My Birthdays

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A family is a unit. It’s an all encompassing medium which moulds, breeds and nurtures us into a being which we are today. The healthy development of family bond is vital to the well being of community and nation as well.

As a child, our parents are world to us. Saying so, there are about more than million kids who experience parental divorce each year, and infidelity is among the top factors associated with divorce. A child’s understanding of adult issues is very limited. Children at their tender age are incapable of comprehending the relationship dynamics. When a parent cheats on his or her spouse, a child feels as though cheated on and betrayed as well. Infidelity affects them deeply.

The emotional impact is deeper and has long- lasting impression. They begin to question the very foundation of their own relationships. The vicious cycle of shock, anger, anxiety, confusion, shame and then helplessness reruns again and again. The influence is such that the child afflicted, faces issues regarding trust, honesty and faith in future relationships all through out life mostly.

I present below a simple short story to illustrate how a child feels with this unexpected violation when being faced by parental infidelity, which was written by me few months back for an organisation devoted to social justice and welfare of community in large. The language is kept simple for the very fact that it delivers the internal conflict and dilemma of the affected child pertinently. The purpose of sharing this is to feel hard, feel deep and ask,

How infidelity can affect a child’s life?

Does it leave scars that lasts a lifetime?

Regardless, they are clearly impacted,
What if we ask children what they think about their parent’s infidelity?

“My Birthdays”

Tomorrow I am going to be twelve. My birthdays were always special. Something magical about it you know! For days ahead I would plan my dress, theme and flavour of the cake, list of my close girlies, whom I would call and invite personally.Β 

How I loved getting wished in the early morning wee hours. Papa would give me a warm hug and sing,
‘Happy Birthday to you….Happy Birthday to my Princess’ quite gleefully and then Maa(Mom) would stealthily place that gift under my blanket which I would uncover in a while. It used to be such a surprise! I love surprises.

Surprise it was. But this time, I just don’t want this one. I never thought that my life will change like this drastically forever. It’s been seven months since they don’t talk to each other properly except few necessities and unpleasant exchanges. We don’t eat together anymore. She watches her TV in bedroom and he, in the living area. There’s no family movie time anymore. Sometimes, he comes very late. Earlier he never did that.
I hear the bitter words and see the enraged expressions from distant. She cries and seems not at ease. Papa seems unpeaceful too. To tell you the truth, I too have lost my peace.

They think I don’t understand a word as i am a kid. I am just twelve. So, they give me all silly flimsy reasons. They used to tell me grown-up people fight and then make-up. But they never do that anymore. I know they don’t love each other anymore. Maybe they have moved apart. But Mom used to say
‘We are a family and that love is a thread which keeps us knitted and bonded together. And being a family, we stand for each other up until the last day.’
So what is it that changed everything?
Almost everything!
What happened?

I know what happened. I heard everything. He loves someone else.
Does that mean he don’t love us anymore?
Is he going to leave us then?
But I love both of them. I want both -Maa and Papa. We are a family – Maa, Papa and Anu.
What was my fault? I just want to have the same old family back where we loved each other deeply and ate, slept and watched TV together. I used to feel so protected and intact.
Now I feel hurt, insecure and vulnerable. You know, sometimes I feel so ashamed and embarrassed too to say the least. I used to think that when people love each other, they don’t break each other’s trust. They care for each other. They are committed to each other.
But Now I question,
‘Does LOVE even exist?’

He was my superhero.
Why he did that to me?
Maybe men are like this. If Papa can do that to us, any other man can. I will never trust a man anymore. I don’t want to marry when I grow up, not even a Prince Charming.
What if?

I know my family is broken and I have to live with this secret eternally, buried safely dearly inside my heart. I don’t know if I will ever feel secure again. Time might heal the wound but the scar will remain forever; ingrained.
It will remind me not to trust someone, not even a close one. It will torment me not to love someone ever deeply.
Today, I am sad.
I am angry and confused too.
In a moment I lost my childhood and with that my faith in relationships shattered. I feel unsafe and betrayed.

Anyhow I don’t wait for them anymore. I just pray if that wretched day could be skipped, or missed maybe!
Honestly sometimes I question,
“Why even I was born?”
“MyΒ Birthdays”
…………….will never be the same again.

 

89 thoughts on “My Birthdays

  1. Great subject to expose.Healthy and united family means a united society and then the whole nation..Morals and societies are decaying in the West because the family is neglected .Her in America 45% are single parent kids.Divorce rate is 60%.Only Children are the victims.Selfishness and egoistic are deadly viruses .Jal

  2. What you experienced happens a lot in a family, but all the same you are not to blame for it. One thing is: You have to live your life as best as you can and don’t let the lives of your parents influence yours even if that’s what usually happens most of the time. Love exist and it’s life-giving. All we need is to free our minds and don’t let the fear of the past influence how we judge the people in our lives. Bonding together as one family in the early part of one’s life is important because it gives one a sense of belonging, which is beneficial to one’s health and how one sees life.

  3. It is the child who is worst affected. Imagine the impression on the innocent mind. Thought provoking post. And as you said, the parents are the first person we look upto, our definition of ideal man and woman, our superheroes. Imagine how twisted their view of life would become in such scenario. Gem of a post, Chaitali.

  4. alkagurha says:

    Poignant expression of a child’s perspective. Sadness, anger and confusion. Raw emotions. Children are the worst sufferers of a broken home. Well written.

  5. sagarika says:

    You have rightly put the spot light on how a child gets so confused about certain aspects of the human emotions which they never understand at the tender age. Sadly when a couple gets married, give birth to their seedling of love, they suddenly forget about it. The core individuality of the two human minds get raged after being together for a decade or so and starts a cocktail of by ego and a long full-stop on communication.
    Glad you wrote a beautiful piece reflecting the prevailing situation in the Society. πŸ™‚

  6. Basic trust is one of the first lessons that a child should learn. A broken family kills it first. Then life becomes an uphill task for the child. Meaningful story.

  7. You have pointed out the child’s perspective so well! Often the most neglected and most affected in the broken family are the kids. And yes it surely leads them to not being able to trust anyone easily or sometimes some other pshycological behavorial problems, unfortunately πŸ™

  8. No kid should have to face such situation. There is enough sadness and heartbreaking events in this world without having the adults adding to it by their selfish and irrational acts. Great write-up Chaitali x

  9. This is beautiful work. Rich in musical qualities and very purposeful. Thank you! A lot of my readers are from India, so I am trying to reach out and explore India’s blog world! So glad that I made my way here. Grateful to have found your work here and happy to NOW be following you. With Joy and Gratitude, Zach from StrengthsLife.com

  10. So often the children are the last ones thought about. The commitment of having a child should be to show that you are beyond the need to chase others, you are ready to commit and have a stable family unit full of love. The lack of understanding in a child is the saddest of all things and will only impact on their future and their thoughts of love.

  11. Such a nice sensitive topic Chaitali, these are usually the unheard or the under portrayed stories but they are so real and create such a powerful impact on the reader.. Very nicely coined..

  12. You have very well highlighted the child’s dilemma Chaitali. Children do feel insecure in such situations but if parents are totally unhappy with each other, may be still better to separate as peacefully as possible than to prolong.

  13. The children’s hurt is undeniable but so is the fact that people change and grow apart. Given that these things happen the interesting question is how best to protect the child. Staying together until the children leave home is one option but it is not necessarily the best one.

  14. Honest, courageous, and well written – Writing is a good way to take on the pain, anger, and grief of such a loss. The time of youth is brief but powerfully impressed. Still, the future belongs to you. I wish you beauty for your ashes.

  15. I loved your post and I believe it runs through many children’s minds and hearts. Thanks for your honesty!.Also, I wanted you to know that Jesus loves you and always will, just because your family is broken, God still has a great plan for you and you are meant to be here on this earth! God is love! He’s the only one who won’t disappoint you. I will be praying for you!

  16. Super article on my birthday..!!!!
    I really like this article and want to read some more like this.!!!
    Thank you author for such a great thought.!!!
    Waiting for some more …!!!

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