So lately there has emerged this new trend on social media, #metoo. It basically comes with confessions from women all over the world that yes, I too have been sexually abused at some point of time in my life. Twitter, facebook, blogger are flooding with various confessions, posts, and even memes saluting this great effort to de-stigmatize this crime that most of us women were taught not to talk about.

Have I been sexually abused? Well, of course, yes. Many times. And the 'beauty' of sexual abuse is that, it comes in various forms. But that's another story. Today I am dying to shout my lungs out about a different kind of abuse. The kind of abuse where nobody lays their hands on you. The kind of abuse that can't be reported because there's no law for it yet. And of course, like any other abuse, it is not gender specific.

Have you ever been abused mentally on a daily basis on the verge of losing the last smidgen of your self-esteem? #metoo And these abuses came in such subtle form that despite being torn apart you had no idea what you should do. And how to put a stop to it. The worst thing about sexual abuse is that more often than not it comes from known people only. A benevolent uncle, a friend, an apparently suitable lover or a passive aggressive boss. Mental abuses come from known and known people only. People who know you to a certain extent that you are somewhat vulnerable to them. I have known and been with such narcissistic, abusive people who made my life hell in such clever way that I ended up believing it was all my fault. So every time I freaked out it was my anxiety disorder. Every time I complained I was nagging. Every time I stood up for myself I was a heinous bitch.

Have you ever been mentally abused for being a feminist woman? #metoo I had the sheer misfortune of knowing some people who were absolutely shocked to find out that as a woman I take my career as seriously as a man. (What?! Who will cook for the manchild also known as your husband if you go gallivanting off to do some obscure job which you obviously do to humour yourself? Why do you need a job? Your future husband earns more than enough!) When I replied to them that I am a feminist and I believe in my financial independence I was suddenly this ill-mannered, low-bred rebel whore unsuitable to become anyone's life partner. (Feminist? So you are a man hater. So you hate household works. You are the typical Bengali girl who is way too rebellious. Why didn't your parents marry you off yet? Why are you still living on your own, without a man to supervise you?) Those people made me cough blood but they never accepted or understood that as a feminist I barely demand equal rights (and no extra convenience except for maybe birth control and maternity leave and tax-free sanitary napkins) as of a man. And it is perfectly fair and justified. This discussion came to a point where they were even ready to 'compromise the beauty part' (Exact words. Beauty part means I have dark complexion) if I were ready to get rid of my ill-mannered, feminist, pain in the ass attitude.

I wouldn't see it as some idiotic people having abused me for being a woman. I believe I was abused by patriarchy and its pragmatic, rotten beliefs, just like many other women trying to make a mark of their own in this festering dung of a society. And as for the man-hating part, nine out of ten times it's just one woman trying to pull another down. It was same for my mother. It was same for my friend. Even in my case it was a woman only who did maximum harm while the man stood by, watched and supported even. I am a feminist but I condemn such mindset before even batting an eyelid. Who needs a man when you have someone from your own sex to tear you apart?

Bullied, abused, turned down by patriarchy? #metoo.

p.s. I am not a mental health expert, nor is it a niche blog dedicated to mental wellness. I only share my personal take on something as I have experienced it firsthand.