My experiences and my observation of relationships have taught me a thing: pain is more mental than physical. As understood, like happiness, pain is a state of mind too. That’s why it is essential to release than hold on. Holding on does more damage than releasing it, and let not ‘the society’ tell you otherwise!
Often, we are reminded to ‘adjust’ or ‘compromise’, even when we red flag the toxicity we deal with. Society subconsciously tells this so that it does not want to behold disintegration and intends to camouflage the unity of individuals, verily at the cost of mental health, individuality, and mutual respect. We call it civilization! That’s why we see many women experiencing more domestic abuse than men, and it appears in different meso and meta forms, which are not widely and openly discussed, seen, and condemned: marital rape, emotional torture, sexual harassment, mental abuse, physical violence, social intimidation, and cultural oppression. As we are often schooled to incoherently and irrationally adjust, we rarely realize where to draw the line between self-respect and toxic love.
Toxic love is what many of us are experiencing, without realizing it. It appears in the form of ‘transactional emotions’ as if it becomes eminent to trade sex to be proven that you love. Gaslighting, wherein we are made to question our own view of reality, by the abuser. Normalization of physical violence which is manifested as an act of care, and emotional or mental abuse qualify as criteria (taught by the bollywoodization of romantic films) in obsessive relationships to cumulate as ‘true love’.
The dearth of the spiritual quotient, amid the epoch of melancholy of emotions and loneliness, where conspicuous prosumption of affection matters more than being asked “are you happy?” transcends at all levels of partnering or bonding. It feels like a crime to believe in an unconventional form of romance, or to come out, in this system that still believes in the binarization of gender (albeit there are 46 types of sexualities).
And in all this cacophony, we are finding it extremely difficult to move on. Mrs. Anuja, a friend of mine intending to divorce her cheating husband, tells me, “I gave my best to our marriage, compromised to his traits, went against family and married him, yet he has to sleep around with girls.” She cries and reminds me how traumatic he was throughout the marriage.
How easy it is that others can damage us with impunity while dealing with trauma becomes our personal responsibility. In this nation where the Hindu government spends less than .33 paisa on mental health services, therapies and coping mechanisms become costlier. Even talking about anxiety and depression to our loved ones like families can entice impudent suggestions like “get some proper sleep”, “listen to bhajans”, “think positively”, “visit good places” etc.
While it is true that our society cannot dare to go apocryphal against its cognitive structures that have built this traumatic system as it will break its illusions. Profiteering from the trauma of the individuals is another dark side of the cultural business entrepreneured by the intergenerational conventions of society. All, in the end, is left out is YOU, who has to deal with the ‘man eat dog’ world!