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Lavanya Bahuguna


3 Russian Women. 3 Generations. And, Their 3 Bold Choices To Set Themselves Free.

  • IWB Post
  •  August 12, 2017


Photographer and Founder of ‘Humans of New York,’ Brandon Stanton, is currently traveling across Russia to meet interesting people and narrate their heartwarming stories on the page.

In the last two days, he has updated about three women who speak of not giving in what life had planned for them. Scroll down and read how these strong heads rose above the stressful expectations around them to set themselves free.

Dealing with an abusive relationship and getting the eff out of it:

“We were together for nine years. I was completely dependent on him. He was a strong and powerful man and he expected obedience. If he called me at 4 AM, and told me to meet him in Moscow, I was expected to go to the train station. He had a very strong energy. It was hard to argue with him. In the beginning of the relationship, I obeyed because of the pressure. But then the pressure just became a habit. It got worse as time went on. Eventually he stopped listening to me completely. I became so lonely. When you’re with someone who doesn’t care about your views, and has no desire to understand you, it’s worse than being alone. I still loved him though. I knew that he’d had a hard life. I told myself that I had to make sacrifices to build a family. But one morning I woke up and decided that I couldn’t do it anymore. If I stayed in the relationship, I would lose myself completely. I remember it was raining that morning. There was mud in the streets. And something told me: ‘Today is the day.’ That was two years ago. I’ve spent these last two years learning to be alone. I’m realizing the things that I like to do. I feel better, I look better, and I’ve been sharing more of myself with others. I feel like I’m finally learning who I am.”

On learning to forgive people who never apologise:

“My father died in his sleep last year. Right after my birthday. I didn’t have a good relationship with him. He left the family when I was ten. We had good moments but we were never really close. I wanted him to understand me. I wanted him to realize that I needed support, and love, and somebody to take care of me. I needed him to say ‘I’m sorry.’ But he never did. Whenever we talked, all he cared about was getting across his side of the story. And then he died. And now I have to forgive someone who can’t say ‘I’m sorry.’ I feel like I’m playing this game of chess. And I have to keep making moves, or nothing will ever change. Except that there’s nobody sitting across from me anymore. And I can only guess the moves that he’d make.”

Not taking a growing age too seriously and chilling like a boss:

“I’m ninety but I feel like I’m fifty. I don’t take any medicine. I never complain. I’m just happy to be alive. I tell people: ‘Start with what you have, not with what you want.’ Every day I dance for two hours. And I’m still really interesting too. I love politics and literature. I love the sciences. And I’ve got a boyfriend named Alexander. We exchange books. I don’t even know how old he is.”

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