Growing up, my mom faced a lot of pressure from her husband and her in-laws. Insurmountable amounts of pressure and verbal abuse, and sometimes even physical abuse. And as a woman who was raised by a people-pleasing type of woman in India in the 1970s and 80s, my mother could not withstand the pressure. She could not handle it, she could not change them, and she thought that she could not change her situation.
So when things got really bad, she would come home and yell at us. Me and Navi, just two little guys who loved her more than the world -- and she would yell at us and sometimes slap us for almost no reason at all. And we didn't understand. Even if it had nothing to do with us, we thought we did something wrong.
But we didn't do anything wrong. She was stressed, and she was facing all of this pressure from all of these people who she thought she could not change. She was in a situation that she thought she could not change, and she felt helpless and sad and like her life was out of her control.
So she hurt the only people who she knew would still love her, would not yell at her, would not pressure her to change or do anything. She hurt the only people she knew she could hurt without anyone getting mad at her, even if hurting us was actually the thing that hurt her most. Even if it was the thing that actually hurt her most. Because she felt that she had no other option.