I did everything to keep my arranged marriage work, eventually… (Part 2 of 2)

”When my father found out I wanted to divorce my husband he was really upset. He suggested I would travel to India so we could talk things through. I wasn’t planning on changing my mind but in order to get my divorce settled I would have to go to India. My manager at Nike gave me two weeks off and I flew back home. When I arrived, my family was mostly emotional and angry with me for making the decision to get a divorce. Later that week we traveled to the other side of the country to my husband’s house to discuss the situation. I remember sitting in a circle in his living room and everyone was looking at me. For hours my family and his family were trying to convince me to not go through with the divorce. This went on for hours and hours and at some point I was so exhausted I had to go to sleep. That night I slept in his house. Just being there reminded me of all those terrible months. I woke up the next day and I noticed that my bag with my passport, phone and credit cards was missing. I panicked and confronted my in-laws. They said that they had nothing to do with my missing bag and that someone must have broken in and stole it. Slowly I started to realize how serious the situation was. My two weeks off were almost finished and I had to get to my job in Amsterdam. To get a new passport in India it takes at least 3 months and a signature of your father or husband. I have never felt so hopeless in my entire life but I wasn’t about to give up. I emailed my boss and I told him I was in a serious emergency and that I needed 2 more weeks to fix it, luckily he agreed. The image of my life back in Amsterdam was what kept me going. Meanwhile I was trying to figure out how to get my documents back. With the help of my sister I sneaked out of the house and went to a government building. I was neatly dressed and somehow I managed to enter the building. The security must have thought that I was a government official. I walked into the building and a young female officer approached me and asked if she could help me. I noticed that she trusted me and I told her I had lost my bag in a mall and I had to get back to Amsterdam. I wanted to be honest but I couldn’t tell her the truth. She immediately called her friend who was working at the passport office and made an appointment for for me the next day. She gave me a letter of recommendation and the next day I went to the passport office. I sat there for 10 hours and when it was my turn they told me that in order to get a new passport I would need a signature of my father or husband. Again, I lied and said they were out of the country. I ended up convincing her and she gave me an approval. If I had been honest I would have never gotten it. 5 days later I could pick up my passport at the post office. Now I had my passport but I still didn’t have my residency card for The Netherlands. I called up the Embassy of Netherlands in Amsterdam and explained my situation. They were very helpful and emailed me a recommendation letter. They told me I had to fly to New Delhi which is on the other side of the country. I was running out of money but somehow there was a sale going on and I managed to find a cheap ticket to New Delhi. I got my residency card the next day and I immediately booked a flight to Amsterdam, it was a miracle. During this entire time I was scared. Scared that someone would recognize me and that I would get send back to my husband’s house.”
”When the airplane took off I could finally breath again. When I landed in Amsterdam I took the train from the airport to my house. I didn’t cry, I couldn’t believe all that had really happened. I felt as if I finally had woken up from a bad dream. I had been gone for 45 days in total. The next day I found out that I had lost my job at Nike. I could have hired a lawyer and fight it but I needed peace. They didn’t know what I had gone through so couldn’t be mad at them. I said goodbye to my colleagues and I now had 3 months left to find a new job. I wasn’t scared or sad, I had never felt so strong in my entire life. After all I had been through I knew I could handle any kind of situation. I took a deep breath and I started to apply for jobs.  It took me 17 days to find work. All of this happened in the beginning of this year. Unfortunately, I am still not divorced but I’m never going back to India. I do talk to my parents but I find it really hard to trust them. I work as a software engineer at a highly reputed company and I’m happy. Amsterdam is magical, this is where I want to be. This is my home and my friends are my family.” (Part 2 of 2)



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