not all become depressed, but if asked I can bet that most would say that they would love to live alone.

Few days ago, I happened to meet an old friend of mine who had something similar to share, “Parents can be annoying,” she said. “They interfere in decisions that I make. Whenever I try to make a decision about my life, I face lots of problems. My father goes to every other member of the family and asks their opinion but would never respect mine.” She wanted to go abroad to study further, but her father thought she wouldn’t be safe alone and refused.

In most of the third world countries where children still live with their parents until death, children have no say, parents still control what their children should do and not do even if children are old enough to take their own decisions. After marriage as well, the wife needs to come and live with everyone else and listen to her in-laws. Even she is not allowed to make decisions on her own and should seek permission for every small thing.

The family style found in the United States, where children typically move out when they are 18 years old, would never work in countries like India. Indian children cannot leave their parents because they need them and rely on them for support and advice. I have seen grown men who still rely on their mothers to do their laundry or make their food.

That’s how Indian culture goes, parents raise sons in hope that son will take care of them in old age and sons prefer to live with parents for support and easy life. Even if it requires frequent arguments, fights, loud bickering, all continue to live together forever.

Why is it so that kids growing up in western countries like USA prefer to live independently, even parents want their kids out as soon as they turn 18 but in countries like India, all stay together.

Are parents in USA more strong and capable that they don’t feel the need for their children to take care of them while parents in India are too weak and scared to live alone? Or it’s just the cultural difference, one which people are too strongly tied up to break?

I wonder, is it just us, or society as well who pressurizes the children to be with parents and not become independent, if a son leaves home, “What a shameful son, he left his old parents to rot while he enjoys his life”, I’m sure this is what he will have to hear!!!

For the girl in the story, this could be one of the reasons for her being depressed, but what do you feel? Should you still be with your parents and let them make decisions and control your life or it would be better for everyone to adopt the USA style of life?

02
Jan

The Loneliness of Togetherness

Before marriage whenever I used to meet my couple friends, I would always feel like a 5th wheel, like an outcast. Family functions were worst, I could hear my relatives whispering behind my back, “poor soul, she is still single and so lonely”. It was true to a certain extent as well, I didn’t have a partner to dance with, I didn’t have someone to walk hand in hand along a beach or go on romantic vacations.

married-and-lonely

I thought, once I get married at least I will have someone by my side forever, someone who would be there to tend to my needs when I’m sick, someone who would talk to me when I’m bored, someone who will dance with me and take me out for romantic holidays.

So, to remove loneliness from my life, I got married in the year 2012. Unfortunately, marriage isn’t that simple, it’s not always able to sustain every vow you make to your beloved. It’s not that my husband avoids me or I avoid him, but a strange feeling of loneliness has crept into our marriage despite spending a lot of time together.

I still cannot pin point my finger to what went wrong where. We were very happy and fun before marriage, we would talk for hours and hours without getting bored. But somewhere between the domestic chaos and raising a child, our marriage fell into an autopilot mode. Everyday became a routine, even Sundays or holidays were no different. With occasional movie and dinner dates happening sometimes, rest of the time was like standstill. Nothing really changed.

I don’t blame anyone for this loneliness in our marriage. At some point, discussion about interests, world events, politics, sports and dreams disappeared completely and our conversations became purely transactional or work related – “we need to buy new clothes for the baby”, “project is not meeting deadlines”, “what’s for dinner”, etc. Our day is pretty much tight-locked like a school timetable – breakfast at 9, get ready and leave for office at around 10:30 while I put our kid for small nap, I work and play with the kid during the daytime, he comes home by 8:30, have dinner at 9, I put the baby to sleep by 10, I watch television till 11:30 and go to bed while he works on his computer and then sleeps around 12. We get up at 8 and then the same routine continues.

I suppose in all this routine somewhere love and affection in our marriage got lost. It’s like a vicious circle, we are in marriage to avoid loneliness and the marriage itself dooms us to the loneliness of togetherness.

I’m not sure if my husband feels the same way or not, he is a very self-contained person and is very good in hiding his emotions. But I certainly feel that it’s time that we speak the unspoken and try to find out why we are lonely. Being single and lonely is sad, but being married and lonely is terribly miserable.