Year 0

Disclaimer: Im not a saint, im a born sinner I make mistakes and probably will make many many many more but I will take responsibility when it's due.

A. Ramnani
5 min readNov 29, 2022


First, this starts with an apology for not being able to tell myself that it's okay often enough, I was a kid, and I didn't know any better. This was my reality, and im changing it now.

This all started when I had a call with a friend, and we were reflecting on our school days. We realised we had been bullied without realising we had been bullied (so does this count?) For E.g. Give me your lunch, I gave it over or pass me your crayon, so I snapped it in half and gave half all these moments, I didn't realise some of these things were horrible and mean but I did know how to combat this.

Old Narrative:

Adopted from poverty at age x into an affluent family. So im privileged as fuck and every day grateful for a second chance at living because my chances of being aborted or living life in full poverty were very high. Too brown for the west and too white for the east. Panicking at the question where are you from. Mélange of schooling. Grew up between London, Dubai, Lagos, India, Hong Kong, Spain and New York. Mom's side of the family adds on North China, Japan, Miami, Ghana, and Moscow. My father's side adds to Pakistan, Morocco, Gibraltar, Jamacia, and Madrid.

During this time, I grew up with an oppressive and abusive mother with narcissistic personality disorder whose father has this too. And some of these behaviours have been absorbed by me but I didn't realise the reality until:

  1. My realisations that arose after Vipassana 10-day retreat (writing about this experience in another article)
  2. Repeated patterns in my relationships both friendships and more
  3. Being neurodiverse and outright fighting a battle with myself me vs. me

Im. exhausted. I. burnt. out. I. didn't. trust. Im. scared.

What was the moment that changed?

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

When I was having coffee with a friend and he asked me

What do you want to drink ?

and I said

Whatever is convenient I dont mind

and to this, he said whilst looking at me DIRECTLY IN MY EYES

NO, I asked you what do YOU want?


I finally realised something as simple as not making a decision on what coffee I wanted was a hindrance to how Im not in control of living my life as I thought.

People pleasing is not fun I wouldn't say I like it and I did not register this as a symptom of abusive relationships.

I let myself be abused, But I didn't realise it was happening at the time until I was out of the worst relationship of my life for someone who gaslight me to the maximum, did stupid shit like hit me many times when I asked not to, crossed some illegal boundaries etc that lead me to a crazy amount of narcissistic projection and negative self-sabotaging like no tomorrow.

Photo by Robert Linder on Unsplash

When someone cant control you they start hating you

Key issues:

1. Communication

  • I find it hard to speak to people whose words don't match what their bodies are saying; they are lying to themselves and its hard to watch (of course, I have done this too when my bad habits kick in)
  • For people who do not say what they feel verbal, I can't read between the lines because my version of reading is different to others
  • Different communication channels for understanding others with different love languages and attachment styles
  • Not knowing when to address your needs because you don't know if someone is going to laugh at you or hit you for having an opinion
  • Avoiding conflict and uncomfortable conversations at all costs to keep the peace but this in fact creates unrest and those who respect you will need room for uncomfortable conversations

2. Language

Words hurt so much I can't express this more and YES I am very guilty of using some phrases below but now I understand the gravitas of these phrases and how they can affect the people around me.

Some things that bother the life out of me:

  • That never happened
  • You’re crazy — and other people think so, too
  • I’m sorry you think that I hurt you
  • Do you really think I’d make that up?
  • You’re just trying to confuse me
  • You know I’d never intentionally hurt you
  • I did that because I love you
  • I never said that
  • Obviously
  • I did that because I love you
  • I don’t know why you’re making such a huge deal of this
  • You’re being overly sensitive
  • You are being dramatic
  • You are the issue, not me
  • If you loved me, you would
  • You are crazy
  • You’re being delusional
  • You are just insecure
  • You are so selfish if you don’t do this for me
  • You’re imagining things
  • You made me do that
  • You don’t really feel that way
  • That never happened
  • It’s not that big a deal
  • You’re just being paranoid
  • Anything that puts BLAME, Take responsibility for your own damn feelings and emotions do NOT blame me for your mistakes
Photo by Christian Wiediger on Unsplash

There is nothing wrong with me, Im, not a late bloomer, Im not overly sensitive, Im not too much, Im not dramatic, Im, not a good girl, Im a human person who is caring, kind, considerate, warm, fun but giving my top qualities to people who find it annoying, a hindrance, a problem, that's on THEM, not me that's a reflection of THEM, not me. I believed in others and now im solemnly thinking I don't need to because I know myself more and my intentions are not evil. When you have experienced abuse you can recognise and gravitate towards the same people; like recognises.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

What's next?

Make friends with your inner child and check out some shadow work. Get your shift sorted out and be kind.

Photo by Max Kleinen on Unsplash

Everything is a choice.

“What are your choices when someone puts a gun to your head?

What are you talking about?

You do what they say or they shoot you.


You take the gun, or you pull out a bigger one.

Or, you call their bluff.

Or, you do any one of a hundred and forty-six other things.”

Harvey Specter Suits

*Im writing this because I hope it helps some people fight out of their abusive relationships, get out now before it's too late.



A. Ramnani