Let Me Be Free
We, human beings, are creatures of love and nature. As we all know, human beings are normally engaged in enormous social interactions which is the foundation of our survival. We can’t keep going on all alone. That means each and every person needs their surroundings to be engaged with themselves in order to survive in society. That’s why since childhood, we have been acquainted with different types of companies till now. As ordinary human beings we expect and gain something special from those acquaintances we are bound with. That’s LOVE. The term ‘love’ deviates into thousands of categories depending on the person who gives love, the person who needs love and their relationships. Considering the fact that teenagers are at a risk when it comes to love, let me focus on the love teenagers have for those of their opposite sex.
Of course, it is true that Dopamine, Adrenaline and Norepinephrine levels of our body increase when we exchange love. But is that all? No! Love is the driving factor, the hope and the reason why we won’t give up. But at the same time love can be the very reason that we give up. Stepping into the point, you all know that there are different types of love relationships in between teenagers. Some of them can be labelled as toxic relationships. Normally we call them possessive relationships. Then the question naturally becomes how can we interpret a possessive relationship? So, basically these are types of relationships that can be characterized by controlling behaviours, lack of trust and lying.
The problem is what the present youth has recognized as ‘love’. More often than not, they rush into immature and manipulative relationships which they think are authentic and sustainable. They are caged up by their partners who impose millions of rules, and pretend to be happy while emotionally suffocating for years without the energy to come out of those relationships. According to the Sri Lankan society, a majority of romantic relationships are like this and in extension, it is the same with many other Asian societies. Some people fight for their freedom when they don’t even experience it within their relationships. But what about the others who tend to tolerate all their sorrows for fear of losing their loved ones? You know, those relationships might be maintained as long as the victimized party remains mentally stable. Because there comes a day where one can’t withstand their partners rules and regulations which break them down mentally and spiritually. Just imagine the pain they expose them to. Try to put yourself in their shoes to grab their feelings when they are in such a pathetic condition.
Even in this moment, many people may be subject to this tragedy. But the majority do not tend to expose themselves as more often women are being victimized by these possessive relationships than men. It is not to say that men aren’t subject to this experience because they very much are if they find themselves in such a relationship. However, let’s consider a girl’s perspective for the time being. Why don’t women speak about their experiences? The reason is, once women start speaking about their experiences, more often than not, society tries to provide excuses.
“She couldn’t behave on her own and that’s why she is speaking like that even now”
“Women must obey men all the time”
“She speaks because she is an ill-behaved filthy one”
“Oh, she is fighting for women’s rights, so we can imagine how bad her behaviour is”
Women are constantly being given excuses and labels even when they speak out to secure their own freedom. But a significant majority of our society has no idea about how much pain a woman undergoes when they are being pressured heavily on all sides. That leads to a dangerous increase in mental stress and eventually ends up in depression. The reason is that there is no one to support them. Because we are in a society where adults, relatives, majority of men, and even some parents possess a mindset that women should be raised under strict rules. You could probably think of many examples from your own acquaintances where girls are being entrapped in such rigid societal or maybe cultural laws. Then, within such circumstances when a girl steps into a relationship and if her partner appears to be a possessive one, that girl ends up in a very pathetic situation which will drag her down.
What happens after depression? Okay, it’s time to create chaos. Parents, relatives, romantic partners and adults become nervous. But what is the point of being nervous now that the harm is done? She doesn’t need your sympathy but her own space and her own freedom. It is really hard for a person who experienced a mental downfall to return to what he or she was. You can’t even imagine how hard it is to be strong and patient as usual. But when they are in a romantic relationship, sometimes romantic partners such as boyfriends don’t even think about the impact he creates on his girl by imposing rules and regulations.
They would just say,
“Wear a dress that covers your body”
“Avoid male friends”
“Don’t go anywhere without my permission”
“Be a housewife after marriage”
“Avoid night parties and trips”
But they have no idea that they are caging up the other one’s desires, expectations, feelings, identity, and mental health. We all know what happens to a person who loses their hopes and their freedom. They’ll soon lose themselves. This may lead to anomie and in critical cases, to suicidal attempts as well. There is no point in lamenting after you knowingly or unknowingly contributed to someone else’s death. That’s why I’m asking you to think before you step into these possessive relationships. Learn that love is not a confinement but an appreciation of each other’s freedom and a whole process of mutual understanding.
As I established earlier, men too face such situations because of their possessive partners. However, I wanted to focus on and comment on a woman’s perspective of the matter, as they experience the pressures of being restrained since their childhood. Another reason for this decision is because as a girl myself, I have no deep understanding of what men undergo when they face a similar situation, and thus, I can’t say anything on a matter which I do not know really well. This is because the way possessive relationships affect boys and girls may differ. The other fact is that usually men do not express their sorrows because they are afraid that it will affect their personality.
All of you who read through this article may be in different types of relationships, be they romantic or platonic. All I’m asking of you is to not be selfish and to respect other people’s feelings. Appreciate his or her freedom. Give them their own space and respect it. As everyone knows their own limits, give them advice where necessary, but don’t impose rules on them. Because the pressure you create will in fact make their lives very miserable. Even if you thought that it wouldn’t affect them that much, it could go on to eventually make a tragic impact on their lives. Just think of how much we love our own freedom and now, think of how others value their own. So, I’m sure by now you’re able to understand the importance of performing even the smallest things such as letting others be themselves.
It is true that there may be many psychological facts that make a person possessive. It depends on their history, family backgrounds and personalities. But all I want is to make you aware of the impact that befalls a person by imposing rules and the hazardous consequences which follow them. However, some will laugh at this. Some will label me. At the same time some may argue with me for being biased. The thing is we all tend to be biased based on what we experience. Each and every fact has different aspects and this is merely one aspect. Therefore, I insist you think a thousand times before getting into a relationship as they can turn toxic at any time. After all this if even one person gets the message and if that person can contribute to saving a life, that would be great!
By the way, how can I be so confident with what I say? Well, let’s just say that it’s a long story. But, if you share the same experience and have no one to communicate with, I’m all ears!
– Rtr Muthu Vidanage
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