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Open Heart Surgery

I think I’m finally ready to talk about this.  It has been a strange, choked three years for this blog. I’ve not been anonymous, an issue I’ve been struggling with on all my other social media channels too. But specifically on XX Factor, where I talk about relationships, where other people’s emotions and involvement are present, it’s harder for me to speak. And I’ve been in a serious relationship and then the equally heavy fallout of the break-up after that.

Let’s talk about what went wrong, why we broke up, I and the man I called ‘Mr.Everyday‘, the one I was engaged to.

We were very different people to start with. In time our differences became too great to deal with. No, that’s not quite it. True and yet, not what I want to talk about.

It ended because it was a toxic, abusive relationship. Yes, I said that. Abusive. Violence. It ended because voices were raised and at some point of time, hands too.

Take a second to digest that, but only a second, so you don’t have the time to jump to a conclusion. Let me tell my story.

At some point of time it just got to be too much for me, the things that hurt me so much (which I won’t get into now, I’m determined that this one post won’t be about villifying him). When that happened, I stopped being who I want to think I am. I gave up my lifelong battle against anger and let myself go.

I broke a teacup. I tore up a book I’d gifted him. I set the torn fragments on fire.

Things settled for a bit, cooling off like the burning shards. And I naively believed that our problems had gone too. We started talking about marriage a few months after that, a stupid notion, now I know.

The next time the pressure built up, it went a little further. I don’t even remember the sequence of events now, it’s all such an angry, teary blur. But I do remember screaming,

“If you say that one more time, I’ll slap you”

I don’t remember what his words were that incensed me so but whatever they were, despite my warning, he did. And I slapped him. Then he hit me back. I remember flying across the room, hitting the wall and falling down, surprised, very surprised.

Stuff after that blurs again. Another memory. Similar. I slapped him. He lunged back. This time I staggered back and fell onto a sofa and everything was a red blur for a bit. I lost a few seconds before I figured out my nose was bleeding. And still a few more seconds before I realized he was pounding his own fists into the wall. My nosebleed turned out to be a minor internal cut, not a fracture as I had feared. And his fists had bruises on them.

The rest is, well, the rest is just words. I still maintain that there was undue interference from outside which put a severe strain on an already troubled relationship. But truthfully, the rot in our relationship were sown by the two of us – him and me.

It was an abusive relationship. We stopped respecting each other and began hurting each other instead. A handful of incidents changed the course of our relationship from ‘difficult’ to ‘non-existent’.

Why have I chosen to come out with this now? This is not personal vendetta against him. His crimes to our relationship are numerous. But I can never forget that I raised my hand first, an act of violence that would set the tone for the future of our relationship. I need to acknowledge that, to myself and here, in this space where I talk about my relationships, who I am and how I love. This is me then. I love passionately. But also violently. I’m dreadfully ashamed of it.

I don’t want us to be together anymore (and understandably neither does he). My next thought is usually to wish I hadn’t said this or done that. But I honestly don’t see how my reactions could have been anything else. At that point of time, I just got pushed too far.

Today, I know a little more than I did then. I’m not as proud about never backing down from a challenge. I want to believe that I think before flaring up to anger. I’m still learning. In all fairness, that ‘being pushed too far’ situation has never risen after that. But perhaps one of my lessons is in avoiding those situations too. I’ve learnt fear, a difficult lesson for me. And this time, it’s fear of myself.

I don’t like who I was then and I hope I never go back to that place. That may mean that I never get that close to anybody again, never let myself love or trust so much again, never let myself be so bitterly disappointed again. Because if disappointment and frustration and hurt bring out such a monster in me, it’s best that the monster be caged and never taunted out.

But life is a long journey and I don’t anymore believe myself to be the strong, proud person I once thought I was. This hurt, this disappointment in myself has lain heavy on my soul for a year now. I don’t want to punish myself for the rest of my life. So I’m going to try to make my peace with this – with my ugly, violent side as well as the selfish, survival instinct that makes me want to love again.

That’s all. Thank you for listening.

P.S. – I found this blogpost very helpful.

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Slap Him, He’s A Guy!

He said,

Would you slap me if I asked you to spend the night with me?

I said, “No.
He looked positively thrilled as he squeaked, “Are you sure?” (Perhaps he assumed I was saying yes to the implied question when I said no to the direct one….does that make sense? Search me….that’s male logic)
Positive”, I monotoned,

I don’t go around slapping people for things like this. There are worse crimes, you know.

She hit me like a freight train...

She hit me like a freight train… (Photo credit: rhobinn)

It is true. I don’t particularly enjoy violence. I didn’t even bat an eyelid when a roadside Romeo ran the oh-so-corny “Umar hai solah, kamar coca-cola” line on me last week. Yup, I’m a lily-livered, many-feathered chicken in such matters. Verbal warfare is my forte but no, I’m not getting into a clash with someone who might decide to fling some acid on me tomorrow.

Now a guy whom I know, that’s different. Well…not so very much. I would stay and defend my ground but I still don’t like the idea of hitting someone to make a point. I mean, if you can’t win by superior logic and intellect then maybe you aren’t superior after all. Why stoop to such base instincts, then?

I have only slapped a guy twice in my life. The first time was a mistake. A hot-headed 13-year old trying to handle peer pressure doesn’t think too clearly. In my case, I just delivered a stinging slap on the face of the guy I thought was passing around a photograph of Pooja Bhatt in a horrendous costume, with my name scrawled over it. As it turned out, someone else was responsible and he was just looking at it. Poor thing suffered a crush on me as well….which oddly enough, seemed to increase in fervour after this episode.

The second time, I wasn’t hitting. I was hitting back. And that needs no more justification than just that.

So yes, contrary to some popular perception, I do not carry artillery around

with me. (Yes, there was that one boyfriend who used to sign off his letters as “Xena’s guy”…..dysfunctional imbecile, he thought it was cute!)

Not that anyone seems to believe it. Why would anyone be surprised? You can say yes. You can say no. Yes, just say it. You don’t need to demonstrate it. Well, sure there are those who don’t understand the word the first time round. But there are a few hundred ways to convince them. None of them involve touching them.

Is the physical so important to underline the emotional, the mental? There are people who are subtle…I’m not one of them. But I don’t need to mash someone to pulp to prove that I’m not to be messed with.

As an endnote to women: Dahlings, if he’s annoying enough for you to want to hurt him, why touch him at all? If you have to hit, aim where it hurts….his ego. Men may come in all shapes and sizes but they are united on this one point. Sticks and stones may break his bones but a carefully phrased sentence can tear him shreds in an instant. A slap is nothing in comparison.

Choose your battles and use your words well.


The fine print:
And anyone who thought that this post had something to with kinky sex on account of its title and are still waiting…HAHAHAHA! Look at the title of this blog….I bet at least half the people who saw it first thought of steamy b-grade movies. I love word-play.

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