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MAURITIUS: There is More Light Than Darkness in This World

After leaving an abusive relationship, Lukshana Gopaul discovered the power of gratitude.

I’m grateful that even though someone tried to make me become a victim, instead, they killed their own humanity.

I remember my childhood quite vividly. My father would take my sister and me to a kids’ corner every Sunday. We would get prizes and we would feel like special little princesses. Growing up, we were loved.

One time when I was 6 years old and my sister was 3, I inadvertently hurt her while opening an umbrella and my mom scolded me. I ran to the basement and stayed there to sulk for some hours. When my dad came home from work, he was outraged that my mom had scolded me. He comforted me throughout that evening.

In short, as a child, I knew nothing but love.

In my teens, I was rebellious and gutsy and my parents let me have my space to grow, to experiment with fashion and music, to become an individual. But their attitude had changed; what to me looked like helicopter parenting to them was simply parenting. Because in my society, not only was violence against women tolerated, you had to take precautions to never bear that onus yourself.

There were a slew of warnings. I would only get to realize this much later in my life.

He was my first long-term boyfriend. I met him when I was 19. Even then I remember being revolted by his sexist ways and his natural proclivities toward slut shaming and bullying. I was at the acme of my naiveté. My evolution never really included suspicion of others. I thought people would be naturally inclined towards goodness. I was too busy imbibing the beauty of art, literature, and music to even give a thought to people's ulterior motives.  

For two years I endured his sempiternal grievances which led me to believe that he didn't want a girlfriend, he wanted someone he could own. He was beyond insecure, to the extent that this insecurity was the only trait he displayed. That others had the same freedom as he did was a foreign notion to him.

The thing about abusers is that they hold onto that thin line where you can translate your pity for them as love. To think that I let him in my world, unguarded, still makes me feel icky. The first sign of an abuser is that they thrive in filth, and I made the mistake of extending my altruistic principals toward the inherently filthy. I had resolved to leave him many times, but this time I was firmer in my stance. I couldn't see a future with a person whose entire identity reeked of negativity.

The day I left, the day he brutalized me, my petite frame was hurled around and it felt like I nearly drowned in my tears. I lost my child-like faith in humanity as he looked for ways to torture me. His 7-year-old brother bawled, shrieking in agony as he watched me being bludgeoned repeatedly in the place he called home. His screams still haunt me; how anyone could tear a child away from the sweet comforts of innocence is beyond me. Whilst it is my story of physical abuse, it is also the story of the callous theft of a child's innocence.

I accepted my fate with stolidity, because I couldn’t dwell on what happened. Honestly, it was neither interesting nor thought provoking. Someone who beats a vulnerable person is generally confined to the realm of one-dimensional personalities: the age-old troglodyte trope and the criminally insane. I mean if anything, it shows that that person has the aptitude of a deranged animal. There was nothing I could do to change what happened to me, and I was neither broken nor depressed. I was just happy to close the lid on the filthiest aspect of my life. I escaped and therein lies all my glory, none of his, though. I shudder to even think what it must be like for him—and others like him—to live with the cries of hapless victims as the background sound to one's miserable life.  

While I have made my peace with what happened, I can only thank God for opening my eyes to this side of reality. I'm beyond grateful that violence was never the norm in my life; I'm beyond grateful that my parents raised my siblings and me in a secure and loving home. I’m beyond grateful that I didn’t learn a cycle of abuse and perpetuate it even further.  

I’m grateful that in my house, the only thing that echoes is laughter. I’m grateful that when I love it’s not only visceral, it’s cerebral. I’m grateful that my standards are high, and that I do not have to browbeat people into not leaving me.

I’m grateful that even though someone tried to make me become a victim, instead, they killed their own humanity.  


STORY AWARDS

This story was published as part of the World Pulse Story Awards program. We believe everyone has a story to share, and that the world will be a better place when women are heard. Share your story with us, and you could be our next Featured Storyteller! Learn more.

Story Awards: After #MeToo: Stories of Change 28Send Me Love

Comments

Lukshana,

Thank you for your courage to share your story.  I too escaped an abusive relationship and my ignorance of drug abuse and mental illness combined with my compassion got me into a bad place.  But compassion for myself led me out again.  Forgiving myself for getting into the bad place and releasing any blame or shame for the acts of another have set me free to create a life where my love and compassion can be used for healing.  I have gratitude for your courage and your voice!  

Dear Sharann,

thank you so much for your sweet reply!  Abusive relationships are so hard to get out of because we're in a state of mind that blinds us from the abuse, the negativity and the violence.  I'm so proud of you for escaping an abusive relationship.  It isn't our fault that we believed we could help people or we could bring some light into our relationship, so we mustn't blame ourselves.  If anything, we should be proud that we are GOOD people who sought out the best in others even though they tried to bring us down.

Thank you so much sharann xx

Dear Lukshana, thank you for sharing your experienced amd being grateful with your life now...you become a strong woman.

Connect with a heart.  Live a life of empowerment. Influence to accomplished.

 

 

Dear Lukshana,

By sharing your story you have sent such an important message of how easily we can be trapped into abusive relationships, and how critically important that we search for and hold onto trust in ourselves that we deserve to live free of violence. You pinpoint so beautifully that you had the way you were raised to hold onto. Thank goodness for your parents who taught you both that we must try not to hurt each other, and that we deserve love, not pain. By describing your journey to safety you will no doubt help others find the way to freedom.

In sisterhood,

Tam

Thank you Tam!!

First and foremost, I wanted to share my story because it made me stronger and showed me how much I was taking for granted in my life!  My family has always been my #1 supporter, my parents taught me the meaning of unconditional love and violence was never part of my life.  Like the title says, the evil is almost insignificant because there's so much light and love for us to share!

Thank you Tam xx

Thanks for sharing your story. I am a survivor too. I am grateful. It is our glory not the perpetrators'

I love love this article.

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale Founder/Project Coordinator Star of Hope Transformation Centre, 713 Road, A Close, Festac Town Lagos-Nigeria https:

My Dear,

I admire your strength to open up and speak out this wonderful story. I've been in two abusive relationships, but had a courage to call it off. Some women keep this kind of life , thinking ...things will change. I've no time and strength to tolerate that. I can stay ...

Better alone than in bad relationship.

Thank you for sharing

Lily

Mulatwa Mosisa

Thank you dear Mulatwa !

I'm so sad to hear that you've been in 2 abusive relationships.  But we have a society that's still transitioning from a primitive state of mind to a more egalitarian one, and many people fail to grasp the notion that, everyone is entitled to the same pursuit of happiness!  Men, brought up to believe their masculinity entitles them to certain things, feel threatened when they realize women are entitled to the same things.  And that is a sign of weakness, as it shows that these men don't even know what is to be ''happy''.  

Thank you for your sweet reply!

Thank you for suggesting that I should share my story in the story awards jlanghus!  

I'm feeling much much better and you?  

Take care!

Thanks Lukshana for sharing your story. It is good that we share such stories so that our sisters who are still in abusive relationships and hoping  it will get better will have the encourage to also leave and have better lives. I was a victim too.

SAS

Wow!  Such an important article. Thank you. You are a wonderful reminder that we ALL must be aware of the people around us, to what is happening and what we can do to help,  Again, thank you. I will pass this on.

Wendy Stebbins

Sad but strong, dominant abusive man opposite a loving father, I admire your strength you transform from sadness , keep going and keep your head high, and remember being happy kills your enemies

Nagwa Nasr