And if you are one of those women who herself is going through a hell due to domestic violence, you must take inspiration from Geetika to make your life worth living. Like Geetika, every woman is a child of God and she has every right to be happy on this earth. If people around you don’t give you that happiness, you need to snatch it away for yourself and for your children, just like Geetika did, though not before giving her best to save her relationship.
Presently working in Aravali College of Advanced Studies in Education situated in Ballabhgarh, Faridabad, Geetika Wadhera is a shining example of proud Indian woman who, in spite of all sufferings, wants to save her relationships but the day she wakes up and demands her rights, she converts herself into the living form of Goddess Durga and destroys everything that comes in the way of her children’s betterment.
Let’s know what Geetika thinks about herself, her previous life after marriage that was nothing less than a hell and how she was able to recollect herself and her life.
Q: Please tell us about your childhood days.
Ans. My childhood was very good. Both my parents are well educated and they sent me to one of the best schools of Faridabad, the St. John’s School. I did my graduation from Dayanand College where I studied Home Science. Then I did my masters from Lady Irwin College, DU with Home Science. After that, I did job in a couple of NGOs for about one and half years before getting married. I have two daughters studying in 6th and 4th standards.
Q: What was your life like just after marriage?
Ans. Mine was a love marriage and my husband was a Christian. He was working in medical transcription industry. Our courtship lasted for about one year. My in-laws supported our relationship but my parents were against our marriage. However, we got married against all odds. After a year of my marriage, when I conceived my first baby, I quit my job. I was out of job for almost 7 years. Meanwhile, both my daughters took birth. In the beginning, everything was all right. My husband was loving and caring. After about two years of my younger daughter’s birth, problems started surfacing. My husband had become alcoholic. Although some treatments were given to him but they were of no use. In the meantime, he sold off the house, the one that we bought after the birth of our elder daughter. My father-in-law also passed away during that period. Gradually he started selling off the household things because he was always in need of money. Due to financial hardships, I had to start working again. In the meantime, I also did B.Ed and M.Ed. First I worked for one year as a guest teacher on contractual basis in a government school of Delhi. After completing M.Ed, I worked as a lecturer in college which I am still continuing. While all this was going on, due to physical and mental stress, I suffered from TB and many other health problems.
Q: It was really a trying time for you. How did you take care of your children while you were simultaneously studying and working too along with handling all the stressful conditions at home? And how could you concentrate on studies?
Ans. My daughter was about 3 years old then and used to go to play school. After school, she used to stay at crèche. There was no support from my husband. He used to say that you can’t do anything, you are not worth anything. These words pinched me a lot. I also wanted to prove myself. So, I did B.Ed, M.Ed and cleared NET. I never allowed negativity affect me, instead, I converted all that into positive motivation.
Q: What other problems did you face when your husband drifted away from you all and became alcoholic?
Ans. The habit of occasional drinking of my husband gradually developed into alcoholism and he responded to no treatment. He also developed some psychological problems due to which he started doubting me too. Then he started hitting me. Once he beat me up so badly that I got stitches around my eyes. Then this became a regular habit, sometimes people from outside used to come when he was beating me, they used to save me and tried to make him understand not to do so. Father from Church also came home and counselled him. But nothing worked. Things were becoming worse day by day. He even tried to kill me three to four times.
Q: Didn’t you ever think of leaving him or that house?
Ans. Yes, I used to think of leaving that house and in fact, went to my parents’ house too. But I always hoped and thought that everything will be all right and then used to come back again. My kids were also suffering with me as it was painful for them too when we moved from our house to my parents’ place and then back again and again. I also wanted to be financially independent before I left my husband. So, I prepared myself mentally to be there only. All this while, I got only superficial support from my husband’s brothers. My father-in-law and mother-in-law had expired by then. However, my husband’s sister always supported me emotionally. She also tried to counsel her brother but all that was in vain. Gradually, my husband started hitting the kids too. It was then that I got separated from my husband. It’s almost two and a half years now.
Q: So, you are now taking care of your daughters all by yourself?
Ans. Yes, I am taking care of my children. The case for our divorce is pending in the court.
Q: It was like you had gone through hell over all these years.
Ans. Yes, I was abused, physically, mentally, emotionally, and sexually. I had to go through many abortions too and that’s why my health deteriorated a lot. He was always under the influence of alcohol and that took his senses away. He never thought of exercising any precaution or family planning and that took a toll on my health as I had to go through a series of abortions. Finally, I had to go through tubectomy because I could not think of any other way to save myself. Even when I was suffering from TB due to poor physical and mental health, he used to say that it was all made up.
I could not wear clothes of my own choice, he never allowed me to wear western dresses. I could not eat what I wanted to. I could not go anywhere at my own will as he doubted me beyond any limits. Even if I applied lipstick some day, he would literally thrash me. There was no love left. For three years before separation, he was just using me physically, mentally, emotionally and sexually.
Q: So, what was it that made you tolerate all this?
Ans. I only used to think that if he quits alcohol, everything will be all right. And once he was even able to keep himself away from alcohol close to four months. But then, some psychological problem surfaced. I don’t know whether it was due to heavy alcohol intake in the past or alcohol withdrawal but he would just not understand what was happening with him. He was not even ready to go to a counsellor for treatment.
Q: How did you maintain your own mental balance?
Ans. I also became a little depressed. A suicidal tendency also started building in me. But I always kept reading motivational stories. I believe, it was for god that I had so much courage to face all this. Whenever I used to feel low, I read something motivational. I was so depressed that I used to cry a lot, even in the college or anywhere outside home. People around me used to console me by telling that there are many other people who suffer even more than you and when they can face all the challenges, why can’t you? My sister-in-law also supported me a lot, she stills support me. My parents also used to support me but I never told them too much about my sufferings just because I didn’t want them to suffer too.
Q: Why didn’t you go to police even after he tried to kill you?
Ans. Sometimes I thought of doing this but I had this feeling that Police will harass both of us. But then a time came when my parents told me that if this happens once again, I must go to the police. And when I wanted this, my parents only stopped me from taking the help of police. I was just not clear what to do. Also, I was not able to fully detach myself from my husband emotionally for a very long time. Even after separation, almost for a year, I used to think that if he mends his ways, I would go back to him. It was only after a year of separation that I could make myself that strong where I decided that I won’t ever go back to him.
Q: Do you have any regrets about taking action after so long, after suffering a whole lot of things?
Ans. No, I have no regrets. I always thought that I should not have regrets later and that was the reason I gave more than 100% to my relationship. And now I don’t have any regrets as I did everything that could have been done, to save our relationship.
Q: Do you now think that you should have faced him with more strength when he used to abuse you physically?
Ans. It’s not that I did not oppose him. I also hit him sometimes, when I could not take more but then, he was so strong physically, I could not stand in front of him. Once, he even threw a knife towards me which didn’t hit me because I ducked but my daughter was standing behind me and it hit her. Thankfully, the knife was blunt so it only injured her a little.
Q: Now when you look back, what do you think would have helped resolve the condition?
Ans. I think, if we would have gone to the counsellor, it would have worked as it was purely a psychological problem. But he never got ready to visit a counsellor.
Q: What challenges did you face after separation from your husband?
Ans. Society, even to this day, takes separation as a stigma. But you need to become bold enough and face all this. If you feel it’s not a stigma, it’s not. Now I don’t have to suffer at the hands of society, I have overcome this. Separation was also an emotional trauma for me too. My younger daughter also developed some psychological issues due to my separation. She was not able to accept the fact that she doesn’t have father where all the other children live with their fathers. She is having treatment from psychologist. She has recovered a lot.
Initially my husband also bothered me after I got separated from him. When he used to come, I used to get carried away emotionally and thought of going back but somehow I could control myself and now when I think, it seems to have been the right decision.
Q: What advice do you give to other women who are going through similar kind of situation?
Ans. First, we always need to handle the situation to make it better. Treatment is important. Many people willingly receive treatment. Not everyone is like my husband who never got ready to get treated. If the relationship improves by any means, nothing like that because kids do suffer later due to sour relations. However, if it is not possible to mend the things, go separate ways. People will often blame you for this but you need to remain strong. I always say that I have left my husband and it’s not the other way round. So, be bold. Feel what you want to feel, others will make you feel that only. So, if you don’t feel strong, everyone will make you feel weak.
It is also important to take care of your own health. To be financially independent is always important whether you are unmarried or married. Although sometimes it becomes essential to quit job when you go family way but one must try to regain it as soon as possible. A lady should always be financially independent because problems of any type can surface any time. If you are financially independent, it helps a lot to overcome a problem.
It is also important to acquire knowledge and skills. Like, in my case, when everything was going wrong, I used to think that one day I might have to run the house or what if I need to get separated and thus I did B.Ed and then M.Ed.
Q: What is that one thing that has helped you remain so strong?
Ans. Spiritual strength can only save you when you become weak.
Q: How do you get this spiritual strength?
Ans. It’s just a faith and by faith, I don’t mean religion. I don’t believe in any particular religion. I am a Hindu by birth and married a Christian but I never felt that only going to a temple or church can make you religious. Basically, it’s just faith. This helped me a lot.
The motivating force for Geetika had been her children. She says, it was for them that she needed to remain strong. She wanted a good life for her daughters and that’s why it was essential for her to be physically and mentally strong. And the best thing about Geetika is, even after going through hell, she always had a smile on her face. Her friends too used to come to know about her suffering after long gaps. How mentally strong a woman needs to be to suffer and overcome those sufferings, all by herself! She is such a positive person that people long to speak to her for the motivating force she becomes for them. Geetika bloomed like a flower despite all odds. A big salute to her!
If SHE Can, YOU Can too!