There was a time when I thought I would die if this day ever happens.., literally drop dead out of sheer heart ache! No kidding. But the day has come and gone and I see that I am hale, hearty and more healthier than ever. The day when I would see my ex-fiancee get married.
Today I am acclaimed as a successful entrepreneur, life-skills trainer, an icon for an increasing number of youth(so they say) and one hell of a brave woman. I have coached a great many people to get a grip over their lives, to become happy andsuccessful. I get everyday calls or mails from people in whose life I have made a solid difference. While all these are on the rosy side, I have also had the opportunity to live my own life and make my own mistakes. In fact, it was only before a couple of years ago, when my work was beginning to be recognized, my programs were widely being acknowledged, in a single week I saw my bank- balance go up to be a significant seven digit figure. Yet only weeks later as I stood in front of 6000 people, people who I loved and wanted to serve, I had this experience of feeling extra-ordinarily sad and empty inside.
My fiancee,with whom I was crazily, madly, divinely, stupidly in love had dumped me. Yes, so many adjectives are needed to explain the level of intelligence suspension that I did in the relationship. Our invitations were printed, wedding attires selected, a five-star engagement was completed and I was counting days with such impatience. And out of the blue, he has a change of heart.
I was not the Kirtanya that you see now. Back then, I was a lot more innocent, conventional, and not as independent as I am today. And worst of all I had no problems with me being a woman in the relationship, which means that I didn’t mind male-chauvinism. I was not interested in a career-oriented life. All that I wanted to do was to marry my fiancee, cook and clean around the house, and lose myself in my love and my children. I know, not exactly fashionable.
From his part, he put three rules.
“I am always right.”
“You are always wrong.”
“And if ever you think you are right, go back to rule number one.”
Stupid as it sounds, I accepted it. Why??? Three reasons. The first being that he had just helped me out of a very tight period and I was grateful. Second, because I had supreme confidence in myself and my ability to provide un-conditional love to anyone. I thought I am a master of my own happiness and what has people or situations to do with it? Third, I was head over in heels in love. You can’t be in love and wise at the same time, can you? I reasoned out to myself I actually had no preferred choices. And it is true, internally I was as flexible as a gymnast. I can be happy doing anything, something that life was very particular in teaching me before it started garlanding me.
So began one hell of a relationship, literally!
Just a few days into the relationship, I could see very clearly the symptoms of a well-masked NPD, Narcissistic Personality Disorder. It complicated things immensely between us. On the one side was this extremely charming personality that could make you believe that he is God Apollo walking in flesh and blood, who could dazzle you with his brilliance on any subject. On the other side was this nasty power-hungry maniac who seriously thought he was the center of the Universe, a man who believed in beating up women so that he could feel power within, a man who would pick serious emotional fights with children hardly out of kinder-garden, a man who thought that knowing the language of computers fluently, made him super-human and the rest of humanity had to pay homage.
I learned to adjust to everyone of the complexes. I learned to recall the gratitude that I owed him after every harassment and stayed on. I learned to believe that I knew nothing and he knew everything. I learned to lay myself down like a doormat. And if you lay yourself down like a doormat, you got to be prepared to be trampled like a door mat. That precisely is what happened. Ten days before the marriage, calling a pretext that even a ten year old will not cite, he called off the marriage.
I do not know if you, the reader, is able to comprehend the impact of such a turn of events on me. I didn’t see it coming. I was in love. One minute we are as close as any love-birds and in a couple of hours everything is over. In an age where people ended relationships just because the spouse sneezed two notches higher, I had withstood every kind of a humiliation for three years, just so that I must love unconditionally and until death do us apart. And I was in a career where I had, I have and I will always help people live together happily in-spite of their differences. My success rates have been phenomenally high given the industry standards. And here I am facing the highest humiliation possible in this country for a woman.
What hurt me the most was not the humiliation. What hurt me most was not that my budding business(we were partners in a business) and company collapsed in one night and along with it all my friends, my money and my family’s trust for the time-being. My world as I had known it until then, was wiped clean by the immaturity of a man who was conceptually diseased and I was powerless to do anything. I had always had people eating out of my hands and here was someone rejecting me for the first time in my life, even that didn’t hurt me. His parting shots,
“Look at you, you are so dark, I am fair.
You are OK to look but I am so handsome.
I am so successful, I mean I earn so much, you can hardly earn ten thousand.
I have so many girls waiting for me, whereas you are too old for marriage.
Why would I want to get married to you? Don’t you think its a sacrifice I am making?”
And he narrated this in the tones of a martyr(Yes, I was very poor by his standards back then)
Even these statements which are enough to finish off any self-respecting person didn’t hurt me as much as my repeated un-understanding questions. My utter confusion and agony when I was asking like a parrot, “Can you, really, see yourself with another girl for the rest of your life?” “How will I live without you?”, “How can I live anywhere on earth knowing that you will be with another woman?” … These questions were so painful and so pointless. Pointless because I came to know eight months later that he had broken the marriage only after he had found a woman eleven years younger than him.
If there was one thing that I really wish I didn’t do, If somehow I wish I could have stopped myself…It was the way I went back again and again to resolve, begging him to have mercy, to not leave me, doom me to a life of misery and loneliness. But I told you, by then I had not discovered my capabilities, I had not started working like I do now. I was just a simple girl who revolved around her man. However, My life seemed to have been ear-marked for a special purpose. I had no choice but to stand on my own two feet. And boy, did I stand?? You bet!!
The coming months were extremely tough in all ways including the new business which I have to now build up from scratch with all my money stuck with my fiancee. I didn’t have a penny in my hand. Those were the days that revealed the true faces of people around me. I understood how much money and position spoke. Friends vanished overnight. And the friends who would have helped unconditionally, I had already alienated through this all consuming relationship. It would be unfair if I don’t talk about a few gems who stood with me through thick and thin. But they were a few of my students and not really in a position to provide concrete help. To make a long story short, a tough struggle with the unrelenting support from my sister, who backed me up so fiercly, it turned out that my business picked up.
And then another blow.
I still remember the day when I finally discovered what a sitting duck I had been for someone else’s scheming, and came to know that he already had a girlfriend when he ended things. Every piece of the puzzle fell into place. I could see clearly the elaborate scheme that had gone into ending the marriage. All that deliberate endless bullying and then the complaining that I am not matching his standards. A lightening straight from the heaven could not have struck me harder. A rage that I had never before known rose up in unrelenting waves. Such of you who are familiar with the Tamil song ‘Oh, oru thendral puyalaagi varudhe” can imagine the background music now.
I consciously moved from the heart to the head and deliberated over my course of action. I had two options before me. One was, my life is broken around me and sometimes, the best thing to do is just leave the pieces there and keep moving. And the second option was to stay and fight. Fight not for the man, but fight the injustice. I chose the second. But since I knew the danger of emotional fights, the danger of being sucked in a vortex where you lose sight of your own life, I fixed up a time period of three months. Three months to teach a lesson that will at least, if not for anything, save another trusting girl’s life.
But I will fight with what? Dharna?? Law?? Go to his family members and appeal??? Come on, I was an idiot but then not so bad an idiot. And what will a family who had never stood up to him for anything because he earns so damn well, do for a third person who is a nobody? Truth be told, I did hope against hope that they will understand my plight. But I was dealing with a brain much superior to mine who had turned everyone of the vulnerabilities that I had confided into powerful weapons against me, the day he ended the wedding. You could visualize now the three monkeys of Gandhi, that’s how they were and still are where I am concerned.
So I engaged my inferior brain and after two days came up with a plan, that was harmless, detailedly elaborate, that required precision timing and was hilarious to the core. I set it in motion with some new friends who were willing to help. I so wish I can detail the brilliancy and fun here (boasting!!, but what is life if you cannot boast now and then??), but no, this blog is not the place. It needs a book. I am planning one as a therapy to people who were in dysfunctional relationships which would be auto-biographical in nature, but that is for another day. Trust me, it will beat any Sidney Sheldon Novel in the gripping scenarios.
And so it happened that the hunter became the hunted. He determined the pace and the plot of it. There were some unexpected twists and turns and some predictable moves. There was just one ugly thing that makes me go red when I think of it, a weapon that seemed so grossly unfair deployed against a woman, but yes I do understand that self-protection can make people resort to any means. Finally, it was a game well played. I came out the victor in retrieving a large sum my father had given to who he thought would be his future son-in-law. And I think I succeeded fairly well in driving home a powerful lesson that would fundamentally change the way he will treat his wife. For the better! I won’t claim I changed his nature, but at least I put in him a fear of retribution. Not one action goes without consequences.
Well, the blow when it fell was excruciatingly hard. The events didn’t make any sense. I thought if there was a God, he could not have been any more crueller than he has been. I thought I did n’t deserve it in the least. The thought of his living with some other girl was so excruciatingly painful. But I kept my head down and worked. Worked both within and without. Slowly, as I consciously healed myself of the heart ache, I began to glimpse another side of life. A Joy and fulfillment that is not dependent on another being. An internal freedom that was not afraid of anymore pain. A passion that I have never before known that I bring to every thing I do and… enough, I wont bore you any more describing what I feel here. I do not want to say here that I have crossed pain completely. Occasionally there are moments when suddenly something or someone trigger a wistful, “it could have been..”, “If only I had chosen to fall in love with a saner person..” But then, I am learning to be my own master.
While the process wasn’t easy by any means, what I learned in the coming months helped me uncover the true source of my challenges. Today, while my life is far from perfect, one of the greatest gifts I have is the absolute certainty that the joy I feel is here to stay. I am a successful life-skills coach not because I have lived a perfect life, But because the harder life hit me, the taller I stood up again. Not once, not twice but again and again and again.
Found a passion…
This is precisely the reason for me writing this blog. If there is anyone out there who is suffering heart-ache, who is under the delusions that world or life cannot move on without your mate, wake up! Its not true. Don’t make life a drudgery. Don’t suffer throughout your tenancy on earth. I would suggest you pick yourself up by the ear and start singing…
England will still go on without you,
the birds will still chirp without you
Without you pulling it the tide comes in,
without your twirling it the Earth can spin,
Without your pushing them, the clouds roll by,
If they can do without you, ducky, so can I
I shall not feel alone without you
I can stand on my own without you
I can do so bloody well
Whatever, you make up your song!… You deserve it the most.
Recently the day I was dreading so much once long before, happened unexpectedly. Some common friend thrust a photo of my ex fiancee marrying a girl in my hand. I was waiting for pain to rear its head again. What came instead was a thought, a sparkle of laughter and a genuine compliment, “They look made for each other!”
And what was the thought??
“Her husband will treat her as a wife, a human even and not as a slave, only because of the terror I have shown him!! The girl will never know she owes me one for as long as she lives!”
Nice thought, isn’t it? But that’s ok, I can be an unsung heroine in this case.
Disclaimer: I am not advising anyone who is in the middle of a relationship, to take half baked decisions on the basis of what you read here. Trust me, It isn’t as easy as it appears here. If there is anyone who is out there who is immature enough to break a relationship because you couldn’t find the patience in you to bring your best to the relationship then you need to think twice. This article is only for those who have tried again and again to meet someone in the middle and that someone didn’t know where the middle was. It’s only for those people who have had no choice and are pining over what could have been.