I am associated with Men’s Rights Movement (MRM) from early 2010. I have joined the movement when I was in so called married life that others used to think as ‘Happy Married life’. My wife’s friends used to envy us. That was the time our Facebook posts were still abuzz with our holidaying pics. Yes, it was a life that could make any average couple very envious of us, because we used go on tours at least six/seven times a year. Even when our kid was only six months old.
While people used to envy us, my parents used to think that we were blessed, only I knew why I was traveling so much. There was no doubt both of us loved travel (which Bengali does not?). Our child got accustomed with eating outside food at a very early age and had never troubled us while traveling. In fact, if we were married even today we would still be traveling to all over India and possibly abroad.
While our friends and neighbors envied how much did we travel, while we used to be the reason for many other jealous wives to find fault in their husbands, while many husbands would have cursed me for being such a bad example for them, only I knew why I was madly into travel. Because if there was anything in our marriage that was keeping us together that was travel. I used to get some solace that at least we enjoyed traveling together. Well, probably in our own ways.
Way back in 2006, when I returned to Kolkata from Chennai I felt so great that I can’t describe in words today. However, the dream soon died an early death. My happy and graceful marriage broke down in front of my eyes in most painful ways. That was the time from 2007 I stopped having good sleep at night or at anytime of the day, because believe it or not, I feared of being murdered by my wife or her family members. Reason? Well, that is why I got divorced eventually and is not the discussion point here. This continued for at least four years before I decided to end the menace.
In fact, I did visit a doctor in Hyderabad complaining about my lack of sleep due to marital problems, he simply ignored that saying, “oh our body adjust to lack of sleep, so don’t bother.” It was not accepted from a doctor who was at least supposed to listen to his patient with empathy.
Obviously, going back to my hometown was my dream come true and I started dreaming of settling in the company I was working for. Luckily for me the job was very creative and used to bring a new challenges to me every now and then. I was lucky but not enough.
But my life’s challenges were getting worse every day. Reason I was not able to share my issues with anyone was because I thought no one would have believed in my story. I myself would not have believed the same story if told by someone else. Today I know this feeling was because of HUGE burden of internal misandry that I had.
I was living a life of fear. I was living in darkness with almost no hope of getting any help from anywhere. I was becoming so weak internally that did not even try to see if there was any help available. Being a techie myself and working in top notch IT companies, it was only natural for me to search for online help but I did not do that as well. I was dying every day. The job that was actually awesome, that gave me chance to showcase my creativity became bitter and horrible. And as it happens, office politics had almost taken away my job unless another leader and mentor saved me. I have observed misandry and gynocentric behavior in that office too.
As it happens, when I was down mentally and physically too, when I was not able to perform in office, I started forgetting things and started to go inwards. It is a problem with all introverts – they always seek energy from inside. But what happens when a protector himself is not able to protect himself?
When a protector male finds himself in danger and not able to protect self, he considers his life ended there. He can’t seek help from others and drive himself to suicide.
Not only I lost my self-esteem, almost everyone started ill-treating me. More I tried to be nice with people, more I tried to help others, more I tried to be down to earth, the more everyone started taking advantage. No one knew what I was going through, but more I wanted to be nice, more I became a laughing stock to others. I was so naïve that in order to seek sympathy from others I have lost my self-esteem.
No, I did not commit suicide. Only reason was that I was not bold enough to do that. The feminist me who wanted to be an ideal protector in his married life could not even protect himself. When that happened, when that feminist male protector inside me died, that was the time I have lost my identity. Because from childhood I was taught to respect women, love them, love my family etc. But what I got in return? – Humiliation, shame, loss of identity.
I was still trying to be happy. I was trying to overlook all problems and accept that nothing happened. Probably most married people would do that in order to look “happily married”. I was no exception either. In office, one of my mentors (male) was playing good politics against me. He used to highlight my faults everywhere. As my ‘inner me’ died by then, I was clueless how to handle those buggers.
Now compare that me with the one who fought with millions on Nirbhaya issue and got constant death threats for months.
When my home was burning I could not think of office politics or anyone else in office being a greater threat to me. Four years later in 2012 the same guy contacted me for help in his matrimonial case. He was going through another hell and lost his job, prestige, home all. I realized that how his internal misandry that taught him to hate other men or discriminate against them had played a role. He was ousted from his own house by then. He had already pissed me so much in my official life, I did not show any interest in his case. Misandry!! So be it. Let another male feminist die. I had regained my lost self-esteem by then and didn’t want to lose it again.
End of Part 1
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