They don’t love me…


The misery of a century reflected
On her pale, scared face
When she said, “They don’t love me.”

And thus goes her story:
“I wash my clothes,
I make my food,
I help my mother
I am big enough
And know my duties.
I try to study well,
I am not naughty,
I never tell lies,
I obey my parents,
But they don’t love me,
I don’t know why!”

No dear, they love you.
(She had no evidence to believe so.)

I am not their child
Even yesterday my mother told me
“You were bought from the market
For five bucks.”
She repeatedly tells me,
“Go get yourself run over by some vehicle
You bitch, you wretched creature.
You were not born to me!”

She used to fry fish for me
Nowadays she does that only for my brother.
She flogs me with a hanger,
Burns my skin,
Curses me daylong,
Sometimes makes me sleep in the kitchen.”

But why? WHY?

I sometimes get poor marks.

So study well.

But last day I got 10 on 10
Then she said, ‘You cheated.’

What about your father, dear?

When he returns from work
Mother reports my performance
And he ‘whips’ his share
Using his belt!

I don’t want the school to be over
I can’t think of going home
I prefer week days to weekends!

She was just nine.
She was the only daughter.
They were her biological parents.

Then why……?
I have no answer,
Neither did they.

Interventions helped.
Realizations,
Remorse,
Penance,
Reconciliation.

Happy ending.
Hope it lasts.

Dear teachers,

If any one of your students is often found unusually gloomy or naughty, take him/her aside for a little heart-to-heart talk. She may be a victim of child abuse. And you can be of some help.

(100% true story from the city where I live. She is just as old as my girl, whom you see in the picture.)

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30 responses to “They don’t love me…

  1. This is so sad. How can one blame this world for it’s anti-feminist ways when one’s own parents are so misogynistic. I love the advice in the end, you’re spot on with that one. I too have some experience as a teacher and I found this to be true. Teachers play such a huge role in a child’s life but sadly, to some teachers it’s only a “job”, though for me and for you too, it’s a duty towards mankind.

    • All over the world within the nuclear families many such atrocities are committed. The frustrated parents give vent to their emotions in such ways. We take pride in our strong family values and ties, but this happened in an Indian family. Well, as you said, teachers can really help if they could develop some rapport with the children and have the discretion to know when to act. Thank you, FF!

  2. God Bindu, the poor poor dear! I do hope the “reconciliation” is not just mere eyewash, and that they are truly remorseful. How can anyone do this to a child! And parents too! Sigh. Sigh Sigh Sigh.

    We do come across kids who perform lacklustre, or are seen to be quite “off” the normal patterns. And then again, some, whom we think of as well adjusted and doing fine. But stories emerge, and it takes, as you say, a sensitive teacher, more than anybody else to bring the balance in their lives again. Here’s to more teachers like that. Thank you for sharing this. Your empathy and your grace shows itself, and the love you have for the children, and their parents too! Thank you!

    • Thank you, Usha, for your thoughtful words. Teachers are often too much pre-occupied with the syllabus and salary matters, and such behaviour traits in students are often ignored. But this incident has made me more alert.

  3. Oh my Bindu! My heart is aching … This is such a beautifully written sad piece that exposes the reality that battered kids experience. Such a beautiful soul and smart girl, but her parents don’t know they are destroying her body, mind, and spirit! She is every girl out there whose ignored and neglected, who is treated less important than her brother, who is forced to believe she is worthless when she is in fact far more worthy than what she is taught to believe. My heart aches for her!

    Thank you Bindu for exposing her abuse, her silent tears!

    • The brother was not spared too, but his condition was not that misereable, may be because he was smaller. This is not just discrimination against the girl child, that’s what I understand. May be the parent got some sadistic pleasure torturing the girl. I hope they would give up the habit at least out of shame.

  4. The poor girl. Hope things work out for her. Thank you Bindu for the share. It helps that these things arent left unsaid.

  5. such a sad story. and yet it is the reality.
    thank you for putting it in such concise words.
    i hope the teachers do understand this dilemma.
    empathy is not a quality for all.
    I just hope all teachers have empathy in them.

    • Thank you, Amira. Teachers can do a lot more for their students than mere teaching if they could take some time out to know their students’ problems.

  6. This post is really grief-stricken..I cannot believe that this is a real story..How can her parents behave so rudely to her ?…When I read this post, I felt so sad..And When I read the foot-note given after your post , I felt it as something incredible..Maam, How you came to know about that girl?..from newspaper? What is her condition now?

    • She lives here in our city, I shall give you the details when we meet next time. Luckily things have taken a positive turn and the little girl is happy now. Thank you for that empathetic comment, Ishanath!

  7. What a sad piece… Such a tragic shame that some could be so hurtful to children. It breaks my heart…

  8. Bindu….this is soooo heartbreaking. Just sickening to think of a child being treated this way. But as a teacher too, I know those stories only too well. There is help. In the US we are required to call Child Protective Services if we see evidence, or hear a child speak of such horrific things.
    How can a human being, a parent…hurt their child? It is unconceivable.
    Verbal abuse can be just as damaging as physical abuse.

    Good for you for making it a “teachable moment”….telling parents, grandparents, teachers, or anyone who works or lives with children…the signs of abuse to watch for. We need to practice awareness. With the recession affecting the entire world with loss of jobs, homes, income, and rising prices people are feeling angry. When people are desperate they often turn their anger on those closest to them, their own family.

    Your poem is so well written. You convey the story very well and the feelings expressed are so evident to the reader…

    • You are right, Judy. People these days are more frustrated due to a hundred different reasons. And the members of the family treat one another to give vent to their suppressed feelings.
      Here in this part of the world mothers try to fulfil their dreams through their children. Unlike in the US here laws related to domestic issues are not that strict and many such incidents go un-reported.
      Thank you so much, Judy, for your well-worded comment.

  9. What a beautiful daughter you have and what a sad story about that little girl. It resonated deep into my soul because it sounds so familiar. It also makes me angry that parents can’t realise what damage they are doing to a young soul like that. It’s not her fault…she didn’t ask to be born into this world. All she wants and needs is love and acceptance. But I must believe that she is a strong soul as well and that she will come through this…like I did. Lovely post and words Bindu. 🙂

    • That is true story. Fortunately life is now totally different for her. Nowadays she smiles a lot, playing with her friends.
      But there are many other such girls around us, who keep their sufferings to themselves, only to grow up into God-knows-what!

      • I am so glad to hear that Bindu. Yes, it is sad when a young girl has to go through that but we must keep the faith that they will grow strong and see it as a journey through life and one that can teach us a lot. 🙂

  10. Very poignant .. I was close to tears..
    I hope the hapiness lasts forever 🙂

  11. Thank you for having the courage to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. It is tragic to think how many such stories go on all over the world. I am so glad the ending was hopeful.

  12. i’m new here ang your blog is really inspiring ………wow….. 🙂

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