Counselling

I’ve been cheated on, abused and am depressed but I’m not being taken seriously

Depressed Woman Hands on Head

Q: I seriously need help to overcome my depression. I am unable to sleep and feel suicidal at times. I feel trapped and cornered, unwanted, often misunderstood and taken for granted. I have no one around me whom I can confide in. I have been through the shock of my husband cheating on me. And when I asked for answers and expressed my heartbreak, I was humiliated, beaten and strangled. I cry for hours, yet nobody cares. I don’t know what to do. I cannot take this neglect, this loneliness anymore. My parents live far away and I don’t want to bother them. After all mine was a love marriage. I don’t even have friends here. There’s just so much happening and I have to pretend all is OK. I feel like running away. Every time I’ve tried to convey I need help, I need a change, a break of sorts, I’m told, “Don’t be dramatic, you should have been in Bollywood, you are not depressed.” That’s the worst part. I feel exhausted, emotionally and physically. What should I do? There’s just so much hurt hidden inside and it’s eating me up. I feel like screaming out loud, but in reality my voice is shut out.

A: Hi there,

You really seem to be trapped in an abysmal place. I can imagine how thrashed your soul must be feeling after going through so much. ‘Beaten and strangled’ sounds like pure physical abuse to me and NO ONE should have to endure this kind of degradation. You seem to be being punished for something that you haven’t even done! Long-term insidious abuse like this shatters the victim’s self-esteem over time and leaves you feeling worthless and defenceless. But remember, just because you’re being made to feel like it, it doesn’t make it true. Your spirit is being crushed, but for now it is up to YOU to keep it up. DO NOT be embarrassed to ask for help, from friends or family. I’m assuming that the reason you don’t have any friends is because you have been manipulated into being cut off socially by your abusive husband. But don’t hesitate to reach out. No one will think of you as ‘dramatic’ or ‘foolish’. Out of five people you reach out to, at least one will respond. You need to get a different perspective than the one being shown to you. The depression is a side effect of the long-term trauma you’re enduring. Try and seek professional help from someone online, if you aren’t able to step out. Make sure you find a professional who has had experience with trauma cases and who can help you rebuild your self-esteem from scratch so that you can gather enough resources to stand up against your abuser. Finally, just start reminding yourself every morning – “I am NOT responsible for what’s happening to me!” Hang in there – if you find the right help, it WILL get better!

Life coach Sanjeev Trivedi lists 10 ways to deal with heartbreak.

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