MH INITIATIVES
MEHREEN HASHMI

WRITINGS

I suffer from developmental trauma as after effects of 20 years long physical, emotional and sexual abuse. Now that I can share my story , I share my social struggles and thoughts as a catharsis.

GRIEF

We all have suffered a loss of our loved ones once or more in our lifetime. We all have attended funerals of our beloved ones and of others. We all are aware of condolence and compassion for the family or person suffering the loss. I, myself have comforted several friends in that difficult time. I understand the loss of someone you have loved your whole life and not having that person anymore.

But there is one thing which is different; all these condolences are for those who have been loved and cared by their wholesome families. We are very much familiar with family-setups and a situation when there is someone for everyone. In this kind of setting, it's very common to care and love the already loved one. Because it's simple and easy to understand, right?


In my case that didn't happen. When my grandmother died who has been the only person who cared, loved and fought for me. She had been my only best friend in the most painful days of my childhood. I am alive today because of her (that's another long story, maybe another blog). When she passed away, I felt the regular (why regular? I am going to explain it here, just wait) grief. I missed her immensely but knowing that she is at a better place and one has to go one day. No one knew so I cried alone with myself as usual. It was sad for me but it was peaceful at the same time because I had amazing memories to remember.

On February 16th'2018, my father passed away after being in ICU for seven days. During those seven days, I was terribly unwell due to my physical anxiety and trauma because of his abuse. It was Friday when I received the text and I couldn't cry. The worst part is all those traumatizing memories which came back again. I wanted to feel grief for him, in a way a regular daughter should feel for her regular father's demise. But nothing has been ever normal or as per father-daughter setting for us. All I have wanted in my life is him saying 'I am so proud of you, you have done so much' or 'You have made me proud'. When I see my friends bragging about their daughters with so much unconditional love and proud, this desire becomes much stronger. But this chapter ends without any further hopes. He deprived me of his paternal love in his life as well as his death. I want to feel grief, the way people do when they lose their fathers. I want to be able to cry and miss him but there is nothing but pain inside. There has been an enormous void throughout my whole life which has become larger now. I thought dealing with abuse is difficult but I came to know this is the most difficult sadness, I have to deal with these days. 


While feeling terribly distressed and disturbed I turned towards very close friends. For the first few days, I was not even able to comprehend and tell the news to them. And when I did, I did not receive any condolence, the way other people do. There were no hugs, no shoulders were given to me to cry on, no sweet messages etc...etc..... I thought this world understand at least a death which is a basic factor in our lives. I understood now that this world only gives love to those who have been loved all their lives. It does not mean that I don't have a social life, actually I have a happening one. But that only wants a strong me who can deal with her emotions on her own. They don't understand that strong doesn't mean being emotionless, strong means to confront your pain and accept your sufferings. Let me give you an example; a Few days ago, I was out for a hang out when I received a text regarding one of my student's death. The person with me at that moment has been a close friend so to speak but instead of having basic compassion, I was asked to absorb my shock and continue with the 'hangout' with a smile of course. 

This is just one example !!


A human being regardless of anything, literally anything (religion, sect, gender, social status, financial status etc) deserves compassion without sympathy and free advice. Sometimes, a person who needs a hug and someone to say 'You will be fine, you have been through a lot' without any segregation. The most blissful part of my struggle is that 'I understand others with all my compassion' because most people don't and can't feel the same way. In my case, I had to function and carry-on with my work and routine without giving a doubt about what I have been going through emotionally. I am proud of myself that I did a great job of absorbing everything and giving them a smile. 

We don't understand PTSD, developmental trauma, and anxiety disorders. There is something called 'physical anxiety' which is not very pleasant. We have this habit of advising for being a good Muslim but we don't follow basic teachings of being a good human being also. When you are sick, you see a doctor and same goes for emotional and mental health. If you don't understand or agrees, don't read!

A wage idea of my relationship with my father has mentioned in the previous blog, here is the link; https://mehreenhash.blogspot.com/2017/08/for-my-dutch-father.html

I was at peace after talking to Paul, someone who understands with so much compassion and societal judgment regardless of any differences. He has been the only one who listened and comforted me, the week my father passed away even though he is 1000 miles away from here. All of this has triggered my trauma and I have started seeing my counselor again for the sake of my emotional health hence no one can guess while I function with routine. 

Mehreen HashmiComment