Sometimes I feel like writing an open letter to all the people who have destroyed my mental health but I never do that because it won't make a difference at all. I am not sure about other countries but in Pakistan, abuse is only recognized if it is physical, mental abuse is never considered important enough to be discussed.
Since my childhood I've been hearing that I am not beautiful because my skin color is not white or fair. This always came with tips or "totkas" to be followed so that I won't be "dark" anymore. I remember in grade 10th one of my partner told me that his friends think I should be used like a tissue paper and thrown away because "ye to kali c hai", she is a dark complexioned girl. Even almost 10 years after I heard this sentence, I still remember it along with what I felt after hearing it. I still sometimes think that I am not beautiful and his is all because of the society I live in which has some messed up beauty standards.
It is a normal thing here that people joke about "second marriage" or having "multiple partners" when it comes to men. Even women joke about it in front of other women. What they don't consider is that how painful and traumatic it can be for someone who doesn't endorse this idea. I believe that if a relationship is not working and becomes toxic, it must end before one of the partners or both are completely destroyed. But joking about it, specially when things are fine, can have a severe impact on mental health and can for sure induce anxiety or stress. It may also lead to trigger insecurities as well.
I feel like in our part of the world it is easier to suppress women. In a romantic relationship I always feel that in one way or the other, my partner has manipulated my feelings at some point. And that is one of the reasons why I don't want to get married anymore. The other day I was telling my mom that my only demand is that the man should not be conservative in his thoughts, I don't want anything else, To which she replied that every man is conservative and in the end women have to compromise. I don't buy this anymore. Why is this always expected from women to compromise? Why they have to suffer in silence? Why they are told that the ultimate goal of their lives is marriage and kids? I am in my 20s and every Tom Dick and Harry keeps telling me that I should get married. What I would never understand is why? I can earn for myself, I can drive around, I have family and friends, I don't want someone in my life who expects slavery and can't even give me an orgasm.
It is high time that we teach women that they are not made to compromise forever. They should not abide by the beauty standards of this society and they can be whatever they want. For me the best part in this journey has been support by fellow women who thought along the same lines. I believe that sisterhood is the key to end this mental abuse cycle and for that I am always ready.