Story 10. The Abused Wife.

“All of us are going around with an entire story of our lives, completely different from the story of our lives that anybody else would tell. So much of our lives never breaks the surface.  ~ Claire Messud in The Guardian.
raped-girl-248In my earlier story on Addiction, I had mentioned my stay in Tirupur when my own problems with addiction was a significant part of my life.  Apart from all the other tools that I used during that difficult period, I also sought divine intervention.  I used to visit a Ganesha temple near my home on my way to my office in the mornings.  I had no doubts that the Remover Of Obstacles will come to my help and He took his time but come He did.

This story is about someone else and not how Ganesha helped me.  That story has already been told.

I was living in a small developing suburb and there were very few occupied houses there then.  I suppose that I must have been some kind of a novelty for living alone and working for a very well known company in the town.  There is little that can be kept secret in small towns and I was not surprised when this story unfolded the way it did.

While at the temple, I used to see a middle aged couple come about the same time that I would be there and after a few occasions of seeing each other, we started to greet each other with a Namaste.  Some times the lady would come alone and then too she would inevitably smile and do the Namaste to me and I would reciprocate.

On one such occasion when she was alone she was distracted somewhat and also very nervous.  For the first time ever, I spoke to her and asked her if everything was alright with her and she said that she would appreciate it if she would be allowed to meet me at my home.  I told her that it would be perfectly alright to do so when my daily help, a lady would be at home in the mornings before I left for the temple and the next day she landed up at my home.

She informed me that her husband had lost his job and that they were in dire straits.  She requested me to employ him in my organisation.  I said that I would need details before I could commit and asked her to send her husband to me with a resume.

The husband landed up the next morning and on seeing his resume I could see that he was a habitual job jumper and on being queried on that aspect, he came up with bizarre reasons for his not being able to stay in one job for any reasonable length of time.  I offered to take him on on a trial basis for a month and if he came up to scratch would offer him a secure position.  He agreed to this and he was to start from the following Monday.

He never turned up and I did not see either him or his wife for the next week or so at the temple either.  Then one morning I saw the lady alone at the temple and it was obvious that she had been bashed up.  When she saw me looking at her, she broke down and started to weep which was very embarrassing.  I requested her to compose herself and meet me next morning at home, which she duly did.

The story that I finally pieced together was that her husband was drinking heavily and that was why he was losing his jobs.  He would also get drunk and beat her up while under the influence and she was at her wits end.

At that time I was still not involved with AA and I really did not know how to handle this situation.   I asked her if she had tried to defend herself when her husband was beating her up and she said that it was impossible as he was very violent and would use any object near at hand to grab and use it as a weapon to bash her with.  On an impulse I suggested that she might try assaulting him first, if necessary with a rolling pin or something like that and she recoiled like as though she had been hit by me.  She went off on a tirade about how ridiculous that I suggest that she could lift a hand at her husband etc and I allowed her to let off some steam and explained to her that bullies would normally back off when they were confronted and she simply and quietly, said Namaste and went away.

About a week later I saw the pair together at the temple and both were looking grand and quite cheerful.  No words were exchanged but smiles and Namastes were and this continued till I left Tirupur to handle my own problems.

I have always wondered if that lady took my advise and walloped her husband to bring about the change.

“God gives every bird its food, but He does not throw it into its nest.”

~ J. G. Holland

14 thoughts on “Story 10. The Abused Wife.”

  1. From now on I shall worship at the shrine of “Remover of Obstacles”. For once a truly useful god. Hope he is not deaf. And well disposed towards me.

    This is the first time (and I know it’s no laughing matter, but can’t help smiling) I have heard anyone suggest to take a rolling pin to her husband in a proactive way. I am no expert on the matter but on the whole the last thing I’d do is attack a man who is already steamed up. Put another way: The worst thing you can do when in a room with an angry wasp is to start flapping and waving your arms around. You WILL be stung.

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    1. He will not disappoint you. Better to be pessimistic about our intellect and optimistic about our faith/hope.

      Drunks, and I have handled a few in my time, can be subdued / managed. They are usually uncoordinated and it is fear that stops the victim from attempting. The cops do it all the time.

  2. Sadly this a story repeated in so many ( usually low income ) house holds – we have come across so many cases first hand with maids ( all religious/linguistic/state backgrounds ) whom we have employed over the years . The husband is usually a good for nothing drunkard who makes his wife work ( slog! ) and then squanders or gambles away the money she earns with the sweat of her brow . The even sadder aspect is that they keep producing children ( often against the wishes of the wife !) who they can ill afford to educate and bring up so the tragedy perpetuates itself . This phenomenon is I think more pronounced or common in less “developed” countries where divorce still has a lot of stigma attached to it , though the days of the woman being invariably dependent on the man’s income is fast vanishing ! I will post a humorous “other side of the coin” cartoon on FB which I cannot here but you may wish to share !

    1. In the so called upper income families, these are simply hidden from public view. But exist it does in abundance Nandu. Almost all rehab centers are filled with such characters, It is an expensive proposition.

  3. Unfortunately I have a different kind of experience. I met a woman whose husband beat her terribly on a regular basis. I tried to help her, and tried to arrange for her to go to a shelter for battered women. But she was too afraid to leave him. Suddenly one day he moved her away, and I lost contact with her. I would not be surprised if she is dead.
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  4. Over the years I have come across many lives disrupted, broken or destroyed by alcohol. Not a situation I would like to experience myself. Booze can bring out the bully in a personality and standing up to them is sometimes enough to make them back down. Let us hope that is what happened to the couple above. As for a rolling pin….. well I would not like to be whacked over the head with one, would you, Ramana?
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  5. at the police academies here ~ in their training ~ they are told that domestic cases are the most dangerous. they require special training. apparently oftentimes when they go to break up a husband beating his wife . . . the wife may then turn and attack the police officer with something… a knife… gun… whatever she can… while the officer is subduing her husband.
    strange and sad in the extreme! pitiful lives. living out their existence in nothing but violence. and if they do ever get away from him… they often find the SAME kind of man to mistreat them all over again!!!
    maybe they feel that’s all they deserve. i can’t believe they like it.
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