"I literally had to beg people to get my thyroid surgery done. My family has been under so much pressure and humiliation, I don't know how I can look them in the eye anymore…
My name is Suraiya Gosh. I belong to a middle-class family from Kolkata. I used to work as a part-time beautician but as the coronavirus pandemic grew, I lost my livelihood. I had been struggling with my thyroid problem for years but had never saved up enough because of other pressing expenses.
To add up to the stress, Ankur, my husband, has been laid off from his job. Our savings are getting used up in running our house and in Shriya, our daughter's school fees.
My thyroid was giving me other health issues and surgery was the ultimate option left for my problem. But where do I get the money from??
One of my friends runs an NGO and she told me about the crowdfunding lingo. Even though it was a systematic process of asking people to spare money for my betterment, ultimately I was literally begging these people to help me, that too through social media.
My campaign lasted for a span of 3 months and I was able to collect a sum that was necessary for my surgery. Last week I had my surgery done without any complications and I thought it was all over. The bad phase in my life was over and now we could live happily but I was so focused on my problem that I didn't even realise how the coronavirus pandemic scare along with me begging people for funds had made my family suffer in silence.
I didn't notice that many of Shriya’s classmate's parents had donated money for my operation. Shriya felt humiliated when we uncovered this. She started to withdraw into herself and refused to answer her friend’s enquiries about me.
She blamed me for her loneliness and the fact that her friends found all this really ‘weird’. As per her she would never be able to face them.
For Ankur too, it has been a journey of mental exhaustion and a sense of worthlessness. He thinks that he is of no use and has failed me as a husband and it was because of him being a failure that I had to beg people on social media and that I have let the whole world know about his job loss and financial instability.
AM I A SELFISH MOTHER WHO COULDN'T SEE THE SHAME IN HER DAUGHTER'S EYES AND A STUPID WIFE WHO MISSED SIGNS OF HUMILIATION AND PAIN IN MY HUSBAND'S EYES?
I thought we all had faced this whole situation together but now I realise that this entire process has been nothing but an act of embarrassment for my family. I am the reason they are feeling this way.
I should've let the cancerous thyroid kill me instead--that would've been better than living with shame in front of my own family. Oh God, what have I done…