Ma, I Wish I Was Beaten Black And Blue : A Poem On Emotional Abuse

September 7, 2010
Dear reader, here is a poem on emotional abuse in relationships.  A married daughter tells her horror story of emotional harassment and mental abuse, which the mother does not want to understand, as she herself is helpless, but does not want her daughter to know it.


I wish I was beaten black and blue.
For a hurt is never an offence for you
for a taunt doesn't even count,
for the words never leave a wound
to show the hatred abound.

You say, I have to bear with the insult hurled
for I am an Indian girl.

Remember the day you slapped me , Ma?
We cried together, for it was love.
I see no remorse in his eyes though
You say "but he loves you",
I wondered through and through.

You say, I have to bear with the insult hurled
for I am an Indian girl.

When I was pushed, I was surprised;
When I was slapped I wanted to shout;
And when I am pinned down to the bed
I close my eyes and remember you say that
I have to bear with the insult hurled
for I am an Indian girl.

You ask me show where he hit you?
But, what do I show you Ma?
A slap on my face doesn't cut my lips
a push till the wall doesn't leave a bruise
a hit of elbow on my breast
hurts... but doesn't leave me blue.

I wait endlessly to be beated black and blue
all these years
I have waited through.

I suffer, because I am not yet burned
I suffer, because I have no bruise to show
I suffer because for the world
the piercing of the soul matters not
I suffer because I am not beaten black and blue,
I suffer because I am not beaten black and blue.

Many women in marriages suffer emotional abuse all their lives from their partners or sometimes from other family members. Such verbal hurling of insults can have serious effect of a person's psyche, it can lower one's moral and self confidence, apart from making her dwell in self pity. Unfortunately, there was nobody to even acknowledge that such a problem exists, even in well off and educated families. Just 2-3 years back, the definition of "Domestic Violence" has been enhanced to cover emotional harassment also under The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005.   

A word of caution. On the one hand, women should be aware that nobody has the right to put them down, even emotionally, on the other hand they should not misuse the provisions to settle petty scores with the family in which they are married.


(This is a series of posts I am writing on women issues in India. To read more see the label "women issues that baffle me" on this blog)


Anonymous said...

this is a very poignant poem. is it witten by you or an actual survivor?

This is a nice initiative that you have started. what would probably make sense is to have guest bloggers who can write about their experience in your blog.

Gazal Bharadwaj said...

Very well written. There has to come a day when the lady has to take an initiative to set her free. To fight.
For herself...

sumangala said...

The caution is appreciated.

Vee... said...

you already know that I like what you write! And you always keep excelling at the way you bring up all these serious issues. You have my bestest appreciation again for what you've written and for what you'll write as well.

Blasphemous Aesthete said...

this is not an Indian Woman,

arise awake and be the Goddess you are meant to be, for that is what you have been in the past and it won't be without your helping hands that we may restore you to throne.
Shivji has his Shakti and they both make it whole, you are not weak!

Anonymous said...

ur poem brought tears in my eyes
100% fact u have written.
Indian mothers will always tell their daughters to have patience, to adjust, to tolerate because they themselves have been doing it for years together and most of the time they know no other way around.
worst part is in most of the marriages even if they are supposed to be the ideal ones- -- the women have faced emotional/verbal abuse but the women always try to ignore it
a laudable attempt by you
there are many fellow bloggers who write on such topics

Jack said...


Read 3 posts now. Gudia should have been allowed to take own decision. Unfortunately society, though progressing, still is in dark ages. We should not kill the child within us. It was thought provoking post in more ways than one. We do need to have space to do what we like best. A very touching poem. But unfortunately it is a fact. We need to raise awareness on this that never accept this even the first time itself.

Take care

PS : I have written a post today and will apprecialte your views on that. Thanks

Vaish said...

Emotional poetry RS! I was moved by the words "And when I am pinned down to the bed" and the last para "I suffer..."

Girish said...

This poem is heart churning.

'I have to bear with the insult hurled
for I am an Indian girl..!!'
That seems to be the motto of every married girl who's in an abusive relationship!!
How I wish everybody can live freely in a just world!
Very very good poem!!

locutus83 said...

Nice, touching poem. My brain cannot comprehend why some people take pleasure in continually torturing a helpless person. Maybe they are not afraid since they know that the woman is "helpless" and wont fight back.
That's why I feel,more women should learn how to kick ass a la "the Bride" in Kill Bill. Treat people with the respect that they deserve and don't take sh*t from anyone. Hit back hard at abusers and make them deeply ashamed of themselves and afraid.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...

Sharbouri - Thanks. It is based on a true incident, confided in me by a victim. Yes, surely, I would love to have a guest write up from someone who has acutally faced it.

A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...

@ Gazal- yes definitely.

@ sumangala - am glad. ur profile is inaccessible, u cud change settings.

@ Vee- glad to know that! Thanks a ton for the encouragement. And I value your comments. Thanks.

@ BA- It was an equal game, the rules have got changed with the passing time. lets hope for the best.

@ Anju - am glad u liked it and agree with me.thank you dear.

@ Jack - thanks again for reading so many of my posts at one go! Just finished reading ur post. Thanks for mentioning me!


A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...

@ VAISH - yeah, those lines....
I feel good u liked it.

@ GIRISH - thanks a ton!

@ locutus83- glad u liked it. Well, hitting back is easier said than done.

@ anonymous - thanks. the link is working, pl check again.


Saket Dabi said...

touching words , and sensitive issues , perils of a daughters around India is presently the much serious issue. I liked the way u flowed ur thoughts .

if u wish to land upon

Most of the stuff is filled with Satire in present issues.

Sh@s said...

Kudos to you for writing on such a sensitive topic and you have done justice to it by capturing the pain and trauma aptly.
Keep writing!!

nikita said...

it has shaken me inside !!!

such painful poem..and i really feel pity for such men who can't respect and value the love of women !!!

btw..girls should have the courage to fight cause God made them to live not to suffer...

Mohammed Ibrahim (Admin) said...

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Rashmi Nair said...

I loved feel of the poem and it somehow left a deep impact... the cries of help and the feeling of impuissance. Your a real good writer, you know. Your post about women and their issues are very expressive and sensitive and heart touching. :) .. hats off to you! :)

PS: Fan of your articles now!! :D
PPS: Yup, we run the BNCHY hospital. You asked about it earlier. :)

p00ja said...

This is so relevant, the tone is just so perfect, waiting for it all to end one way or the other, and still hoping somewhere that it will all end well.
This is a situation that most married urban woman are familiar with, we don't need to be beaten and bruised to be abused, but still it is a limit people wait for, some even accept it as their destiny as their fate and live with it.

Nalini Hebbar said...

touched!...If I had a daughter I would have taught her self defense techniques instead...girls have to learn to identify emotional and mental torture too

A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...

@ Saket Dabi - true, thanks! Tried ur site, some problem my side, it doesnot open. will try again.

@ Shas - hey thanks a ton!

@ Nikita - yes, well said. thanks.

@Md Ibrahim - thanks.will c ur post.

@ Hey Rashmi - u changed u pic, nice.

Wow! thanks dear! Great@ BNCHY !

@ Pooja - so right. but the families are so unsupportive that the poor girls have to live like that most.

@ Nalini- am glad u liked. It's always encouraging to hear from you.


Anonymous said...

Nice post and this post helped me alot in my college assignement. Thanks you as your information.

Barkha Dhar said...

What an exquisite means to sombre emotions!. I love your poem and can feel the pain. To date, emotional and physical abuse for women has been defined as their fate. My sister, may the restless souls and the bruised emotions heal through an endless light of peace.

A Restless Mind With A Sensitive Heart! said...

Barkha -welcome to this blog! Thanks for your kind words. Indeed it's a heart felt poem.



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