via Daily Prompt

She was torn. Susheela told her to stay quiet and be the people-pleaser that she has always been but Charlie told her to be more assertive and stand up for herself.

Nikita had been seeing a counsellor for a few months now, and she felt more conflicting now than ever. She still remembers the day she decided to go to a counsellor. It was night-time because that’s when she felt the most vulnerable. It was past midnight and she couldn’t sleep. She tried to listen to some soothing songs or read a book but in vain. She tried to clear her mind of everything and sleep but she couldn’t stop thinking about anything and everything. She wanted to cry and that’s what she did until she fell asleep. The next morning she immediately scheduled an appointment with a counsellor whom she had heard about from her friends and then started the journey of her recovery from the scars of her seemingly perfect childhood.

She had been having difficulty to sleep, and she hadn’t been eating properly for weeks. She also had been overthinking and was always feeling anxious and depressed. That was before she started the weekly sessions. Afterwards, the overthinking stopped but lately, she had been feeling confused about the values and norms that she had learnt since childhood.

Nikita had always loved languages, history and philosophy but with elder brothers who had successful careers in the finance and real-estate sectors, she felt beneath them and inferior about the thought of wanting to be a teacher. Her parents always told her that she could do whatever she wants but she has to do something which was seen as ‘successful’ to the society. Everything was about that. How would the society perceive her achievements? It didn’t matter that the society thought it best she be married by the age of 25 but she needs to be educated even if she will probably have to sacrifice her career and preference for others. How can she tell her parents that she wants to become a teacher now when she is in her final year of engineering?

It was difficult not only to be a woman, but also a human being in such a society because her behaviour did not depend on what she wanted. Rather,  it was dictated by traditional and sexist rules and hypocrisy.



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