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From Darkness to Light: My Journey of Resilience and Empowerment, and to provide support.

Updated: Nov 16, 2023

Today, it has been an exact decade since my life took a turn that I could never have foreseen. A decade since I was struck by my husband on a road, left bleeding and shattered, without having committed any wrongdoing. This life-altering incident marked the end of my ability to continue living with my husband. For sixteen long years, I had endured a marriage. I persevered despite receiving nothing in return, despite the unending pain, hurt, and insults (that's what i felt then). My husband would say 'sorry' a thousand times, and I, always the optimist, would forgive and forget. I would keep hope alive and allow the cycle to repeat. But the day he raised his hand against me, something inside me broke, and I couldn't bring myself to forgive him any longer. It was the moment I realized that I had to break free.

Even before that pivotal moment, I had been trapped in a relationship where my happiness in relationship seemed like a distant memory. I felt helpless, believing that I had no alternative but to endure this never-ending agony. I continued to stay in a marriage that drained me emotionally and spiritually, that offered no solace or joy and kept working and having social group outside to keep me going. The years rolled on, and I tolerated the suffering in silence in relationship. But I always wanted to be be happy like everyone wants. I tried desperately to be happy (that's an irony, realized later).

I finally mustered the courage to take action when he hit me with my parents support. With my children by my side, I made the difficult decision to separate from my husband, and it's been ten years since that liberating moment.

Separation, however, came with its own set of challenges, especially in a society that often upholds male chauvinism. For nine long years, a court case loomed over me, a constant reminder of the turmoil I had endured. The police did not provide the support I needed, and my own forgiving nature had been both a blessing and a curse. In hindsight, I realized that I should have taken this step of separation much earlier.

Many women grapple with the same predicament – living a life of quiet desperation within the confines of a marriage. The fear of the unknown, societal expectations, and responsibilities as a parent can weigh heavily on their minds. I, too, had hesitated about separation. As a mother, I understood the importance of providing the best for my children. But there comes a point when you realize that you are slowly dying within the confines of the relationship. If you exist as a living dead body, if unhappiness pervades your life, you can't possibly be a source of happiness for those around you. The key is to prioritize your own happiness first, and from there, you can spread happiness to others. Many women tend to neglect themselves, a mistake that should never be made.

In the realm of astrology, our horoscope had foretold a "mrityushadhanshak yog," signifying a life akin to death alongside my husband. Despite this ominous prediction, I still hesitated to sever the ties.

Numerous women find themselves trapped in relationships where they exist but do not truly live; they endure a living death. The ancient scriptures and our revered deities have always portrayed women as powerful and self-sufficient beings. Like Ma Kali having her foot over Lord Shiva, indicating many things and one of them is indicating feminine power when it goes beyond her endurance. I want to convey to all the women who find themselves in such a predicament that it is better to separate than to wither away each day in the clutches of an unhealthy relationship. Dont take me wrong. I am totally for marriages, if they can help each other grow. But if not, why waste time and energy and deteriorate things?

I stand here today to extend my hand, my heart, and my unwavering support to those who need it. I have walked a difficult path, but it has led me to a place of strength and empowerment. I share my story not to dwell on the pain of the past but to inspire, to let you know that there is hope, and that you are never alone in your struggle and that i will try to be there for the single women who need that support. Oh Woman, you, too, can break free from the chains that bind you and embark on a journey of self-discovery and transformation. You are powerful, you are enough, and you deserve a life filled with happiness, love, and empowerment.

You deserve happiness oh woman, you deserve the best gift for yourself which is you. Be where you are happy. And once you are happy, it's the inborn quality of women to give, give and give, and happiness will flow through you once you fill yourself with happiness and love. Always remember that the best gift that you can give to your loved ones is the best version of yourself. So, love yourself, and give yourself your time.

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Loads of love and light,

  • Manjushree Rathi

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