Living in an Alcoholic ‘Family’ and Reverse Coming Out

Nobody ever read that title and said ‘Relatable!’

I was born in Chandigarh, on a quite winter morning, atleast that’s what my mom told me.

My childhood upto the age of 6 was somewhat boring and lonely, my mom and dad used to work, while I stayed in a creche.

When I was 7 years old, my little sister came into this world.

We would bask in the sun on warm winter mornings, watch Bobby Deol movies (typical cliche Punjabi kids), and have Paranthe for breakfast everyday. I cherished and loved each moment of our time together

My dad would come home at night, have a ‘peg’ as we call it and watch cricket, my mom would come after work and complete her chores. Then my sister, my mom and I would go to bed together where she would tell us Enid Blyton stories and we’d drift off to sleep.

As we grow older, we started seeing things differently. The number of ‘pegs’ my dad would have increased. There were often heated arguments between my mom and dad, and my sister and I would close our door and try to focus on our non-living soft toy family. It was still okay.

Things took a toll for the worst the first time my dad hit our mom. She fell hard on the old grey mosaic floor. My sister and I cried and cried, and our mom tried to comfort us when it should have been the other way around. The news of my dad hitting my mom spread in our family.

The next day my dada and dadi would come to our home, and try to calm the situation down.

Apologies were exchanged, and things calmed down.

I still remember that day, I was furious at my mom for giving him a chance. My sister was too young to understand this.

It didn’t stop.

We shifted into a new home. This is where the incontinence started. My mom would have to clean the urine soaked mattresses everyday. One day, when our mom was at work he threatened to kill us with a pellet gun, the same night he would hit my little sister and my mom with her new Barbie Doll scale that we bought for her first day at KG class, and slap me thrice on my face. My mom became weaker and sadder, she developed cold feet whenever the family would talk to her about leaving him. She wasn’t in her right mind to take a decision.

His mom, on the other hand, would defend his actions, “He wasn’t in the right state of mind.” “He drinks because he has two daughters.” “You probably said something.”

We were in a bottomless well with dark walls. Once outgoing and happy, I became the lonely, sad and introverted kid at school.

My sister was still little, she was the only one that kept that spark of hope alive in the house.

(Cue present – It’s 12 AM, I am writing this and I can’t stop crying)

I’m 11 years oldwhen I have feelings for someone for the first time. It’s not a boy. It kills me inside. I start listening to emo music, turn off the lights at 8 PM, and just lay in bed thinking. This shouldn’t be happening to me, it can’t, not after all this.

I’m 12 years old, I’m in a relationship with a boy. I love him. This is when I slip into the dungeons of Orkut and discover what ‘Gay’means.

I’m 13 years old, it’s over. I’m devastated. I linger off in a distant dream somewhere, I have no friends. I sit in the corner at school everyday, and eat my lunch there.

I’m 14 years old, the last time my dad hit my mom. He kicks her right below her stomach. She falls, writhing in pain. My sister and I rush to her, not noticing he fell too.

He has a major fracture, needs a surgery. He still has metal plates in his feet. Karma got him.

My mom helps him get through it.

I’m 15 years old, the inner conflict breaks me down. I cry to sleep every night.

I’m 16 years old, my sister is 9. I tell her I like girls. She tells my mom.

The crying begins. “Why did I ever have you?” My mom calls my maasi, she calms the situation down. They tell me, it’s just a phase.

I try to believe them.

I’m 17 years old, over the years his Physical Abuse has turned to Mental Abuse. My mom has become hostile and sad. She gets angry easily.

The incontinence is still there. She cleans it every day.I can never let my mom down again.

I’m 18 years old, my mom asks me, “Remember the feelings you used to have a few years ago, you don’t have them now, do you?”

This is the evident reverse coming out part.

“Hahahaha, nahi mummy, it was just a phase.”

I’m 19 years old, I get into a good college. My mom’s proud of me. He’s still there, but we’re okay. I finally find the word, the label – “Bisexual”.

It brings me peace but I’m not happy.

I’m 20 years old, the part where I have a true friend in my life. He is transgender, his story pushes me and moves me to work for my community.

If I have this life, it doesn’t mean everybody gets to. In retrospective, I don’t think anybody has the same story as I do, but you get what I mean!

Working for my community makes me happy. 6 March 2016, I attend my first pride walk. It is the best day of my life.

Cue present– I’m almost a graduate. I’m still the lonely and awkward kid who sits in the corner.

I attended my second Pride Walk few days back, infact I had a huge role in organizing it.

Today, my mom asked me to find a divorce lawyer, she has asked me before but something is different today. She says she is ready.

There is hope as long as there is life.