I am born and brought up in a very protective family.  Being the only girl child in the family I was given so much love and affection.  Being the only sister of four brothers; I was always protected.  Was never left alone for a while.  Always accompanied either by parents or brothers wherever I went. I was lucky enough to have very good schoolmates.  I had studied in a co-education school. My friend’s circle had more boys than girls. I was again loved by my friends because I always respected them.  My good and understanding nature was a bonus for me as I never had any fights with my friends. They were like my extended family. When I had to go for tuitions I was accompanied by my boy’s gang. So even here I wasn’t left alone. I was always looked after by someone; all the time. 

I grew up being protected.  Family and brothers at home and friends in school.  I didn’t get a chance to know the real world outside.  I always thought the world outside is as safe as I am getting to see. I never knew it was only one side of the coin. The real picture of the outside world was yet to see by me. I was happy being unaware of the reality.  Life was full of happiness and good people around me who were my family; close to my heart; I trusted a lot because I had no reason not to trust them. Everyone was nice to me throughout my journey. I completed my schooling. I have such wonderful memories of those days which I still cherish and share with my daughter whenever I remember them. I had been on family trips and educational trips with school friends. Even on trips I was guarded and protected always by my family and friends.  I always felt pampered; cared for; loved and protected.  I always thought people are so understanding.  The world is full of good-hearted people.  I entered into my college life. New friends as I had chosen different fields for further studies. Got separated from my school gang. Had to meet new friends.  It was difficult initially but was lucky enough here too; found very good friends. But I was missing my boy’s gang. I did my college in Women’s college.  Still had managed to complete my graduation with good friends and wonderful memories.

After college, I joined my father’s business helping him with his accounts. So again I was gaining experience of something new but in a known environment. I never got a chance here too; to meet outsiders and interact with unknown people.  My life was going smooth and steady. I was as usual happy and unaware of the real world.  Few years passed and I was about to get married.  My engagement was fixed. I met an unknown person and in few meetings, it was decided I am getting married to him. Engagement days were just so beautiful.  Though only a few months were there for marriage still those days were beautiful. Everything was new. I was going to enter into the most important phase of my life.  My life was about to change forever.  As I will be living with a new family at new house; leaving behind my own family. Until I got married I was showered so much love by my family and my in-laws.  It was certain to receive so much love and extra care from my parents and family. I didn’t understand at that time though. 

The day arrived and I was officially married and came to my new house. Everything was so nice and filmy type as I had seen on screen in movies. I had the same feeling of being cared for and protected as I was always had. But I didn’t know; everything will change. Hereafter marriage I am no more going to be pampered.  I am rather made responsible for taking care of my new family.  Learning their lifestyle and getting adjusted to their way of living without questioning.  I did that willfully and happily.  I never thought of my in-law’s house; it was my own house but little I knew for them I was still an outsider. I was ordered always to do work. My feelings never mattered to anyone; not even my husband.  I was always left alone because I was still an outsider. Nobody cared about me and my emotions. All these came as shock. For the first time in my life, I felt humiliated and ignored.  This was just beginning. My life was ruined by them. It was torturous. I was broken and shattered.  After few years of living a life of hell, I decided to part my ways with my husband.  We got separated after a long legal battle.  I got custody of my daughter and I came to stay with my parents.

My life was like a roller coaster. I was back in a safe environment; with my daughter and was leaving with my family.  But things were different now. Though I had a supportive family; I also had responsibilities for my daughter. I decided to work and be independent.  I joined another firm and started working.  Now I realized the world is so different.  I should have got exposed to this earlier itself.  I would have been ready at least to face the harsh world. I believe and really want my daughter to learn about the reality of life from a young age itself.  I don’t want her to be felt always protected and pampered rather I want her to become stronger and stronger day by day.

Sejal Davey 
Counselor and Coach 
(Child, Career and Parenting)