Wasn’t there an alternative to your separation?

These days, when I look back at my childhood, all I can see are tainted memories of what I once thought was a ‘Happy Family’. It would be so easy to play the blame game now that I know the complete truth.

Yes, dear Mom and Dad, you’re responsible for all those nights I cried in my pillow, wondering if I was the one at fault, and all those days of struggling to find a reason for not being home too early.

Hearing you both scream at each other in the middle of the night, that was one of my scariest nightmares coming to life in fourth grade. I was one of the very few people in class who was absolutely relieved to be the only child. I can’t even imagine having a younger sibling and watching them grow in a broken home.

I broke down that day, falling apart like a dying flower because we weren’t a ‘normal’ family anymore.


I lived the most part of my life being an oblivious, happy child. Pretending that everything was about rainbows and unicorns got difficult as I transcended into my teens.

But college came with a rude awakening. It was the first time I saw you, Mom, with a man who wasn’t my Dad. That was when the last thread of my patience came undone and I couldn’t take it anymore. I that day, falling apart like a dying flower because we weren’t a ‘normal’ family anymore.

Now, I know that all families have issues. But the least a child expects is a strong support system in the form of his or her parents, right?

I was at crossroads for days before I made up my mind to write this letter. I had initially decided to spare you the hurt from my sob story. After all, the two of you had to go through a painful time as well, which was probably ten times more than what I went through.

But you know what? I’m only human, and I had to let this out.

I could never ask any of my friends to look after my wounds because they had different issues to worry about! A hopeless crush, bad grades, having nothing to wear or forgetting their lunch at home.

How could I tell them about my problems? About seeing a stranger in my Dad’s place, about living with a distant father who was increasingly resorting to alcohol, a mother who was battling her conscience every day and waiting, just waiting to be free.

For the past few months, I’ve been working on the ‘Forgive and Forget’ concept.


But I am trying, dear Mom and Dad. I’ve grown up now, haven’t I? Officially an adult. For the past few months, I’ve been working on the ‘Forgive and Forget’ concept. It would be a lot easier if I were a saint, but I don’t think it’s impossible.

I’ve finally understood the scenario under which you got married. I don’t think I believe in the constitution of marriage anymore, but I don’t want you to worry about it. It’s my own decision and not up for a debate by anyone.

I also wish I could blame my grand parents for what happened (maybe I can, without feeling guilty since they aren’t here anymore), but they did what they were taught is right – an arranged marriage based on the caste system, without consent of either parties.

I’m learning to live with reality and to undo the hate and accept you for who you are – loving parents who just couldn’t act like the perfect couple anymore.

I’m happy for you, Mom, and I’ll always love you.

I’ll always be with you Dad, may you find happiness again.

And after we’ve all recovered and are standing back on our own two feet, can we give our family a second shot together?

Lots of love,
Your little girl.

Author: Alisha Jamshed Syed

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