If there is anything more criminal, more crushing than injustice, it is a denial of its existence.
I look at the dark clouds hovering over her head, sensing the claws that are tearing apart her sense of reality. The world outside is smiling benignly at her anguish, telling her what a sunny day it is and how wonderful the people who surround her are. She is terrifyingly confused. Her voice is weary, there are endless rewinds and forwards in her narration and I sense, in her deeply drawn breaths, the dark vortex of desperation.
She could be any woman, slowly losing her battle to fit or flee a mould.
I want to shake her and tell her a few things. They can chip at you, if you let them, are you paying heed?
Humans are like that. They are incomplete entities, in the forever quest of that elusive and final conclusion. In their bodily tissues run the primeval neurons that cry out for constant affirmation. No one is alone, everyone needs it.
They all crave recognition that they are somehow special; an acknowledgement that they are making a difference. The variations are in the mode that they find their reasons in, to go on living. Yes, the succour differs. For some, it is meeting serial challenges at work. For others, there is the delicious daze of the arts. And who can deny the drugged delight of an hour spent pushing the body. People get high on the company they keep, the things they buy, the stuff they eat. There are the adrenalin fans, the movie buffs, the gourmets, the geeks, the family fanatics, the devotees…they are all good.
But beware! Beware of the domination junkies. Those who would sink their hooks into your spirits, oh yes, believe it or not, they exist. Their fuel is control over others. They like to direct, to shame, to induce guilt, to belittle, to dismiss, and to denigrate. A consistent abuse of life around is a diehard habit. They are the Suns of their systems, in centrifugal command of lives tied to theirs.
One might spend years denying the existence of this brand of human transaction; so disarming are these sugar glazed bullies; why, one may find it too offensive to believe it to be true but the phenomenon exists and how!
Who do you think you are? You are going too fast, you will fall! Your clothes or your hair or your colour is not right. Be very, very careful, you might fail. You are not good enough for this. You are not worth the money at stake. You may be imagining your pain. Your primary duty is to people around you. You are not beautiful enough, not clean enough, not demure enough, not tolerant enough, not strong enough, not tall enough, and in fact, not human enough! You are imagining the craters; it is all beatific and beautiful.
These are the signature words of the vampires of the soul, gnawing at your sense of self. Given a chance, they would suck the energy out of you, snapping with one click the will to live.
Begin, therefore, by acknowledging their existence. Read up, gather information and arm yourself with the knowledge of what you are facing. Banish the self-doubts, the self-effacing fear and step back. Once you have a view of the threat, disconnect it from your aura in one ruthless lance.
That you live is reason enough for you to exist with dignity. You deserve to keep yourself whole, to speak up, to disagree, to be pro-active over your needs, to seek personal fulfillment. You need to realise how remarkable you are and what your true worth is beyond the culture that fails you time and again.
by Neerja Singh
The author is an educator and blogs at http://confessionsofanambitiousmother.blogspot.in/