I woke up today with the feeling of a spinning head and nausea. I knew this was the result of my never ending thoughts which took me to the extents, but I couldn’t be bothered. I didn’t realize it is an important thing to be disclosed to my parents. I neither felt that I was doing anything wrong, nor that I’m the first person to practice a free-spirited lifestyle. Moreover, what shook me off was my parents called me names when they learned of this news from an anonymous person in the neighborhood. If I have to explain myself, though I do not see a reason for it, I just changed my live-in partner for the fourth time in the last two years. Which resulted in people tagging me as irresponsible (which is a polite way of putting it). “Come on, Zara!! It’s going to be okay”, I thought to myself.
I lived independently, a few hundred kilometers away from my parents in a metropolitan city. The luxury of living by myself gave me confidence, strength and freedom. I learnt quickly how to survive in such a big city, as soon as I landed here. In my initial stay, I struggled to travel by public transportation, as there were more crowds during the peak hours. Once I returned home from work, cooking food was a big hassle and I loved to have a variety of food on daily basis. Cooking is a difficult task for me because back there at my home I was never in the kitchen. That would be the least thing asked by my parents. Getting to places during the weekends for my interests became a bigger challenge, until I came across the first guy who I dated and lived with for few weeks. He became a solution to all of the above mentioned problems I faced. You might say that I am an opportunist, and I won’t deny your conclusion. Yes, I agree that I took advantage of the situation, but so did he. After all, give and take is a philosophy and approach to life that many of us follow, perhaps without realizing what is happening.
The process of choosing a right guy wasn’t easy. I had to do a lot of calculations to figure out the best solution from the possible permutations and combinations such as emotional and financial dependencies, post dating impacts, and freedom of life, just to name a few. After a few hiccups in our initial days of our relationship, we learnt how to live together and to be separated without any problems. I see no one observes this point. One needs to do a lot of exercise to make sure there will be no issues after getting separated in a relationship. I have done this task successfully for the last couple of years. Hence, I feel this is one point where I should appreciate myself.
You may question me that If I were that talented. why didn’t I initially notify my parents about my life choices? Well, they are from a past generation. It would take a lot of effort to make them understand a piece of my psychology. I would rather prefer to let them live in peace. However, I was aware that, one day or the other, they would get to know, and it took almost two years. The person who alarmed my parents was none other than one of those guys who lived in our locality and proposed to me without success (I am not interested in getting into the details of how he asked me out and how I rejected him). The key point here is that he is a lunatic and wouldn’t mind his own business.
This outrageous news made my parents worry and, in turn, they tried to work on my mind (with no success) and a lot of arguments were exchanged. They eventually convinced themselves that I had issues, either psychological or behavioral. In either case, they thought only a therapist could help me with my situation. They found an expert in our locality, took an appointment for a visit, and accompanied me to my appointment, as if I wouldn’t show up at the clinic. I looked around as we waited in the hall for our schedule and found very few people were in the waiting hall, which surprised me. In a way, I was happy to learn that people are smart enough to deal with issues on their own, instead of running to a shrink. On the other hand, I doubted my parent’s choice of finding such an unpopular therapist. Either way, as I waited impatiently for my turn, I felt sorry for myself and cursed my parents for making me sit among those patients. After an hour or so of waiting came to an end, I got my turn to visit .
The therapist was an attractive, well dressed middle-aged man. Well, I referred his age as middle-aged, but he was not much older than the one whom I dated last. After a brief introduction and the inputs from us, he notified us that we needed to visit him until we came to a conclusion. He and my parents spoke of me as if I was just an object for his psyche dissection. My parents initially started with praises and how good of a daughter I was, and eventually described how insane I became. They also put in their requests to bring me back to the regular life so they could correlate. The therapist took a long breath and briefed us about the number of visits he might expect from us. Upon my parent’s agreement to his recommendations, he requested for my parents to wait outside. As they left the cabin, I felt relieved, though it was for a short period. That was the first time in last few weeks I felt free from the constant monitoring. The therapist asked many questions for which I answered as briefly as I could. However, he didn’t give up on me. He continued his questionnaire until I decided to make myself engaged to help him to get his job done, so that I could save a visit. As I unraveled the details, he became more curious to my case than he might have expected. I told him the minor details of what caused my parents to worry and how they got to know of my custom. Then I gave him the details he didn’t expect about the last guy I dated who was close to his age group. That was the moment I slightly noticed a curious, rather an opportunistic, look in his eyes.
A girl like me dating a middle-aged man may not be a big deal in western countries,but here in my town this news would make many people raise their eyebrows in shock and stay at the top in the chart of gossips. This therapist pretended to be a professional in my first couple of visits. In further visits, he showed more interest in my story than a usual therapist would do. Probably he might have understood that I may not entertain him, even if he made a move towards me. Based on his curious questions, it appeared to me that he wanted to clear off his doubts in finding a girl to date and sounded as an advice seeker.
He asked me how I ended my relationship with that middle-aged man. I thought he would ask me “why” did I end it; instead he surprised me with a varied question. This middle-aged man was widowed, handsome, well-built, in a decent job with steady income, and on top of that, he was a sensible speaker. He would take care of everything that I needed, from the morning breakfast until the time I went to bed. I wouldn’t need to worry about paying bills on time, though I eventually cleared off the debts. He would drive me to places wherever I had to go. However, I sensed he was emotionally getting too dependent on me, which would bring me trouble in setting things right if we had to separate in a long time. I didn’t want to make things complicated, as an emotional relationship would bring more dependencies. I wasn’t ready to carry such huge baggage. Hence, I had to let him go. As I said, though he was sensible, he couldn’t accept my decision and it wasn’t easy for me to make him understand.
I paid for my first two sessions with the therapist. Afterwards, he concluded that he may not be much help to me, unless I needed someone to talk. At that moment, I told him that I am aware that I’m in no need of a therapist, and that if he felt like it, he was welcomed to talk to me, if he needed someone to recommend him on his personal adventures. We exchanged smiles in a mutual admiration. After all, it takes one to know one. In later days, the therapist concluded with my parents a version of our discussion and dispersed the remaining appointments. This unexpected response from therapist brought my parents back to the square one about their worries for me.
My parents would do anything for their child’s well-being. Hence, this time they wanted to try religious treatment on me.