Not Yet a Woman

 

My father’s words still haunt me and make me tremble with fear. They changed my life completely. When I was 14 years old, he threatened me, saying, “You need to marry with the boy I found for you. If you reject this
marriage I will commit suicide or leave the home forever.” I was too young to say no. I had to accept his plans quietly.

To be married at such a tender age was very shocking for me. I was not old enough to be a wife, nor was I prepared to take on all the duties of a wife. I was very afraid and did not want to stay with my husband for even a minute. I was not ready to fulfill all his sexual desires.

After the marriage I did not stay very many days in my husband’s house. I was in class 9 at that time. I was doing well in school. My husband’s family had agreed that I could finish the school year at my same school, so I went back home until the holidays.

When the Dashain Vacation started I really did not want to return to my husband’s home. I was trembling with fear. I was prepared to commit suicide rather than go to his house to be his wife. I went to the Narayeni River
and attempted to kill myself. When that didn’t work, I took poison and tried to drink it but was unable to do it because there were other people in the house.

The family arranged for me to go to my husband’s house. In the morning, my parents were preparing all the necessary gifts for the in-laws. At Not Yet a WomanTo be married at such a tender age was very shocking for me. I was not old enough to be a wife, nor was I prepared to take on all the duties of a wife. approximately 11 am I told my mother that I needed to go to the market to buy some make-up kits. My mother let me go, but
warned me to come quickly.

I went directly to the market and took a bus to Kathmandu even though I didn’t have any plans once I got there. I was really afraid. It was my first visit. I did not know where to go, where to eat, where to stay. I didn’t know anybody in Kathmandu. I went to a sweet shop which was run by a Newar family. I told them my whole
story and asked them for any kind of work. They gave me a job as a domestic worker. I stayed there for 2 years without ever contacting my family members.

Then one day I decided to go home to see my parents. Once I arrived, I was surprised to hear that my father had filed a case against a man who lived in the same village. The case accused the man of kidnapping me and selling me. Everybody in the village suspected him of being a trafficker. When I went home I had to support my father in this case. I could not dispute my father’s words, so I had to pretend that I had been trafficked. We won the case with great difficulty, but because of that everybody thought I was a trafficked girl.

My in-laws did not accept me as a daughter-in-law. The community did not want to accept me. My only option was to leave the village. My maternal uncle took me to a rehabilitation centre where I was given vocational training. Then I started working for an organization. I am married and now my life is good. However my past still makes me very fearful and I continue to worry about my future.