Friday, May 11, 2012

Reflections of My Time Here So Far

Before I leave Amritsar I wanted to take a few moments to reflect on life here. I thought the most fitting thing would be to write up a timeline of events so I can see everything at a glance. I've linked to the corresponding blog posts for things I've written about previously. The rest comes from my journal.

Jan 15 - I landed in India with every intention of adjusting and working for a happy life with my soon to be husband
Jan 22 - My wedding. I was so sick and weak that I fell during the ceremony. My MIL wound up sleeping with us that night. I wrote a second, more detailed post here.
Jan 31 - My reception.I was still sick. The follow up posts with pictures is here.
Feb 20 - I was still sick and had been since I arrived. I had difficulty with food even touching my mouth and ongoing stomach trouble. By this time I had lost 11 kg/24 lbs.

March 24 - I found out I was blatantly being disrespected behind my back by my MIL. This was my first blunt indication that I was the only one trying to make things work here.
March 27 - I was shunned for having the audacity to want to share a pizza with the kids. Four household members shunned me, MIL and FIL chastised me and Hubby. The shunning lasted for over a week.
March 31 - Uncle ji, whose entire family was shunning me, tried to invite himself along on my honeymoon - at my expense.
April 6 - Left for my honeymoon with MIL and FIL included. I was forced to eat nasty roadside dhaba food and again wound up very sick and having to go to the hospital.
April 16 - I was diagnosed with a blood infection and an extremely high body pH. Both of which were excruciatingly painful.
April 17 - Hubby installed my brand new air conditioner in his mothers room under the premise that we could keep cooler there. We shifted a few our things down there and I was forced to give up all privacy and space. 
May 19 - I quit asking for formal Punjabi classes. I had been routinely denied the access to leave the house and take them. Eventually a teacher was brought here to the house but she had no real interest in teaching me anything and after a month of crying after every lesson I quit.
May 25 - After spending a month bruised up, not sleeping and sick, hubby finally gave in to my intense anger and depression and moved the AC to our room.
June 8 - I was back at the hospital/doctors, again very sick. I found at that all of the infections I had gotten since coming here had done permanent damage to my digestive system. I could heal back to feeling normal but the issues would flare up for (most likely) the rest of my life. My liver was also enlarged and the doctor was greatly concerned about potential liver damages.
---Right after this diagnosis I went into a state of shock and stopped eating. I became scared of the food, the dirt, the filth and the condition of this city. I quickly dropped another 6 kg in 2 weeks. At first I believed it was the medicine but in recovering from this issue I now know it's a developed fear of more sickness and I'm still exhibiting quite a few of the same symptoms.
July 5 - I was again brazenly disrespected by MIL.
August 2 - I was diagnosed with a liver infection.
September 11 - I was again sick to the point of needing serious narcotics to combat the pain.
October 3 - Took a trip to Haridwar, Rishikesh, Chandigarh and a few smaller cities. It was a tumultuous trip with Uncle ji that marked the turning point where I stopped putting up with his crap and realized how rotten of an individual he is. Part 2 of his trip drama is here.

November 7 - I finally received a good report from the doctor. My jaundice had cleared up and there were no more infections present. (Jan - November = 10 months of almost constant sickness)
November 25 - Someone tried to sabotage my hot shower resulting in a concentration of gas fumes being released into the stall. The next day Uncle tried to pretend it wasn't the gas he had messed with and that the fumes had come from his scooter.

December 16 - I was allowed to leave the house for the first time without hubby or his parents. And I think it's only fair to mention that his parents NEVER took me anywhere before this. 12 full months of being denied the basic right -even of Indian women - to go to one of the stores in our street bazaar. It was a long, drug out fight for this one and I shouldn't have let it go on this long but I wanted a more peaceful resolution.

January 21 - Again I was very ill for several days.
January 14 - Uncles family again began shunning me because BIL sent me a gift and not them. This lasted for almost 4 months - yes, it's still going on but on a much smaller scale.
February 13 - I had surgery, after 4 months of preparations, at what was supposedly a reputable international facility. It is by far the worst medical experience of my life and not just because the facility was dirty and the doctor had given me a life-threatening overdose of medicines. I wound up with 3 different infections and multiple emotional scars.
March 18 - I gave up trying to uphold the family honor and customs. I made the conscious decision that I'm done trying to bend myself to make things work here.
April 8 - I finally left the house by myself for the first time since being here. I literally had to pick a major fight because peaceful resolutions were not working. This time was to meet a friend at the mall.
May 5 - I took a taxi to go shopping completely alone. I successfully gave the driver directions where I needed to go and made two stops without any issues.

These are just a few of the extreme issues I've had to deal with living in this house. It's not a full listing of all the sicknesses I've had to deal with or all the ridiculous drama that goes on here. It's also no reflection of what day to day life is like when you live with 4 people who are always trying to cause trouble and 1 more person who does things out right just because she can. It doesn't highlight being treated like I'm only part of the family when guests demand to see me and other times being left out completely. I could go on but I've written full posts on all of these things and more already.

Maybe I shouldn't have reminded myself of these things because I was already wondering why anyone would come back to this crap. 90% of the time hubby works with me on the issues and he does so much to help me be happy here but these extreme things keep happening. The only reasons I have for coming back are because of my commitment to the marriage (after all it's not his fault some of his family members are shitty) and because I know I need to be here for his visa appointment if there's any hope of taking him back to the states with me.

I have already told him though that I will not come back unless certain conditions are met. I don't care what his family does or thinks but I won't be forced or manipulated (or emotionally blackmailed) into following along anymore. We will see how it goes because I meant that. I've never given anyone an ultimatum in my entire life before now and it pisses me off I have to stoop to such levels. I've tried to deal with these issues for too long in a respectable manner but no one seems to understand that. It's time to throw my southern lady-like upbringing to the wind and go all LA gangland on someones ass.


  1. It's obvious you've been through the wringer... almost to hell and back. I think you've done remarkably well to hang in there, and come out the other side with strength and determination.  I honestly don't know how I would've coped. Let's hope you have a wonderful break in the US.

  2. "I took a taxi to go shopping completely alone. I successfully gave the driver directions where I needed to go and made two stops without any issues"YAY!!!!!!! Woo hooo!!!!!! Knew you could do it!

    "It's time to throw my southern lady-like upbringing to the wind and go all LA gangland on someones ass"
    Open up that can of WHOOPASS girl!

    You know, Asia is just rough on the liver. 
    I take Silymarin 140 mg one tablet 3 times daily- Silymarin is an herbal from milk thistle that really helps support liver health & proper enzyme levels with no side effects/toxicities. In the US it is primarily given to alcoholics & hepatitis patients, but here in Asia I think EVERYBODY should take it. I've seen it at all Indian pharmacies I've been to.

    Also for 'liver health' a good B complex vitamin is recommended, I take Becozym one tablet daily- It has the B complex vitamins with C, plus biotin (great for the hair and skin) that you my be missing in your diet to a lack of FRESH (not cremated) fruits & vegetables. Becozym is commonly found in most Indian pharmacies too.

    Yes, all the nosy people in the pharmacy will think you are some alcoholic drug fiend with liver problems....screw'em!

  3. You mentioned last Feb that you lost 11 KG because you were very healthy and lots of green and you were loving it. You are looking forward to loose another 11 kg soon. SO Why change your feelings after 12 months. I think coming to India and getting married was one big adventure for you. You are trying to justify how to escape....

  4. I'm not sure how I coped lol. I do know it hasn't been pretty. I'm just not the yelling, bitchy type -well, at least not before coming here. I'm hoping my trip goes well too. I've already set up my domestic travel plans and side trips so at least if I start getting frustrated I know it's only going to last a little while before I take a mini vacation from my vacation lol. I'm finally getting a new camera too so I hope to take tons of pictures.

  5. I knew I could do the taxi too lol. It's just insane it took so long and finally packing my suitcases to get the family to allow it.

    The can of whoopass is permanently open. There's no replacing the lid on that one lol.

    I already take B-complex and occasionally C (getting replacements seems to be like pulling teeth). I didn't think about the liver benefits, I've been mostly concerned with replacing vitamins I know I'm not getting. I'll check on that becozym because I don't care what people think of me here. They're going to make up crap to think about me even if I didn't purchase crazy stuff but as far as I see it, they just don't matter in my life. :D

  6. You're right, in the beginning I did think that the change in diet and lack of hormones (which is what US veggies are injected with) was healthier. I had only been here a month at that time. Since then I've learned that the veggies here are injected with chemicals as well and instead of getting healthier, my body was crashing from infections and sickness. I'm going on vacation because it's unreasonable to expect anyone to never see their family again. And I need a break from the crap that goes on around here. I stayed sick for 10 months because of bad and tainted food and lax hygiene habits of people in this city. That's enough to make anyone change their mind about a place. Things are always great in the beginning, then you gradually see reality and your view can change.

  7. I am sure that it was a combination of both! I have also been dropping weight since moving here, and feeling better - which is in part because I am not eating as much meat, not eating as much junk, because I am more active in my life here and also because I have thrown my guts up half a dozen times!

    Even though my efforts are not entirely responsible for the loss, I will still count it as a win!!

  8. I wish you the best of luck when you return after your hopefully very regenerative vacation, I can't imagine how difficult this last year and a half has been and I truly hope that you won't have so many obstacles again. I'm sure I would have never lasted so long being so ill without packing up and going home.

  9. "It's time to throw my southern lady-like upbringing to the wind and go all LA gangland on someones ass."

    Amen! You've given a 100% (and possibly more), and I definitely agree that your husband should meet certain minimum demands before you return.

  10. Nice Article! Thanks for sharing with us.

    Rafting Rishikesh