A struggle of a Maldivian girl

She got married when she was 19. They both were very much in love with each other. But her parents disapprove the relationship and the marriage. So they cut off all the financial support for her.

Her husband was not able to make the ends meet. So she moved to Malé, and began working on three jobs and paying the rent. it was a massive struggle. During this time she also applied to college and began to study.

Not too long after the marriage, she noticed that her husband could not keep a job. He was moving from place to place. Between his job hopping, she had to look after all the finances. As the gap between the jobs widened, quarrels began to increase.

One night she noticed a package in his pocket wrapped in an unusual way. He was selling drugs. Few days later he started taking it.

Things were going downhill. Her financial situation was so bad that she was not able to buy toothpaste for weeks. The choice was to brush her teeth or relieve the unbearable hunger.

Her husband was verbally abusive. This has negatively affected her self-worth. She lost the sense of identity. The emotional abuse caused her to loose her worth. “He made me feel that I have no value, I’m nothing. He made me believe that. I believed it”

Why she did not ask help from her parents or at least moved back to her island? I asked.

Embarrassment was the reason. Or to be more specific, it’s a combination of Shame, getting labeled, stigma, threat to face, humiliation and the big one, embarrassment.

She tried to bear the unbearable. As a result she slowly began to isolate from the society. Cutting off all her friends and relatives. She began to isolate herself, staying alone in her room whole day. She open the door only to go to work. Apart from work, her only interaction was with her abusive husband.

Not too long after this self isolation, she became suicidal.

How often do you get suicidal thoughts? I asked.

It was mostly when her husband’s verbal abuse gets intense during the time of financial difficulties. Mostly after 20th of every month. Its the time she drains all her money.
“Sometimes when I’m at the kitchen preparing food, I want to cut myself”

The day was the worst a day can be. she came back from her third job, had a quarrel with her husband. after long series of verbal abuse He shut the door and left the room.
“I was crying” She said “Sitting on the floor for half an hour, I got up, went to the bathroom, took the bleach bottle and drank a mouthful of bleach”

“What happened next? I asked.
“There was a burning sensation as it went down the throat. I felt the heat from throat down to stomach. Then there was an intense burning sensation in my stomach. My eyes began to blur… I felt dizzy… Next thing I remember was vomiting in the ambulance. It was going to IGMH.”

Three years later she still get intense pain near the liver and kidney. At night sometimes the pain wakes her up from sleep. This is when the pain from monthly period gets combined with the pain of liver and kidney. “During those days, medicine is the only way to control the pain.” She said.

Three years later she began to take medication for depression. She was also suffering from trauma and social anxiety. It was the result of long isolation. “I was afraid to talk to people” She said. “I’m scared of people”

The medication helped. Once her mental state got improved she decided to get a divorce.

She knew that her husband might get violent so she first went to police and filed an immunity protection and then left Malé. In her island she filed a divorce. Three weeks later she got the information that her now ex husband got arrested while carrying drugs.

When I met her she was psychologically normal. She had a boyfriend and assured me that she picked him carefully. There were some physical damages, some are permanent, others will take time to recover.

Original: 07-02-21