July 5, 2020

Memories: Hubli, Karnataka, India

Spending off-the-grid time in the middle of the desert has afforded me some inner silence to think about and process different parts of my life. One of the earliest ones I can remember is when my grandparents and my dad's siblings took care of me for a few years, I think when I was 8 or so.

We were in Hubli, a city located in the Indian state of Karnataka. I remember walking on the streets with entire parts of the city under extreme poverty. Children with disabilities begging on the streets. Bullock carts everywhere hauling loads of god knows what. The stench of garbage everywhere.

The memory that stuck with me the most from that part of my life was when the headmaster of the school hit me on the head until I almost passed out because a classmate lied and said that I stole his books. You see, in India, teachers discipline students in pretty severe ways. And the headmaster wanted to teach me the consequences of lying so he kept hitting me until I'd admit that I took the books.

Not blaming anyone at this point, since that was just an artifact of that culture's conditioning. Even parents are encouraged to discipline their children using violence. It's an artifact of a culture that has developed over millennia not the present members of the culture.

But I am thankful that I now live in a country where one isn't stigmatized for visiting a therapist. There are many in India and even in America who feel stigmatized for seeking professional counsel regarding these sorts of thoughts, memories, etc. I used to be one of those people, but I have recently taken a step towards living a happier life by setting my pride aside and seeking therapy.

I have only been to one session so far, but just knowing that I can talk to her about these thoughts and memories when I see her next has brought me much solace. Instead of being overwhelmed by the weight of the thoughts, I can just take a note in my journal reminding me to talk to my therapist about it.