Published: | Canada

Behind Her Smile

This article is dedicated to all the Tamil women out there who have suffered through bullying.

Last night, I received my wedding video after a long two-year wait.  All of the feelings and emotions of that day came back to me.

The things I went through on October 23, 2016 are a bit surreal.  There's an expression that says "A picture is worth a thousand words".  However, so many words were kept silent for the past two years.  Seemingly picture-perfect moments were captured on camera, but behind those pictures is a much bigger story.  I think it's time for me to share MY truth and to move forward from it all.  I want to use my story for those who may have been bullied or may still be getting bullied, or going through depression as I did.  This is for any girl out there who is or was in a similar situation.

As a young girl, I can remember dreaming of having the perfect wedding, don’t we all?  Sadly, my actual wedding was far from perfect.  It started with me finding out that I was pregnant before getting married.  Ek and I were very excited because we had prepared ourselves for this situation.  We were ready to start our life together and welcome our baby into the world.  However, what we didn't expect was negativity we would face by others in the Tamil community.  To them, it was considered a disgrace that I was pregnant before getting married.  

The beginning of my pregnancy was soon followed by unexpected devastating news from the doctors.  They told us that our child would be born with a disability.  I was in shock and suddened by this news, but that didn't prepare me for what came next.  

I admit that I was a bit of a brizezilla on my wedding day, but it was minor to compare to what my bridesmaids and I went through.  We received threatening and extermely distubring messages from people which included racial slurs (ex. n-word).  They went on to curse me and my unborn baby, and then escalating things by throwing beer bottles at one of my bridesmaids' house.  They also threatened me by saying things like “I will show up to your wedding and ruin it.".  The worst thing I heard was when these same people said "Your baby will be a handicap when he's born and I hope the baby dies.".  Yes, that's right, somebody actually said that.  

I was experiencing this all while I was pregnant and on what was suppose to be the happiest day of my life, I heard such vile things.  I am extremely grateful to have my husband and dearest friends by my side during this very difficult time.  Even after the wedding (last 2 years), things were not easy on us.  There were times when I felt that the struggles we went through would tear us apart.  This is where the power of love really shows itself in your biggest supporters who are right there with you. 

Parenthood brought new challenges to our relationship that we didn't expect, but we remained strong and focused on what we had built together.  We've been blessed with a beautiful and healthy baby named Arma.  Despite al the negativity around us and others trying to tear us down, we gutted through it.  We went on to hit many more life milestones like: purchasing our first home together, finding my dream job and traveling the world.  

Although the topic of bullying is become more prevalent in discussion, it's still not talked about enough.  Bullying is a huge problem.   Why do we let people hurt and harass us physically and emotionally? I've wanted to give up so many times, but then I remember that I'm not alone.  You should reach out as it's never too late, no matter how long it takes you.  Don't hide what you've gone through.  Find someone you trust and let them in to help you.  To all the people who have survived bullying and all that comes with it (including depression), you are strong!  Even after everything that's happened, you are still here.  

I wanted to share my story to help inspire others.  Let no one tell you who you are or who you should be.   You are strong and beautiful. You are loved. You are enough.  Also, as women, we are judged more critically than men for our choices.  In the Tamil community, it is about perception and doing "the right things".  Although we are raised in a country as beautiful and diverse as Canada, this attitude is still commonplace.  To all the women reading this, let's try to support each enough instead of tearing each other down.  

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