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There Is No Bravery In Adjusting With Toxicity. Break Away!

There Is No Bravery In Adjusting With Toxicity. Break Away!

The story There Is No Bravery In Adjusting With Toxicity. Break Away! appeared first on StoryPick.

Not long ago, a friend of mine spent a year of her life living in absolute toxicity.

She lived in a small room that looked like a haunted outhouse where no kid would ever dare to go. Every night, she would put herself to sleep, rocking like a child and patting her head the exact way mothers do to put their babies to sleep.

Her landlady would give her life advice over how it is very unbecoming of a young girl to argue when she would ask for rental receipts, and how she shouldn’t go out much because if she gets raped, they won’t support her when the police starts to investigate!

One time, she informed her owner that she was going to stay at a friend’s place for a few days.

At this, her gangster of an owner asked her, “koi boyfriend toh nai hai tera?” (Do you have a boyfriend?) Baffled, she argued a little and left. A few seconds right after she sat in the auto and directed the man to take her to the airport, she spotted the image of her landlady following her auto, on the rear view mirror.

Yes, she was headed to the airport to pick her boyfriend. Yes, she had one.

Her heart was racing hard. She asked the autowala to drop her near her colleague’s apartment building. When she saw the lady turn about, she very carefully (as if she were a thief running from the law) took another auto and reached the airport. The second she spotted him in the crowd of many, she sighed. She had 4 days to live in the arms of peace and love, finally.

Until that day, she had been perplexed about which road to take. But, everytime she chose to stay because of her job, which she gave more importance to than her own life. She consoled herself each time saying, “It is a new city so maybe people are like that. Maybe it is me who is failing at adjusting. Maybe I have to be more strong about it. Maybe I should just sleep for a while.”

But, do you think this adjustment to a new place made her happy?

That’s the thing with life. When you are a few months old, you are taught about the proper way to behave. When you are a few years old, they add the lessons of competing and winning to the lessons of mannerism. When you are a little over decade old, you are taught to adjust. Some also say, learn to tolerate a little.

Adjusting is a fine trait to have, sure. It makes you flexible to deal with every and any situation. It makes you an easy person to be with. It also eases out your companionship with life in general.

But for some of us, the act of adjustment is seen as a holy book that must be breathed through religiously. We make ‘adjust a little’ our mool mantra to go through the many phases of life successfully. And at the cost of what, our own happiness? Our own life?


My friend had stopped adjusting long back. She was now tolerating.

She was in a terminal state now.

When she came back to the hell-hole after living the 4 days of relief with her boyfriend, in the city she despised, she was welcomed by her landlady with taunts like, “So where did you spend your nights? I know everything about you!”

The next day when she went to office, she discussed the situation with her colleague who sat next to her. She did not vent her misery entirely, but told him about how her landlady does black magic and pull nasty comments at her.

Everything went fine until the guy looked at her and said, “Why are you so feeble? These things happen everywhere. You have to adjust this much.”

Adjust to what? Black magic? Taunts on her personal life? Stalking?

She had tolerated enough.

She was now broken and didn’t know how to become whole again.

She did not know how to start afresh!

One fine day, she packed her bags and moved to a different place, but in the same area. And hence, not too far away from her previous landlady’s reach, who continued to stalk her. The landlady would go to the place where my friend had her dinner at, to inquire about her whereabouts. Yes, she was that crazy.

Her new place was hell in a whole different way. And I won’t give in the details. All I can say was my friend had become an insomniac there.

Good food became rare, office a den of hungry donkeys, and she? Well, she was now an utterly anxious and worried girl who used to hallucinate.

She reduced sharing her experiences with me, and started crying more.

And, the only way out I could see now was breaking about it, to her already much-worried parents.

Now, she stays at home. And, has vowed to herself to never leave.

My friend, who was a bold heart in a petite body, who hugged dirtiest of risks thinking only good will come out of every misery, now seems defeated, scared and scarred.

“If only she did not adjust to the point of exhaustion. If only she did not tolerate in the name of earning her livelihood. If only she did not worry about us so much. If only.” -Her mother still worries.

My friend had been strong for far too long. Even when she visited the police station to complain about her landlady.  Even when she got yelled at by the man in khakhi who supported her stalker of a landlady instead, my friend had been very strong. But, now the tap has stopped supplying the water. Now, she has run out of her strength.


Now, she seems afraid to start afresh.

The last time I visited her, I saw the many awards that she had won in various fields- dance, oratory, music, art, general proficiency, etc., still shining bright. I looked at them, and then I glanced at her. And there stood before me, a once bubbly and multi-talented girl with the lost charm in her eyes. And I told her:

“You have seen hell. You have died. But unlike those buried corpses, you are lucky to have a chance to start afresh. Experiment. Get bored. Fight when things don’t go as per your desires. But, become a child once again. Take birth, once again.”

And there it was, the smile that made my heart melt. I hugged her, and she did not cry. She wasn’t fine, but she was recovering. I was convinced.

And from her act of tolerating till the summit of sheer hell, I had learnt many lessons for myself.

Keep the toxicity away. Find your happy place, where your heart is content, and your mind sane. Run away, if that’s what it takes you to find happiness.

Cliff diving is an act of the strong and the daredevil. Diving into the shark spot in particular, is the act of the foolish. Yes, she had been foolish. But if you dive in the shark spot and manage to come out sane and alive, you will emerge stronger.  All you need to do is, realize your strength. Find it. It is hidden under those scars of the mishaps. Find it. Use it.

Don’t waste your life dying. It is meant to be lived.

The many hammer knocks can either break you into pieces, or, can make you immune to the torture. Choose what you want to live by.

She is trying to bud out again, one petal at a time.

She is still scared to trust, to move out. But, she seems happy. I know she will be back to ruling the world again with her talent.

In fact, right now as I can hear her singing Eminem’s, I’m not Afraid, I am convinced. She is probably in her bedroom singing her heart out in front of the mirror. It sounds amazing. And I will go and join her now, but mainly to see her recoil into her shyness. She is lovely. I know, she is spewing excitement inside. I know it will bubble out soon, leaving the scars of the past behind.

It will happen. :)


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The story There Is No Bravery In Adjusting With Toxicity. Break Away! appeared first on StoryPick.

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