I had a pretty good childhood until around the age of six, that was when I was raped for the first time. I was a kid, I didn’t tell anyone and I didn’t know how to handle the trauma. I turned to smoking at that young age. We had a security guard in the estate and he introduced me to it. The assault didn’t stop at the age of six and by the time I turned ten, I’d been raped two more times by different men.
We moved from that area to a different state, but I was already hooked to smoking (I went on to smoke for about ten years); maybe it was a coping mechanism for me.
I was ten. I knew I was depressed and became suicidal as well. I tried to kill myself but didn’t go through with it; I guess, despite it all, a part of me wanted to live.
When I got into grade 10, I had a really bad time there, which forced me to look within myself. I realised, my life was a mess but I wanted to be better; I felt that I could do better. I overheard my parents talking about a colleague of theirs who was a psychiatrist, so, I stole his contacts and called him. We talked on the phone and he fixed an appointment for me. All of these, I did, without the knowledge of my parents.
I was diagnosed with depression and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He put me on medications but I never took them; Compliance to medication is not my strong suit.
Still, I kept on seeing him once every week. It was liberating, talking about everything without feeling like everything that happened was my fault, the rapes were my fault. I was fortunate to have a great psychiatrist.
My parents didn’t know I was seeing their colleague as my Psychiatrist, and so, one time, we met in public and my parents introduced me to him as their daughter. We exchanged greetings and he pretended he didn’t know me. I loved that he did.
I kept on seeing him secretly until I graduated from high school, I never went back after that. (I’ve been thinking a lot about going back now ). Although now, I can say that I learnt what I need to do for myself and how to take care of my mental health.
Still, I have so much anger bottled up inside about our attitude towards mental illness, molestation, child abuse and just things like these- I mean it is right there, happening before our eyes, but we just don’t see it. People think that if you are depressed or traumatised, there’s this somber image you fit into- but I wasn’t. I was the noisy bubbly child, the people pleaser and did not fit into “that image” at all. We are so self absorbed that we never pick up on the little things.
I find it brave of people who put a face to their mental illnesses and the trauma they’ve experienced.
So, this is it, my story. The journey of a child victim to an adult survivor and warrior.
This week’s Mental Health story is about someone who requested to remain anonymous and I respect that. Thank you very much for sharing the story of your bravery and for reminding us once again- Rape is NEVER the victim’s fault.
To everyone who showed up every friday to read these personal stories of our journey with mental, thank you very much for supporting this; with your stories and your emails and your likes and comments and shares. It is a blessing.
If you’d love to contribute and share your story on Mental health Friday, I’d love to have you. You can contact me on My email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
14 thoughts on “Mental Health Friday #24”
I applaud your strength and the story that you shared. Thank you.
Unlike you, I hadn’t sought professional help until it was almost too late. I had attempted suicide over the course of the month March through August of 2015. (Obviously, I failed).
My depression was so deep-rooted back then, I had no idea what to do. I was finally hospitalized and then continued treatment through a County fun facility for mental health. I have never looked back.
I have seen a therapist every other week and have a group I attend once a week. I also have my psychiatrist that I visit every other month who prescribes my medication.
My mental health is my number one priority. Since Sept 2016, I started a blog pertaining to the very subject matter. It chronicles my life. Along with sharing, I provide information to hopefully assist others with their mental illness/disorders.
This platform has been the most rewarding part of my recovery because I get to be a part of a community, such as yourself… In listening and helping others.
This was a wonderful read. I truly loved it. Thank you.
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Wow…i commend you for what you have done and have become now…words aren’t enough to even tell you how i admire your courage and resilience…
Thank you for sharing ur story with us. Am sure it took lots of courage just to share your story.
Sometimes, when you read about the strengths and resilience of other people, it really gives you the courage to deal with your own issues in better and healthier ways…
Thank you for sharing this story, Ameena.
And about the victim blaming… how is it ever justified? Like people are seriously willing to go so far as blaming a 10 year old child…
And what’s the excuse?
:You laughed too loud?” Or “you play too much.. ”
“You’re too naive? ”
It’s all your fault?
And often times when children do confess these things to their parents, they are told to keep quiet and often they’re even blamed. “Did I not tell you to not talk to strangers?” Or what not.
Women who wear abayas get assaulted… yet somehow people think to blame them… what will they say to those women? “Why were your hands showing??”
If women in abayas and full covers can get raped. If children can get raped. Then really there’s no sense in even thinking that the victim is ever to blame.
Weather they dress less or more. Weather they’re young and of age or practically a child, it doesn’t matter to people who chose to rape.
It’s a sick excuse. And people and societies just give it to them.
And how much we need to educate our children on this..
I want a whole generation of children who learn that it is never a victims fault. It’s not their fault that we couldn’t provide enough security to them. That we couldn’t raise decent men. I want an entire generation to come forward that thinks it abnormal and disgusting to ever point a finger at victims of abuse and say that they are responsible for their own abuse.
I hope we all live to see such a day..
Raise your young ones to be fully empowered and to know they have complete autonomy of their body.
Teach them from day one that they can say NO to anyone. I watch my young granddaughter under who is just two being raised empowered to say No to a hug or a kiss from anyone at all unless she chooses. And that is then a lesson for us adults who love her as the tempting pattern is to plead or pressure or try and guilt by saying “oh, no hug that makes Nana sad”.
I agree. And it’s not very hard to teach children that touching people when they don’t like it is bad.
I’ve seen 5 year olds who’ve been taught by their parents to not hug their friends when their friend don’t feel like it and say no. I saw the same 5 year old be sensitive even to the animals when they don’t wanna be touched. The child literally said… “it’s okay, you can have your space” to a dog.
It’s not that hard to educate children on when to touch people and when to just leave them be. Even if it’s something as genuine as a hug or a handshake..
It’s just sad that people don’t raise their children with the right values…
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You are courageous to open up and tell the world how you feel and what happened. It is a story that brings tears to my eyes. Abuse is hard to cope with for all but for a child it is a mind blowing
pain and confusion.
It is so good that you found someone who could listen and explain what has happened to your system as a result. Hope you meet many positive people who can be balm on the wounds.
Thank you for your courage
Thank you for sharing
Keep working at it hon, keep fighting to live strong.
I hear your story, I know your story but from my own experience
I am 60 now and I living true to myself is my daily priority.
You’re one of the strongest women I know. You’ve put up a great great fight. I’m so proud of you for not giving up. You deserve all the happiness in the world. More power to you. 🙂
Thank you for sharing something so personal. I sm so glad that you seeked out help , sounds like a wonderdul psycologist!
I hope your story encourages others to seek help and not keep the pain bottled up inside!
I wish you the best as you go through life! Keep your courage and keep knowing how special you are and hold your head up!
Unfortunately my dear daughter was a victim of sexual abuse too. Its horrible, there are so many out there who have been so hurt! But they all are special. As I often repeat to my dear girl, “Broken crayons can still color!” You still have so much to offer the world!
Thank you for sharing this story. Discussions about mental health should be the norm, in ny opinion..!
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I absolutely agree! No thank you for reading it
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Heartbreaking ❤ Where is that Ernest Hemingway quote from?
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It is. I really applaud her for sharing her story. I have no idea where the quote is originally from, I’m sorry.
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