Over time, most of the time many people have made me feel that I should be ashamed of my story. The dark part. The bad part. They made me feel and told me that the least I should ever even dare to try to do is speak about the dark sides of my life. They tried to convince me that I will be shunned upon, hated, looked down upon, outcasted from the society. Many times my parent were told that I was way too liberal and restless in nature.
Little did I realize at that tender age, that the activities my parents and teachers got me involved into would make me - UNASHAMED.
What I learnt from my father and mother, some of my teachers and rock-solid friends, taught me in silent words to rise above the adversities and not be ashamed of them.
Yes, I am not ashamed of my story. Because my story is good, bad and ugly. Because I learnt with time that if I can love the good part of the story of my life and that of others, why can I not channelize the bad moments, situations and turn them to driving strengths?
I am not ashamed of my story because it taught me to accept myself, the obstacles in life, face them, collapse and rise up again. All in a cycle called life.
Today, I rise above the social stigmas and encourage people not to be ashamed of their story. I sit with myself and others to have a tête-à-tête often. What I was deprived of in my childhood and what I was blessed with from my early years makes me who I am today. I have more to learn and grow, till my last drop.
My story - which people thought I should be ashamed of comprised of sexual abuse as a child. I could not speak about to it for years because I did not know it was something to be spoken about. Four decades back there was more of hush hush to talk of such issues and hide it under the table. The stigma still exists. Break the wall!
My story witnessed a disturbance in the marital life of my parents for years due to the influence of other relatives, how they overcame those attempts made by people trying to break the marriage, ruin their life and that of mine - how they fought it together, planting seeds of unbreakable faith and strength in myself for always. Patience and perseverance pays.
The dark side of my story which others decided I should be ashamed of - I am not ashamed of, even today. The dark side of my story only made me stronger, bold, cut throat, a stubborn motivator.
The irony, the society I live in told me in more ways than one that I should be ashamed of myself because I am bold, I am fearless. As a girl, I shouldn’t be so. Hell! No, I am not ashamed to be so.
A marriage out of love became estranged with time. An abortion and miscarriages. I did not become a biological mother. I was told not to talk about it as it considered something to be ashamed of in our society. No, I am not ashamed of my story.
Losing my father - my idol, my mother - my bestie to an accident, there I was, broken, shattered, tattered and torn. Turned alcoholic, active smoker. I came out from there with strength. No, I am not ashamed to say it all.
A sexual abuse at workplace – in the hospitality industry - which almost attempted to ruin my life, my estranged husband stood by me and fought for me. No, I am not ashamed just because things did not work out perfectly between us. He stood by me and told me, “Do not be ashamed of your story.”
Therein came multiple nervous breakdowns, lying in a comatose state when a miracle called the love of life happened to me. When I was back from the hospital, some people started saying I have gone insane and stayed away from me. I Thank God they are not anywhere around me today.
Some people wearing the mask of well-wishers, wanted to sleep with me. Many suggested my life will turn around if I take personal and professional favours underneath the tables. No I am not ashamed for not giving in to their whims and fancies.
Penniless, broken, I was crawling inside my room. The darkness taught me a lot. My friends stood unconditionally by me. Because I call a spade a spade, does not imply I am not soft. My heart goes out for my friends and even strangers who have faced worse situations in life. It’s all a part of the struggle, a part of the fight, till the last breath.
A woman, whom I trusted to be my friend, stabbed me. A man in the disguise of a well-wisher till date attempts to ruin the social and private life that of myself and the best of my friends because I refused to sleep with him. I gathered my ashes up and am taking legal help. I do not know if Justice prevails in my country, but I will at least be able to look eye to eye with myself, telling, “Yes, I tried.” No, I am not ashamed of my story.
Confused relationships, broken heart, love finding its way maybe to be lost again – I am not ashamed of my story.
At every turn I rise from my ashes, I crumble, I cry, I fall, I laugh, I writhe in pain, I have fun times with friends, family and my dogs. I write, I continue working professionally.
I am on a constant drive to empower humans - either through my writing, or through speaking on public forums, raising awareness and motivating myself and others to rise up and say – NO! I AM NOT ASHAMED OF MY STORY. DARE ME IF YOU CAN. PERIOD.