Monday, October 25, 2010

A Serious Post After a Long Time

That's b/c I recently encountered two serious issues and I must write about them.

Someone I know recently got married and moved countries to live with her husband. They had been dating for 4-5 years before they got married. The guy used to mistreat her even before marriage - he would always talk down to her, wave her off whenever she tried to say something, and would make it abundantly clear that her opinions or what she thought about an issue didn't count. He did it in public frequently, so I'm assuming he did it in private as well.

I hear this has gotten worse after marriage, with him going to the extent of saying that things will happen the way he wants since he's the one bringing home the bacon (she has recently moved on a dependant visa and hasn't been able to find a job there yet).

Given, the guy is a jerk. He's an egotist and is used to being the center of attention in his family. His parents have lovingly overlooked his mistakes and issues, even as serious as drug addiction. His friends, more often than not, indulge him when he throws tantrums. He wants the universe to revolve around him. But I think a large part of the blame lies with the girl. It's not like her husband started mistreating her after marriage. That's how he's been speaking to her since the 2 years I've seen them together. More often than not, she'd accept it without a whimper. Sometimes she would object and they'd have a fight but things would go back to how they were. She got married to him knowing this was a serious issue in their lives - and it is an issue given that she cribs about it to people and has called mutual friends to help sort out the fights quite a few times. So my question is - shouldn't she have thought long and hard about whether he was the guy she wanted to marry? And made it abundantly clear to him right at the beginning of the relationship that she wouldn't be treated like a rag?

I think in situations where the man doesn't know how to treat his partner, it's up to the woman to make it clear how she expects to be treated. If she's taken shit lying down all her life, she has no right to complain later.

Many times, we end up marrying someone inspite of obvious issues in the relationship b/c we don't want to rock the boat, we dread being single, we think we won't find anyone ever again and we think it's too much of an effort to have to start from scratch with another person. What we don't realize is that the boat will get rocked sooner or later, and it will be that much more difficult to get off.

The second issue I want to talk about stems from something I saw at a doctor's clinic recently. A couple walked in with a severely asthmatic 8 year old child. The child had a terrible asthma attack and the parents had no clue how to give her first aid or stabilize her till the doctor saw her. According to them, she had been asthmatic since she was 1 year old, so it was shocking for me to see how clueless they were.

Asthma is a debilitating condition. There can be many triggers and medical aid may not always be available - for instance when you're traveling. It is imperative that parents of asthmatic children know how to administer first aid to their child to stabilize him/her a little bit at least till help arrives.

I'm not a doctor but one of the first things I've seen people do to asthmatics is to ask him/her to relax. When breathing problems start, we start panicking. Panic worsens the condition. Calming down will help alleviate it a little bit. If the doctor has prescribed an inhaler, carry it with you at all times (or put it in the child's bag is he/she is unaccompanied) and administer it as soon as you can. And please for Christ's sake know how to administer an inhaler correctly! The mouth has to be closed around the inhaler, not open. The parents of the child I saw at the clinic were pumping in the inhaler into the child's open mouth. Doesn't help. Inhalers come with a leaflet with pictorial instructions on how to use them. Read it. Or ask your doctor to demonstrate how to inhale correctly.

If you are a parent of an asthmatic child or know someone who is, please ensure that you/they can administer first aid to your/their child in case of an asthma attack. Shedding tears saying you don't know what to do is not going to help.


Moonshine said...

We have choices to make in life.. and sadly some people decide to do this to themselves!!! Its all self inflicted.. even now what stops her from leaving????

muddleglum said...

I'm not a woman, so I'll skip the first concern except I once followed a couple into a dark alley and stopped him from abusing her. We almost came to blows, but I'm big enough to give people pause. I suggested that the woman leave him right then and there, but she just let him sweet talk her. I asked her if he hit her before, and she said, "yes". I told her he would never stop but she let him continue to sweet talk her. I escorted her to her car and left with him talking very nicely to her.

On the second, though, I wonder if that was the first time that the child was that badly afflicted. If it was just a mild to moderate case, the parents might never had thought to really look into it. The "spray into the open mouth" might have worked well enough in the past because the child trusted her parents and relaxed.

But you're right, parents should be experts on their child's diseases.

Scarlett said...

@Moonshine - It may not always be self-inflicted. In some cases, people change after marriage. But in this case, it definitely is self-inflicted. The guy has been the same towards her since they started dating, and if she didn't have the courage to walk out on him then, I doubt she'll do it now.

@Muddleglum - The situation you described is a common story. I've heard/read about a lot of women who get sweet-talked by the man into staying in abusive relationships.