Jag Moondi thought she had the perfect life that every girl dreams about. “The fairytale romance. The love. The companionship. The wonderfully doting husband. The kids. The house.” All of that shattered. Here is her story as a domestic abuse survivor.
Domestic violence is a major issue around the world. It has transpired for generations and continues to be prevalent today.
Since this pandemic began, there has been a 20-30% increase in rates of gender-based violence and domestic violence in some regions of Canada.
In Canada, between April 1 – May 4, 2020 alone, 9 women and girls have been killed as a result of domestic violence.
It is an issue that isn’t openly discussed in society, especially amongst the South Asian community.
Today, I would like to share parts of my story with you.
Where do I begin?
My journey began 12 years ago when I thought I was marrying the man of my dreams. That fantasy quickly changed and instead of living the life of my dreams, I began what soon became a 12-year nightmare. I lived through this nightmare alone and did not let anyone believe that I wasn’t living the perfect life.
For the first 5 years of my marriage, I kept my family including my sisters in the dark. Even after telling them the truth and begging and pleading with them not to intervene, I stayed for another 5 years. In September 2017, with the support of my family I finally found the courage to leave that nightmare. With two young children ages 4 and 5.5, I left an abusive marriage and the life I had known for over a decade.
With no financial stability, plan or knowing how I was going to make things work, I set out to start a new life for myself and my two kids. I just knew I had to get out and give myself and my children a better life no matter the struggles and challenges – we would get through them together.
This is not how I imagined my life to be. I never imagined myself being divorced. Like most little girls, I would imagine the man of my dreams, plan out my wedding and picture the perfect life and marriage I would have.
The fairytale romance. The love. The companionship. The wonderfully doting husband. The kids. The house. All of it.
I did not imagine having to think twice about what I was going to say in fear of what could happen if an argument escalated. I did not imagine having my personal items broken or thrown all over my bedroom floor. I did not imagine walking on eggshells in my own house not knowing what the day would bring. I did not imagine having to hide my tears and put on a smile for the world to see. I did not imagine staying in an abusive marriage for TEN years when I told myself I would never stay with a man if he ever laid his hands on me.
But the life I have created for myself over the last 2.5 years is better than any life I could have ever imagined. And the best part is that I get to do it with my two precious children. This is our little family of three. This is our life. And we are going to live the hell out of it!!!
Over the last eight months, I have been sharing my journey from domestic violence to single motherhood on my Instagram page @singlemomlife_2 with the hope that anyone else who was or is currently in a situation similar to mine, knows that they are not alone.
It is through hearing similar stories to our own that we are able to feel inspired, to feel hope, to have our thoughts, feelings and FEARS validated.
I have also created a support group called Meri Saheli (My Friend). Our main objective is to provide a safe haven for those who want to share their story and obtain the resources and help they need through other organizations or their peers.
We offer help, healing, and advice for those impacted by domestic violence, grief and marital problems, while offering support for single parenting, financial literacy, and much more. We will provide you with a sounding board, a shoulder to lean on, an ear to listen, and a helping hand in any way possible.
Every single one of us has a story to tell. Many of us are not at the point where we can do so openly and publicly. As I reflect back, I have to believe that everything happens for a reason. Perhaps mine was to use my voice and share my story so that others in a similar situation may have the strength and courage to leave an abusive marriage. To give them hope; all while empowering them to live their best life!
I wish to bring more light to this issue and be the voice for those who are unable to speak their own story.
Main Image Photo Credit: Courtesy of Jag Moondi
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