‘Pack up your bags and leave. Get on the next flight,’ he said on our honeymoon. He left me alone in the hotel room and didn’t come back until morning. Left me to cry. He didn’t care.’

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“I was standing there in all my bridal glory in a heavily red embroidered Saree. I could hear the priests chanting the mantras in Sanskrit. I raised my henna decorated hands to put the garland around my groom’s neck. The breeze gently swept him. He was tall. I looked up once, twice and three times. It was a banana tree.

Yes, a real banana tree.

Do you think I’m crazy? Here was my parents’ logic to this craziness. A priest from India stated my horoscope was not aligned and I needed to marry a banana tree to prevent a divorce from happening in my life. I come from a conservative Indian upbringing and it isn’t culturally the norm to challenge my parents, but the real truth of the matter was, I was a people pleaser. And so I proceeded with marrying a banana tree.

I was really excited after that and went on to marry my prince (human this time) but lo and behold, little did I realize I was in for another shock! Marriages are all about the honeymoon period, right? But not my honeymoon. I was abused in every way.

Courtesy of Nishi Mohan

Even to the point that if I dropped something on his T-shirt while feeding him with love from my hands, he would stare at me in disgust and treat me as though I committed a crime.

He later said, ‘You’re so stupid. I told you not to wear those new shoes,’ in a mean and demeaning way, while we were taking the train and blood was bleeding from my feet. He still kept saying that, no care or empathy.

Second day of our honeymoon he said, ‘Pack up your bags and leave. Get on the next flight.’ He left me alone in the hotel room and didn’t come back till the morning, left me to cry. He didn’t care.

It was such a devastating and painful experience. It shattered me. He told me to pack up my bags and leave in a harsh, abusive tone on the second day of my honeymoon for no reason. I didn’t understand what I did wrong to deserve this. It terrified and shocked me to my core. I was completely broken into pieces. My honeymoon was the biggest nightmare.

Courtesy of Nishi Mohan

When I was on a visit to my parents in Singapore after 4 months of being married, I received a message on WhatsApp. I was excited as I thought it would be an ‘I miss you’ message but (pause) no. It didn’t say he missed me. It was a message to end our marriage. My happy ending was coming to an end!

In the next few months, I was wrapped up in feelings of grief, hurt, anger and even self-pity, but as I reflected deeply, more and more, I asked myself what went wrong? I mean, on the surface of things, I did everything I could do to make my parents happy. I was a good daughter. I married a banana tree! I kept my abuse a secret from them as I did not want them to feel sad or upset. I tried to adjust myself to my husband and his family’s liking. But, none of this worked. Why? That is when I realized something. Something inside of me said, ‘You did everything in the world to please everyone, but what did you do for yourself?!

It dawned upon me, I was doing all this for others, out of my love and duty for them. But, I lost myself as a person along the way. I realized I didn’t love or respect myself.

My self-esteem and self-love was at zero. So much so, I had to resort to marrying a banana tree. I had no voice. No opinions. There was zero fire in me. I believed so much in the power of love that I even let my ex-husband disrespect me so badly. Just imagine a little mouse: that was how I was. That was me! I wasn’t allowed to speak or even eat.

Courtesy of Nishi Mohan

Fast forward one year later, after doing some deep inner work and surrounding myself with positive people. My self-worth and inner fire in me grew slowly. I realized I had potential. I’m in control of my own destiny. I began to look at my experiences as a blessing. I changed my perspective of my pain from being in a victim mentality, to a survivor, and then to a leader – of my own happiness. I could have been stuck there in my past feeling depressed, but I shifted my energy and pursued my childhood dream of becoming a coach. I found my life purpose in my pain.

Courtesy of Nishi Mohan

You can find your purpose in your pain. I turned my mess into a strong message. Self-love is key.

I found my purpose in my pain and pursued my childhood dream of becoming a coach and now helping hundreds of women around the world who’ve gone through this type of toxic abuse to not only survive, but thrive.”

Courtesy of Nishi Mohan

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Nishi Mohan. You can follow her journey on InstagramDo you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.

Read more empowering stories of women thriving:

‘His head was his hands. ‘It’s over! I ruined everything! Call the daycare. Tell them we can’t send the kids anymore.’ I used to hide in the bathroom to cry, but always kept my calm in front of him.’

‘On the night of our honeymoon, I saw the DARKER side of my husband. My heart was beating out of my chest. He crouched down and whispered in my ear, ‘You… are NOT going to tell me what to do.’ I felt instant regret.’

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