Life with a single parent

Scratching the suface of an unfortunate journey, i wanted to share what life feels like growing up with a single parent. A reminder to those who are like me that we can get through it, we have and we will, and to shed some light to those who were fortunate having a normal childhood.

The only memory i have of my dad before he left when i was just a toddler, is us watching tv. Im not sure how i’ve clinged on to that to be honest, it might be a dream or a cluster of random memories sewn together, but i like to think of it as a memory. To summarise life after he left, it was as if my childhood was set on fire. It was a nightmare that im glad i was too young to fully understand, unlike my older siblings. I remember being put to bed and waking up in a random car. It was my dad trying to take me away with him after he left ( apparently he loved me the most). Waking up in random cars, being pulled between two parents every other night, the screaming, the fights, the chasing him around every weekend, knocking on door after door after door hoping he would come back. It stayed like that for years. Now as an adult i regret all the time we wasted chasing  a dead end when instead we should have let go and moved on.

I cant really blame my mom for chasing him. She was taught her duties as a wife and a mother and nothing else. She wasnt given a proper education and she depended entirely on her husband (as everyone else did at that time, it was the norm). So i cant imagine how devastated, lost and confused she must have felt waking up the morning after he left. Having to handle 3 kids and a house that came with a tonne of responsibilities and new things she had to learn. I cant imagine how scared she must have been. Thinking about it brings a tear to my eye. It was devastating.

So that was life for my mom. Learning how to be completely independent. Toughening herself up, thinking like a man to survive in a strange country with her 3 daughters she fought to protect every single day. Sometimes she tells me stories that are too painful to hear… She tells me how she used to move furniture against our bedroom door, she was paranoid thinking we would get robbed. She stayed awake the whole night, scared with one child in one arm and one in the other. Sleeping for just a couple of hours and waking up when it was time for school, and then a full day of chores and responsibilities ahead of her. Deemed unfit for work, she did her best to provide for us. Even if i didnt get that laptop i wanted for my birthday she always made sure i got something. The sacrifices shes made for us are countless, from carrying me on her shoulders in heavy rain to a doctor to waiting outside in the cold to collect me and my siblings from school and mosque every day. She had a choice that night when my dad left. She could have ditched us too and moved back to her country and lived her life. But she didnt. Such is the power of a mothers love. Through the cold and the wind and the snow she raised us and shes applauded for it.

“So what does it feel like?”. I used to get asked that quite a lot. Its living a life but with a deep emptiness.  Put simply its a hole in your heart that no one can fill, no hobby can distract you from it, no epic love of your life can take the place of. Its a scar that never fades. I actually do have a scar from a fight i was caught in between my parents. A splinter of glass hit my cheek and it formed a scar. A reminder of my hell. Its the little luxuries in life ive wanted but never had. Having two parents attend parents evening, a shopping trip with my dad, little family holidays, the comfort of knowing i have a protector. Those are the luxuries i would kill to have and luxuries no one should ever take granted. Phrases like “daddy’s little girl” were a mystery to me too. However, me and my sisters had to toughen up and fend for ourselves to survive.

I’ll never forget the sacrifices my mother has made. Even now when my dad has sort of come back and wants to be more involved, his efforts are nothing compared to what he put us through. At first when he made contact, i was furious, i didnt forgive him for years. How could anyone? Eventually i softened up (only because my mom told me to, otherwise im ruthless when it comes to forgiveness). I thought if my mom has the strength and courage to forgive him then i should too. However i dont think he’ll ever know the extent of the damage he caused. Psychological studies have proven children from broken familes, from single parents find it difficult to have healthy long lasting relationships. And its true. We’re paranoid in thinking we’ll get betrayed, having low levels of trust and just the eternal emptiness hovering around us.

Anyway thats enough dullness. We got through it and yes it was hell and i would kill in a heartbeat for the chance to have a normal childhood. But it was meant to be. I’ve seen things no child should see, pain no child should suffer through but as a result, its made us stronger, wiser, faster and appreciative of tiny blessings most people overlook. If one day i grow to be even half the woman my mom is, i would be pretty damn proud. Because even the brightest diamond could never repay and amount to the favours and sacrifices shes made. That any mother has made.

What we can do is be appreciative and let them know that. Let them know that we’re thankful, and we honour and love them before its too late. I hope i’ve shed some light on an unfortunate situation that some people have to face and accept as a part of life.

See you in my next post!

Love from Sahibah x

 

 

 

Self harm

Hey my loves, the topic of Self harm is a very personal sensitive one, and i pray who ever is going through this comes across this post and thinks again before doing it. I wont be an agony aunt telling you to stop, and think that your stupid for harming yourself, but instead i want to reassure and remind you that you’re not alone.

I have come across so many people who self harm its crazy, i knew i wasnt alone but i just didnt realise so many people had this problem. Now i know for a fact, that if you self harm and you explain yourself to another person who doesnt self harm, they will 100% not understand where you’re coming from. I’ve been called stupid, a lowlife, attention seeker, weirdo, emo, the list goes on. But my family and friends who have tried to help me and i really appreciate their efforts,  they just dont get it. Only someone who self harms will understand someone else who does the same. It’s a fact.

I came across someone on Twitter who put up pictures of his scars, and there were some horrible comments that probably pushed him further and further. I messaged him asking if he was okay, and i have to say talking to someone else who self harms is so eye opening, its a strange feeling of coming together through pain.

If i was to describe the process of coming about self harm, it would be really difficult but im going to describe it as best as i can from what i feel. When im in a personal crisis that i cant deal with, i get angry really quickly, my anger is unbelievable. Through frustration, because i dont want to get violent or destroy anything, i take it upon myself by cutting. It releases all my anger and pain away from me and onto something else; my skin. Its not always anger, sometimes its a deep sadness, it used to come from feeling worthless and a form of punishing myself, so it happens because of these emotions or sometimes all at once.

So if im in a crisis, i have a lot of pent up anger in me and i reach for my weapon. In this moment in time, im overcome by this sort of inner demon, my dark side,  its a darkness and the person who i was lets say 3 days ago, is not there, she’s vanished. Im completely overcome by this deep dark shadow over me and it wont go unless i cut. I’ve tried resisting it by drawing on myself, going for a relaxing bath even, scratching myself, but the urges are so strong, so intense that its impossible to think of anything else other than the sensation of cutting and seeing blood on my skin. It sounds scary but i have checked for posession a couple of times so its safe to say it really is my dark side. Its an addiction. And like an addict, its really tough to get out of.

I’ve been self harming for about 7 years now, so its an addiction im struggling with. Everytime im in a crisis, i would rather take it out on me physically, rather than dealing with it emotionally. So i cut, cry and let it out of my system and then im back to normal Sahibah. After i cut, its a sigh of relief, its not exactly happiness but its a little joy knowing ive dealt with it and i’ll be okay soon. Its my inner demon smiling. I know it sounds a little deranged and creepy as hell but thats how it is for me. This is raw, real, self harm. A couple of hours later, the regret kicks in. The demonic, dark trance i was in is gone and normal Sahibah re appears again looking at herself in the mirror thinking, “man i really need to throw that knife away”. You cant shower for a while, you cant move whatever body part you cut, you always have to cover up and hide yourself and it hurts like a bitch. But you have to live and deal with the decision you made.

So thats the process for me, from thinking about cutting to covering up at the end. I have reached out for help and im so proud to say i’ve been self harm free for 6 months! The thing to remember is that you dont have to fall in a spriral of addiction like me, there are people willing to help.

  • Talk to your GP–  When you visit your GP you might discover that your self harm is a sign of a disorder that you need help with for example, depression or anxiety. Getting help as early as you can will help to minimise negative long term effects. You might also need injury treatment as everyone uses different ways to self harm, its not always a knife.
  • Reach out to Self harm organisations/charities– Please make use of these, if you feel like you need to talk to someone new about your issues, or you need urgent help. These organisations are dedicated to helping people who suffer from self harm so please reach out. I cant stress how important it is to let your anger/frustration/sadness whatever it is you feel out in ANOTHER WAY, so please have a read through these websites, read their blogs and give them a call and i 100% promise you, you will get the help you need.
  • http://www.selfharm.co.uk
  • http://www.youngminds.org.uk/self-harm
  • http://www.mind.org.uk
  • Distract yourself – What helped me was to channel my anger out in another way and to not reach for my knife. Believe it or not, i took up boxing for a short time and breaking small things like a pen or tearing up paper, anything to take my mind away from cutting.

This is a very difficult topic for me to talk about. Its something i really dont like sharing, its my dark little secret that i keep to myself. I’ve always kept my online image in control, and not really sharing much about my personal life. Once you start to reveal another side of you, i feel your online image starts to shred and people start to look at you in a different way. That is something i want to avoid. I dont want to be seen as THAT girl. Im human and i have an addiction that im dealing with and thats simply it. 

So thats why i feel that there isnt much awareness about Self harm online. If everyone else, like me keeps this dark side always hidden and never talking about it, then where and how will we ever get better?

I’ve met the most beautiful of beautiful people covered in scars and it breaks my heart thinking its such a hidden topic. More needs to be done to deal with it and a lot more conversations about self harm need to happen!

I think one important point to take away is not to put yourself really down afterwards. I have permanent scars but i look at them and i feel proud. It reminds me of the struggle i went through and i treat them as if they’re battle scars. One day in the future, if i hopefully get rid of this addiction i’ll look at my scars and remember the person i used to be.

If you suspect anyone who may be struggling with this, then please share this post with them. It would mean the world to me knowing ive helped someoneā¤. As always, if you need someone to talk to im always free for a chat and will do my best to help

See you in my next post!

Love from Sahibah x

     

    Smiling again

    Hey my loves, today i want to talk about smiling and emotional numbness. Losing the ability to feel happy as far as im aware and from my experience can come from feeling numb/empty inside

    Growing up, ive seen countless people including myself expressionless, as if they’re in a trance, daydreaming and staring at a wall. We’ve all experienced this emptiness somehow. As far as my knowledge goes,  numbness can be caused by depression or anxiety and even stress. Some antidepressents can cause you to feel emotionally numb as a side effect. Its a difficult emotion to explain, but its a terrible sinking feeling. Even if your in a room full of people, you feel empty and isolated from inside. You dont feel sad, irritated or angry it really is just emptiness. It really is inexplainable but its temporary, so if you relate to what i’ve said above, hang in there and handle it in a healthy way by reading these tips…

    When i think of numbness, i think of depression, and when i think of depression, i think of talking to someone ASAP. The first step in treating this is to discover the underlying cause as to why you feel this way and then figure out a treatment. In my opinion, a therapist would be best. I can say, from my experience spending time with a  therapist, getting a new opinion/perspective has been SO refreshing, a one hour session made me feel unburdened and reassured that i will get better.

    Now, in my culture visiting a therapist/psychiatrist is looked down upon and its “embarrasing”, if word gets out. People will gossip, and they’ll say so and so’s daughter/son is crazy, i wonder whats wrong, did he/she do something wrong blah blah blah… To that i say FUCK what anyone says ( i dont normally swear but i just had to!) I’m so against this mentality i wish i could somehow pull it out of their heads. Your mental health, your happiness and your well being comes before anyone and everyone. Going to a therapist is not embarrasing and its nothing to be ashamed of remember that. It was the best decision i ever made. The first session was a little awkward, you are talking to a stranger of course, and i remember sitting there thinking where do i even begin from, but it started to get easier when i got asked questions about my feelings and why do i think so negatively. We also took a trip to the past, talked about my childhood and my time growing up and how its influenced me. I gained a new perspective every session and became a bit more confident about expressing myself. Its not easy talking about your feelings, discovering your unconcious and the motivation behind what you say or do. Its a journey that takes time, patience and understanding but it is so worth it.

    You dont need to spend thousands on a private therapist, you can appproach your doctor, explain your situation and he/she will refer you, or you can even talk to a member of staff at school, college, university or even work and there will 100% be a guidance counsellor or a therapist. If you need further support, you will be referred to a specialist, but dont let this get you down. It just means you can get better treatment that you deserve.

    Exercise is also great for stress relief, something to take your mind off things, to flood your mind and body with “good” endorphines. Im not a great exerciser, i never work out but when i feel like i cant smile, or when i feel emotionless i tend to go for walks with my nephew, or sometimes i dance ( im actually forced to do this when i feel this way but it makes me feel better super quick). Just a little physical activity makes me feel better so its important to keep that in mind. Getting plenty of sleep is helpful too, but not more than you need to. If you can get at least 8 hours of quality sleep every night, it could help to improve your mood. Making an effort to do these little things makes a huge difference and it shows that you want to get out of this rough patch.

    If you are experiencing emotional numbness, remember that you are not alone and this is just temporary. Connect and reach out to your loved ones and try speaking to a counsellor/therapist to discover the underlying cause of this problem, create a treatment plan together whether its medicine, talking it out or some sort of therapy you need, to prevent this happening again in the future. I am so passionate about mental health and i try my best to help so if you need someone to talk to/ talk about my experience with my therapist im always available.

    See you in my next post and God bless!

    Love from Sahibah x