1 year had passed and I was finally ALLOWED to go work outside of the home! I was sooo excited that I had secured a job and really loved it! It was so liberating to go into the real world everyday by myself without my mother in law or husband with me. To the bus, I skipped the whole way, smiling ear to ear. I was like Happy out of the 7 little dwarfs, hi ho hi ho it’s off to work I go. Determined to do something other than be treated like crap I got up with excitement and purpose every morning because at some point I was going to be out of the house and be myself without having to put on an act or be submissive. Joining the workforce was very easy, I have an outgoing friendly personality so making friends and learning are second nature. I loved that I was “on – training” at work, how important was that?!?! I was surrounded by many beautiful people that I looked forwarded to seeing every day.
The first 2 weeks of work went relatively well at home. I would get up in the morning, do my household chores and then I would go to work, missing all the evening drama at home! Instead I would be laughing with all sorts of people and enjoying what freedom felt like. Keeping up with the household duties were a must or else I knew I would be asked to quit going to work and I couldn’t risk that. Getting up early and then I would run around cleaning up the mess of the previous night because my fat ass mother in law left things on purpose to teach me a lesson. Me being young = being the energizer bunny. I would do all my chores and take her wherever she needed to go before my shift and then, it was like, see you later suckers!
Raj and I saw less of each other but I was less lonely than I had been being with his family every day. We hadn’t really fought those few weeks, I was getting into the groove being a married working woman. I think he also liked me being busy, less chances of me investigating his whereabouts and asking questions like a detective. He and I didn’t really talk during my first few weeks of working but at least we weren’t fighting. I was content with that, married but alone yet happy!
Our fighting restarted when I received my first pay check. I, naïve and stupid, went home and showed my husband my pay check. He was very excited for me to have a pay cheque. I then went and told his parents about my first pay check and that I would be ordering dinner with my money. The paying part was okay but it was not okay that I had a real paycheck. His mom made a strong statement about how daughter in laws need to hand over their pay checks to their mother in laws to run the houses expenses. She demanded it again and I didn’t really respond to that. She repeated herself a couple of times, but I was just thinking that I’m the one who went to work so I should keep it not her!
When I was a young girl I saw my parents had one bank account and shared all expenses, my dad handled all the money. My mom didn’t work so I guess it made sense. Now as married young woman, my mother and father had reminded me that my paychecks need to go to my husband as he is head of the relationship. I subtly protested and my parents firmly told me nice girls don’t set up separate bank accounts from their husbands. I was actually okay giving my money over for the greater good as a couple.
As instructed by my parents and after thinking about what I had grown up around, I handed over my first paycheck blindly to my husband. At the time it was just a paycheque, when I look back, I had actually handed him my freedom and did so every 2 weeks. I would get a weekly allowance from him and that was all that I would/could spend and the rest was going to the future. In fairness to him, I did receive more money when I needed and I was never without anything I needed. In fact, I was spoiled materially and still am…
Although I gave him my pay, he still didn’t have any more respect for me. There was a place in my mind and heart that I hoped he would maybe love me now that I was earning money for “us”. I wasn’t as useless as he was saying or they were saying. No such luck, our fighting continued.
At this point I don’t really remember a harsh fight where it got physical. He kept seeing his girlfriend; I kept up with the housework and worked outside the home. I was happy with the people at work, we ate, laughed and lived. To the naked eye I had a life that was going in the right direction. 20, with a handsome husband, (who had a respectable job), working, lived with the in laws and was always happy. At times even I thought I was living the life that others believe I had. Some days I actually forgot that I was in an abusive relationship and that at any given time I would be slapped across the face or would be humiliated by him and his family. There many days that I was actually happy (rose colored glasses). On top of that I was constantly competing for my husbands acceptance and attention with his girlfriend AND mother!!!
I was, am and forever will be an optimistic person.