He won’t do it again – Tash Kaur

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He won’t do it again – Tash Kaur

I was 23 years old when I started dating my ex. At that time, I thought I’m in my prime and it is the perfect age for me to date with the prospects of marriage. Although I had just started my career in finance, I thought I could save the money for a wedding. Everyone around me was getting engaged or married so I thought it was the thing to do.

I had been dating my ex for around a year, things weren’t great. He would speak to other girls and psychologically make me feel as though it was my fault. I didn’t know back then, but I can see clearly now it was mental abuse. Later that year we went on a holiday. On the first night of this holiday, he slapped me because he thought I flirted with another guy (I had asked a group of holidaymakers to come into my picture). I cried so loud that night. I wanted the comfort of my mum’s hand, I wanted to feel safe. He said he was angry and that I had made him do it. I let it be.

2 months later, his family mentioned we should do our Rokha (engagement ceremony one). Although I wasn’t too keen, I thought he would change because marriage was on the cards. I was wrong, the same vicious cycle occurred of me confronting him after speaking to a girl and me getting hurt physically. I carried on to having a Chunni (engagement ceremony two), I wanted it to be extravagant, possibly because I was trying to lie to myself that everything will be ok. Later, it became apparent again, he spoke to another girl. The same happened, I confronted him and in return I got hurt. This carried on for a while. One day, my ex said some unacceptable things to my brother about me. My brother called the wedding off in an amicable manner. I felt a huge sense of relief. A huge weight was lifted of my chest, I broke down to my family and that in itself was so liberating. Of course, at the back of my mind Ithought what will people say? However, I was surrounded by supportive people who helped me see the light.

After all this had happened, I wanted to learn to love myself again, to understand who I was and give myself, self-love. Counselling and therapy was an option, but I wanted to see what else I could do before considering that. After being in a relationship for a long period of time especially an abusive relationship, I forgot who I was, what I really wanted in life, what I stood for and what my likes and dislikes were. I wanted to avoid people because I didn’t want to answer the question “what happened?” I have learnt that within the South Asian community, gossip is a big thing. People want to talk until they get bored and move on to a new subject. I wanted to have the strength in myself to respond back to these people even though it was none of their business.

I began my journey as a new person, I knew I always enjoyed make up. I got back into that, created looks on myself as a way of expressing myself. I started baking and found that therapeutic. The next big thing for me in my journey was solo travel, where the sole purpose was for me to find myself again. I chose Milan as my destination because I loved the fashion, buildings and adore Italian food, gelato, coffee and chocolate. When I got on the plane by myself, for a moment I thought what am I doing? I consoled myself and let myself know, that I was doing
this for me. When I got there, I realised how friendly people were, I got my gelato and felt funny initially then took a step back and thought this is actually amazing. I was in foreign country, alone and enjoying a gelato by myself. Would I have done this before what I went through? Probably not. I dined alone, I thought that was weird, but when I enjoyed the incredible views of Duomo and people-watched, I had this feeling I had never had before and nobody gave that to me but me.

I continued to travel, albeit not always alone. Went to the most amazing destinations such as Dubai, Prague, Budapest, Madrid, and Malta to name a few. I found so much freedom and joy in seeing different cities and cultures. There is something special in booking holidays and I know everyone loves a break but for me travel was more than this, it contributed to me finding myself.

Additionally, in my self-heal and self-love journey, I made purchases for myself. I have always had a thing for high end luxury accessories but with the price tag attached, I would feel guilty to make a purchase. However, when I purchase things for others I never felt that, so why do I need to if it was for me? Although saving is imperative, making purchases, be it big or small does not come with the feeling of guilt. If it makes you happy, do it!
Since all this happened, I have become selfish and I do not feel guilty for it. I needed to know who I was, what I stood for and from this phase in my life, I was able to. If it didn’t happen, I would not be who I am today. I would probably be the same little girl that thought I had to please everyone. That very same phase turned me into a woman who knows what she stands for and knows to voice her opinions and thoughts where needed.

Now years on, I look back and think did I really want all that or was I just doing it because it was what I thought was expected of me. There is always pressure for marriage but things such as a career, travelling or a different life achievement should be encouraged, congratulated and celebrated more. When you are in a situation like the one I was in, your world becomes closed and you become blind. I failed to see I could be free or that there are better things planned for me. I was brainwashed into being told I was damaged goods and that no guy would want me.

Back to the beginning of this title ‘he won’t do it again’- this is a denial every person going through this would want to believe. The chances are if someone can do it once, more than likely they will do it again! I thought it was over for me. What I didn’t realise is that, the experience became a pain for me, which I grew from and become strong from. I have taken it all as a lesson to better myself and my relationships with everyone around me.Those who were there for me in my hardships hold a very special place in my heart. There were people who I thought would be there for me but weren’t but that’s ok because it made me understand and re-evaluate my relationship with them. If you are in a similar situation, know that it is not over for you – it is a start of a special journey for you where you will be stronger and more empowered than ever. You will look back and realise how deserving and worthy you really are.

By Tash | Instagram: @Redsoles__x

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