Life After Abuse – An Unconventional Approach #think_it_over Blog

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Towards the climax of M. Night Shyamalan’s psychological horror thriller film, Split, James McAvoy’s character takes on his last and most terrifying personality out of 23 others and transforms into “The Beast”. “The Beast” then proceeds to kill and eat all his captors but one. Casey, his remaining captor, locks herself behind bars in a last ditch attempt to protect herself. She shoots him through the bars but he is apparently unaffected and seconds later, he grabs hold of the bars, bending them apart, when finally his gaze falls upon the self-inflicted scars all over Casey’s shoulders and torso – a reminder of her disturbing childhood during which she was molested by her Uncle, who became her legal guardian when her father died.

A few scenes later, Casey is seen inside a police van after having been rescued, and being asked by a police officer if she is ready to go home to her Uncle. The scene plays out before she gives an answer and the audience is left on a cliffhanger wondering what becomes of Casey.

Switching back to real life and the unpleasant reality of child abuse, let us take a moment to think what it actually entails. The very thought that comes to mind is of a news bulletin reporting a case of child abuse along with the image of a child – bruised, beaten and bloodied and the convicted receiving just sentences for their crimes. But what the news bulletin fails to report is the victim’s life after enduring a history of abuse, whether, physical, sexual or of a psychological nature. It fails in its entirety to mention the impact of abuse on the victim and its lifelong effects. To break down and analyze this facet of the reality is a whole new viewpoint and rarely spoken of and therefore, often ignored.

Life After Abuse- An Unconventional Approach. A Canvas Editorial for the #think_it_over Project by Joyeeta Das

In some cases, similar to Casey’s, it can result in the victim causing self-harm or the victim to develop suicidal tendencies. In others, it can result in the victim becoming a recluse, pertaining to isolation from society, from any means of contact and interaction with people in general and withdrawing within their own selves. It is known and proven for a fact through pioneered researches in sociology that ‘man is a social animal’ and cannot survive for long without interacting in some way. And thus, whenever these victims do try to communicate it is difficult to apprehend their actual emotions and decipher their behavioral traits. One may ask why that is so. It is because they have built a very carefully designed mask or a barricade. They hide behind these personal prisons to protect themselves from the world which is a result of the trauma of the abuse and has led to them distrusting people.

Life After Abuse- An Unconventional Approach. A Canvas Editorial for the #think_it_over Project by Joyeeta Das

Another type of scenario would be where the abused becomes the offender. This is a result of the individual having witnessed nothing but abuse in his or her entire childhood and is likely to do the same to his or her children. A traumatic past can have lifelong effects on individuals, where they may become disturbing elements to an otherwise peaceful society, like criminals, drug addicts, or terrorists. All this paints a rather grim picture of a dystopian world created by this vicious cycle of endless abuse.

In a real life scenario and a harrowing tale, a mother hit her own 3-year old daughter with a hot spoon because she was unable to control her bowel movement. The father reported the crime to the police but they were unable to make any arrest since the mother had absconded. When cases like these are reported in the media, it leaves the people to wonder what became of either the mother and the child. Did the child get proper counselling afterwards, or was she left to go on about her life as if nothing had happened? Were the police finally able to catch the mother who did such a heinous crime? More often than not, these questions are left unanswered, and hence, are soon forgotten in the dirty pile of old newspapers.

Just as merely being aware of statistics and numbers isn’t enough, to know the effect of those statistics and numbers on lives is another story altogether; similarly putting appropriate focus on the victim’s life after he or she has been rescued is absolutely imperative. Providing them with counselling, psychological treatment and enhancing the victim’s coping mechanisms is essential to overcome abuse and ensure the whole process of rescue and recovery is being taken care of rather than just brushing it off as a news bulletin.

13 Reasons Why doesn’t glorify Teenage Suicide but shifts attention towards the triggers

13 Reasons Why doesn’t glorify Teenage Suicide but shifts attention towards the triggers – #think_it_over Blog

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The much talked about Netflix series ’13 Reasons Why’, that revolves around the issue of teenage suicide has sparked off controversies and concern across the world. The show raised eyebrows as well as a question mark on the efforts towards creating a sound environment for teenagers. Authorities, mental health professionals and critics feel the intriguing Drama glorifies Teenage suicide and are issuing advisories as well as exercising censorship restricting teenagers from watching it.

Hannah Baker was a regular teenaged girl. She died. More specifically, she killed herself. But why?
The show raises issues and it raises them hard to a point where people start feeling uncomfortable. It takes them through the most sensitive and volatile years of one’s life- Teenage and the failings of the society in providing them the right atmosphere to grow and flourish.

Here are the issues highlighted by the Show:

  • Hannah Baker was bullied. People consider bullying as an integrated culture of the society. All of us have been bullied or have bullied others at some point of our lives, but such actions can sometimes have a long lasting impact on someone’s life.
  • Bad parenting. The perception behind growing up for most teenagers is attaining a sense of independent control of their lives rather than being controlled by their parents. Parents must respect their sentiments, but must ensure an emotional connect with their child, making it easier for the child to know who to approach at times of huge distress.
  • People fail to read signs of distress. Hannah Baker cried for help multiple times, but no one could apprehend. Thus, proper and timely Counsel is not provided to a teenager who tends to scramble and complicate situations by ending up connecting the wrong dots.
  • Hannah Baker had no close friends. When things don’t go well in life, sometimes all we need is an ear to listen our take on situations. Growing up, friends fill the void created between parents and teenagers. Thus, they are an important figure featuring on a teenager’s emotional schema.

    13 Reasons Why doesn’t glorify Teenage Suicide but shifts attention towards the triggers
    Photo: Netflix

Netflix pulled off its part well. If raising plaguing issues and bringing them to mainstream attention is glorifying suicide, then maybe the company is to be blamed, however, blamed for good. Shouldn’t the authorities now realize their responsibilities, fall back to the drawing board and work towards providing teenagers with a safe and healthy environment? Shouldn’t we as a society work towards improving everything we can?

The Show delivers a message for each one of us. Take it or not, a change is inevitable.

Why women choose marriage over career?- LIMEWIT Canvas Editorial by Writ Majumdar

Why women choose marriage over career? – #think_it_over Blog

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“Why doesn’t she get married?”, whisper my classmates as she enters the class. “She’s over 30”, they continued, as they do every day during the lectures of a professor. “Why is that your problem?”, I shot back. One of them says- “You need to get married and settle down with somebody after a certain age”.

I sigh, thinking that this professor, like thousands of other women, will be made to sacrifice her career at the altar. Good education for a woman is just seen as a means of securing a better groom. Marriage is just seen as the ultimate goal, not just as an important milestone. From the time of birth it is drilled in their impressionable minds that the main goal in their life is to be a perfect wife and a perfect mother. We’re made to believe that home is a woman’s utmost responsibility and a man is just there as a co-habitant, not responsible beyond writing cheques. And when the time comes to make a choice, women ‘choose’ home over career as a conditioned response, which is actually anything but a free choice!

IndraNooyi, CEO Pepsico. shared that when she came home to share the news that she was to be the president of PepsiCo, her mother immediately shot her down, telling her to leave her ‘crown in the garage’ and go fetch the milk. Why women choose marriage over career.
IndraNooyi, CEO Pepsico.

In a much dissected interview, Indra Nooyi, one of the most successful women in the corporate world, shared that when she came home to share the news that she was to be the president of PepsiCo, her mother immediately shot her down, telling her to leave her ‘crown in the garage’ and go fetch the milk. The interview started a big debate on whether women ‘can have it all’, but in many cases the problem runs deeper. It is not about how much you can juggle and at what cost, but also about how empowered you are to make a free choice without being judged by a predetermined yardstick.

While marriage or fatherhood doesn’t come in the way of a successful career for men, for women the same milestones become game-changers.
Becoming a mother is the most precious experience for a woman. Men too celebrate joy in becoming fathers, but our social structure ensures that only the woman is held responsible for rearing the child. Fathers are supposed to ‘support’ her by ‘allowing’ her to continue work and letting her seek professional childcare options. Fatherhood does not bring with it even a question mark for a man’s career, but for a woman motherhood often comes with a giant full-stop. Amongst the raging feminism debates, is this not a topic to be discussed? In any scenario she can attend to her career only after she has taken care of her first duty; the home and the family. Some may call it a matter of choice, but in reality, it is sheer hypocrisy. Sometimes, there is no choice at all.

A career is an indulgence until one ‘settles down’ in marriage. In a country strained for resources, there are thousands of women who are taking a homeward turn putting their elite education and hard-earned experience to waste. Is this a desired phenomenon?

We have nurtured the wrong notion for centuries and have become conditioned to it. It’s time for this chain to be broken. Both men and women must have their roles in the society re-scripted. It should be acceptable and normal for traditional roles to be switched. Men needn’t be providers everytime. They can stay home and be primary caregivers for children while the woman works and earns enough to keep the ship running. We have been discussing women’s rights for a long time, but not enough focus has been given to the duties that bind her. It’s time we change that.


LIMEWIT Canvas Editorial

By Writ Majumdar
Email at: writ007@gmail.com

All it takes is courage. LIMEWIT Canvas Editor's Touch. By Shruti Mehta

All it takes is Courage – #think_it_over Blog

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Has it ever happened to you? There was this one thing that you really wanted to do, you had all the willingness it needed, you had all the resources it could possibly take and you did not go ahead with it because you weren’t sure if it would work out?

It has happened to me.

I took a trip to Dehradoon with my college friends. I was very excited about everything that I imagined we’d do. Little did I know that I would come back with an experience that would change my perspective, entirely.

As a part of the trip, we decided to go on a trek to the George Everest peak. I was scared of heights and my friends weren’t familiar to this fact. We went ahead with the plan and started the trek. Initially, everything seemed good when we were at lower grounds. But as we moved forward, the fear started griping me tight. I still remember how I froze up in the middle of the trek and felt like I couldn’t breathe (Yes! It happened). As I took a little glance to my side, I could see we were almost halfway through. The tip of the mountain was close and my heart knew that the view up there must be something people yearn for. I decided not to turn back. In those few moments of fear, my introspection introduced me to my courageous side.
I took steps forward with all the strength I had. My physical strength was backed by my courage.
We reached the peak. I turned around cautiously as it was very steep and there was hardly any space to move. What I saw was something I’d never forget. A memory (now!) that won’t ever fade.

In front of me, was an envelope of clouds; a huge expanse of plain white serenity and in between the burning red of the setting sun. Could it be more beautiful? I cannot forget how strong I felt. Maybe it wasn’t really the view but the happy realization of being able to do what I never thought I’d be able to.

When I look back, I wonder what if I had told my friends that I won’t participate in that trek? I had all the resources, I was at the right place; I had everything it took to have completed that trek but ultimately, courage was what took me forward.

Those few moments of introspection made me realize a very simple thing

‘You are all the strength you need’.
Yes, courage is what it always takes…