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Why I Was Disowned by My Family

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This is one of the hardest posts I will ever have to write for my blog. Writing this post makes my heart ache and brings my grief back to the surface. I never thought in a million years that this would be one the stories I would tell the world. But, here I am opening up to you and giving you the exact details of my parents disowning me. Only my closest friends and family know the exact details about what happened. It has taken a lot of courage and vulnerability to share this story with you. I won’t be sharing my feelings or thoughts with you in this post. The purpose of this post is to solely tell the details of how and why my parents disowned me. Also, my intention isn’t to belittle my parents. I always have and always will continue to respect my parents for everything they have done for me. 

I met my soulmate, Amos, in April of 2014. We were introduced by our mentor, Justin. Thanks again for introducing me to the love of my life, Justin! I asked Amos out on our first date and I immediately knew that he was the very special man that I was going to someday marry. As days went on, we became closer and closer. Life began to seem impossible without him. We officially started dating in June. 

My plan was to have him meet my parents at the right time. Being Indian-American, I knew that I was going to face some opposition from my family. At the time, I had no idea how bad the situation was going to turn out. My parents immigrated to the States almost thirty years ago and I thought they were surely a little more open minded towards certain issues. I’m not going to pretend to be the innocent one in this story. I fully acknowledge the fact that I should have had the courage to tell them that I was dating a white man. In mid-July, my parents found out that we were dating before I got to tell them about Amos. I received an angry call from my mom. She called me every degrading name in the dictionary and said that I was the biggest screw up she had ever met. She said that I was ruining our family name in the Indian society that they were a part of. Before I could even open my mouth to defend myself, she yelled and said that my dad would call me in a few minutes when he got home and that I was really going to be in trouble. 

About an hour later, I got a FaceTime call from my dad. I was petrified to answer his call. Actually, petrified is an understatement. I always feared my father’s wrath. He had so much dynamite packed inside of his soul for being such a small man. I answered the call and he immediately started yelling. He said that I was a disgrace to the family and that he was ashamed about what he was going to tell his friends and society about me dating Amos. I begged him to meet Amos, but he was not interested in doing so. He never cared how I felt or what I wanted–the only thing he cared about was his reputation. He started tearing up all of the photos they had of me and trashing them. He also called me every demeaning word imaginable. He said that I was going to cause him to go into cardiac arrest and he hung up the phone. 

A few days passed by and I hadn’t heard from my parents. I just got angry text messages from my younger sister stating that I ruined their lives and that I was a selfish person. She called me something way worse than a selfish person–you get the hint. I couldn’t even be upset with her. She was fifteen at the time and still being influenced by my parents. I went home after work that evening and was home for about an hour before I heard a knock on the door. I opened the door and saw my family standing there with my dad’s best friend. They forced their way into my apartment and took a seat on the couch. All four of them began telling me what a disappointment I was and that I was too good to be dating some white man. Then, they started rummaging through my apartment to see if Amos was living there. First of all, I paid the rent so they had no right to barge into my apartment like that. Second of all, Amos was not living with me. They demanded that I produce my signed lease for the apartment to make sure Amos was not listed on there. They also snatched my phone out of my hand and started going through it. They snooped through every square inch of that apartment to make sure that Amos was not living with me. They verbally abused me for about an hour before they decided to go home. I won’t go into much detail here about what they said because it is not appropriate. They demanded that I come home that weekend because we were taking a family trip to Little Rock, Arkansas for an Indian holiday. Before they left to go home, they threatened me that they were going to drag me back home and lock me up if they found out that I was still talking to Amos. I obviously had zero interest in obliging to their demands. I wasn’t going to let them dictate my life. I called Amos and his mom after they left and noticed my phone clicking. It appeared as if my phone was being tapped. Once again, that did not stop me from talking to Amos.

Fast forward a few days and I was headed to Tahlequah to go to Little Rock with my family. I honestly had zero interest in going to Little Rock, but I decided to go because I would be able to see my cousin. My cousin was in his 30s and was raised in the States. If anything, I thought that he would understand where I was coming from and he would be the voice of reason in this situation. When I got home that evening, my parents told me that we were no longer going to Little Rock and that our family from there was coming to Tahlequah. I immediately knew that something fishy was going to take place this weekend. My family from Arkansas arrived the next day and we spent time with each other without mentioning what was going on. The next day was Sunday and I had to get back to Oklahoma City to get ready for work on Monday. I was gathering my belongings when I heard a knock on the front door. It was my dad’s friend who invited himself to my apartment a few days before. I immediately knew that something interesting was about to happen. My dad yelled at me to come into the living room and made me sit down on the couch. He asked me when the last time was that I talked to Amos. I obviously kept my mouth shut. After being awkwardly silent for a minute, he pulled out a thick stack of papers. He said that I didn’t need to give him an answer because he already had an answer. What he had in his hand were phone records with my call and text logs. He also had copies of our text messages on there. I was instantly creeped out. I knew they were crazy, but I had no idea that their craziness was to that extent. Icing on the cake–they told me that they had people follow me to and from work to make sure that I wasn’t going to see Amos. EXCUSE ME WHAT?!?!! Just let that sink in–someone was watching every move I made. Of course they started verbally harassing me again and said that they regretted the day that I was born. They then asked me who I picked–them or Amos. I knew in my head at the moment that I was going to pick Amos. However, I kept my mouth shut because I knew that they were going to kick me out of the house immediately without anything. They said that if I picked Amos, I had to return everything they ever bought me back to them. That included my car and phone. I knew that I had to plan my next steps wisely. Then, my mom pretended to have a heart attack. My cousin threatened me and said that he was going to make my life a living hell if I chose Amos over my parents. My parents said that I needed to move back home and that I would be under 24/7 supervision once I moved back. They said that they would make sure that I had no access to the outside world and that they would get me married to some random stranger within a few months. They even started listing off names of prospects.

This is the part where I manipulated my parents. I made myself cry and pretended like I was choosing them. I told them that I was ready to move home but I had to give my boss a notice in person. The reason why I did this is because the only person I could count on in Tahlequah to come save me was gone for the weekend and I had no other way of getting back to Oklahoma City besides waiting three hours for Amos to come pick me up. My parents believed me and I was on my way back to Oklahoma City. I called Amos on the way home and told him what happened over the weekend. I told him to meet me at my apartment at 9pm that night because I needed to drive back to Tahlequah again to drop my car and other belongings off. I parked my car and locked my belongings in the car at my parents’ house. My parents told me that if I picked Amos, I needed to give all of my belongings back to them and that they would never speak to me ever again. I believed them and thought that the harassment would stop. I was wrong.

I returned to work the next day and thought I wouldn’t be bothered again. The receptionist called me on the phone and said that my dad was here and wanted to talk me. I told her that I wasn’t interested in speaking to him and for him to go away. I told my boss what happened and she went outside to talk to him. She asked him to go away and he refused. Then, my mom entered the building. She started roaming the hallways looking for me. I had to lock myself in another office and hide under the desk because my boss was afraid for my life. She told my parents that she was going to call the police and file trespassing charges on them. They finally went away. She told me to immediately call Amos to come get me because I was no longer safe at work. I called Amos and I snuck out of a back entrance. I then filed a police report. I thought that my parents finally got the memo that I wasn’t interested in talking to them. They asked for their gifts back and I happily cooperated. I didn’t have anything left to say to them. I was wrong… again.

I was clocking out at work the next day when I noticed my cousin’s van in the parking lot. I then saw two more cars filled with family members. I told my boss and she immediately told me to call the police. She turned the surveillance cameras on and said that there were two men fanned out at every exit of the building waiting for me to come out. She told me to go to my coworker’s office and stay there until she said it was okay to come out. The police arrived and spoke to my cousin. She told my cousin that she would take action if he didn’t leave immediately. He disobeyed and said that he needed to talk to me. Finally, my family drove away after more threats from the officer. The police officer talked to me and said that this was more than likely a kidnapping case. Why else would my family be fanned out at every exit of the building? She advised me to file a restraining order because she was concerned about their erratic behavior and my safety.

I filed for a Victim’s Protective Order the next day. This was perhaps the most gut-wrenching thing I have ever done. What kid wants to file a restraining order against their family? I knew that I had to do this for my safety. The protective order paperwork was served to them and they were summoned to appear in court the next week. I honestly thought that my parents would show sadness when I saw them in court. I was appalled to see how unemotional they were. In fact, my cousin cursed us out in the courtroom. They had an attorney who attempted to emotionally blackmail me. I appeared in court pro se that day and knew that I needed an attorney’s assistance. The judge granted me a Motion for Continuance. I went to court again the next week and my family failed to show up. The judge granted me the VPO for three years. If my family attempted to stalk me or attempt to contact me, they were to immediately go to prison. This VPO ended in October of 2017. Fortunately, I have not heard from my family since then. I hope and pray that they continue to leave us alone to let us happily live our lives.

Thank you so much for reading this post. I’m going to go ugly cry now while Amos holds me  and put Band-Aids all over my heart. Also, please do not say anything negative. It took a lot of courage to write this and your negative words won’t hurt me a bit. Please do not say that you are going to pray for me to be reunited with my family someday. That is not what I want. Rather, please pray that their wounds be healed and that they come to know the true meaning of unconditional love someday. 

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Willanie Davids

Thursday 23rd of September 2021

Thank you for sharing your story. I also got disowned by my parents after turning down an ultimatum to choose between my family and the love of my life. I am sorry that you had to experience betrayal like this by the people who were supposed to provide you love and safety- I know all too well what that feels like.

Pallavisree Tambraparni

Sunday 19th of September 2021

My goodness Disha. What an ordeal you have been through. I feel very very sad. It's very hard for second generation indians growing up in a foreign land. first generation indians will never understand this. and this is how many second generation indians become depressed because they follow everything that parents want, they get good grades in school, they become doctor, engineer, do MBA and are in some high pressured job, making six figured salary and now you only want your child to marry an indian also where does it end? I hate to say it but sometimes indian parents can be very very selfish and greedy. asking and demanding too much. what they don't realize is that they cannot live their child's life. only their child can do that. no one else. i admire your courage for fighting real hard for what you believe in. keep being courageous and keep fighting. that is what you. need. be strong. Lots of hugs.

Hazel

Monday 21st of June 2021

Given how enmeshed, dysfunctional, and unhealthy your family is, this is literally the best thing that could have ever happened to you. Now, you can embrace a life of goodness and happiness filled with sound and wholesome values, rather than backward racist and sexist traditions masquerading as values. With any luck, that entire disgusting, defective worldview will be consigned to the history books in a century or two.

Every time someone of Indian descent stands up to their meddlesome, overbearing parents and goes on to lead an independent life, another candle is lit, and the foul cesspit of darkness shrinks just a little more.

Francesca Marie

Saturday 10th of April 2021

I am so proud of the courage you have shown to speak out about this! I too am going through something similar to your story, and it really helped me to read this post you made. You inspired me to have just as much courage you have and I hope that you and Amos live the rest of your lives happy and stress free!

Disha Smith

Monday 12th of April 2021

Hi Francesca! I am so sorry to hear that you're going through something similar. I'm always here for you if you want to talk. Thank you so much for your kind words. Sending you hugs!

Lisa

Saturday 6th of February 2021

I do not pretend to understand your parents and the culture you were raised in. My heart breaks for you. I cannot imagine the pain you went through to become an independent adult. I am at least as old as your parents or older. I hope you gain warmth and strength from Amos and his family. As you grow older and gain experience in life you will find others to be your family.

Disha Smith

Monday 8th of February 2021

Thank you so much for your kind words and for the encouragement, Lisa! :)