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Ever since I was a teenager, I craved change. I wanted to change my identity. I wanted to construct my own life. I wanted to set my own standards and expectations. I wanted to create my own life. I was born into an Indian household. It was a controlling household to say the least.

I was verbally and physically abused as a kid by my parents. My parents never praised me for working hard in school and making the best grades. They criticized me for making a 99% and not a 100%. They always made it very clear to me that I was a disappointment to them and that I would never amount to anything.

My parents’ love for me was very conditional—conditional upon my test results, abiding by all of their rules, etc. I graduated high school at the very top of my class and they were disappointed in me because I wasn’t the valedictorian. They never loved me for who I was. They only loved me for their demands that I was able to fulfil.

 

In College

When I started college, my parents forced me to study biology/pre-dental. My dad threatened to transfer me to a university in my hometown if I didn’t major in anything related to the medical field. However, I found myself hating the medical field. It didn’t pique my interest at all. Since high school, I was always secretly interested in being a lawyer.

I broke the news to my parents and they were enraged. They said that no one would want to marry me because I was a lawyer and not a doctor. My mom actually stopped talking to me for a week because I disappointed her. I should have felt sad that I disappointed my parents so much, but I didn’t. I felt empowered because I finally had the courage to stand up to my parents and do something that I was passionate about.

I knew that this was only the beginning. I knew that there would be more times in the future where I would have to stand up for myself again.

 

My Parents Disowned Me

Two months before I graduated college, I met my soulmate. Plot twist – he wasn’t Indian. In the back of my head, I knew that my parents would not be happy about this. However, I didn’t imagine it was going to be this terrible. I could write a novel about what happened, but I’ll spare you the details and give you a summary.

When my parents found out about us, I thought they would be angry for a little while and come to accept my relationship with Amos. They did something much worse and something I never imagined them doing. They disowned me. They said that they never wanted to talk to me again or see me again. I begged them to meet Amos and they refused.

When I asked why they were so against me dating someone outside of my race, they said their only concern was what their Indian friends and family would think. They immediately decided that I wasn’t worth being in their lives anymore because their friends would judge them.

I thought them disowning me was the worst thing they could do. I was wrong. My family threatened to kill Amos and they attempted to kidnap me several times. They had a private investigator follow me around to see where I was going after work. They even traced my calls with Amos.

It has been four years since this has happened and I’m still terrified that they are watching every move I make to this day. I haven’t really felt safe in four years – even in my own home.

 

Construct My Identity Once Again

The traumatic incident I went through with my parents disowning me gave me the opportunity to construct my identity again. This was incredibly challenging though. I said goodbye to everyone and everything I knew. My little sister was my best friend and my whole world. Losing her was the toughest part.

When I was a part of my family, I always felt safe and protected. I knew that as long as they would live, they would provide a roof over my head and provide me with basic necessities for living. I wasn’t so sure after this. I knew that if anything went wrong in my life, it was 100% my responsibility to survive. I couldn’t put that responsibility on Amos. He had already done so much for me and was the best emotional support for me during this time.

I had to come to terms with the fact that I didn’t have a family anymore. I felt like an orphan. I had to find another family. Fortunately, I have so much family now that I never feel lonely anymore. I’m beyond thankful for them.

There was also a two-week period after everything happened where I completely lost myself. I was depressed. I was at rock bottom. I knew I couldn’t be the victim in this story. I had to be the victor in this story. I refused to let this take control over my life. I started spending more time with friends and focused on things I enjoyed doing rather than dwell on my thoughts all day long.

After a month, I was finally able to be myself again after what happened.

 

After Four Years

Four years later and I can attest with full confidence that I am living the most incredible life I could have ever imagined for myself. I’ve now been married to Amos for three years. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen or talked to my family in four years. However, I’ve had four years to accomplish so many things that I wouldn’t have been able to because my parents didn’t approve of them.

As I stated before, I craved to be my own person since I was a teenager. I am now my own person. My parents’ labels don’t identify me anymore. I have created new labels and that’s how I see myself. I now have the freedom to live my life on my own terms – not anyone else’s.

Only I get to decide how to write the rest of my story. I could very easily have a victim mentality for the rest of my life because of what my parents did to me. However, I use that weakness as my strength instead. I use it to push myself further every day. I finally have the ability to live my life to the fullest. Why would I waste it and take it for granted?

 

Hi guys! Thanks for taking the time to read my story about change. I’m Disha and I’m the founder of Disha Discovers. After I was disowned by my parents, I decided to start living the life I always dreamt of for myself and to stop living a life that was built around conformity. I escaped the stereotypical life I was told to live and have visited 70+ countries since then.

I’m passionate about providing travel tips and helping others accomplish their goals. Visit me at http://www.dishadiscovers.com/ to read more about my travels or chat about life. See you there!