From very early on we are given a strong idea of what a family looks like, and it usually consists of mommy, daddy, brother and sister. This idea is pushed via movies, books and everyday life deceiving us in to believing that happily ever after can only exist in this scenario, but what happens when it don’t turn out that way?
The answer is evident and is taking place all over the world, in Britain alone there are 2 million single parents! Unfortunately most of these single parents are women who are forced to make tough decisions, either swim against the current or get swept away leading you to one destination which is often one with poor life chances.
Now the dynamics of single parents is vast because of course as we started to tackle these high numbers we first have to clarify how single these parents are. What I mean here is when parents are successful at establishing good co parenting despite separation we can quickly anticipate the well being of the child. But when it all goes wrong and communication can’t be established it is unfortunate that the only one that suffers is the child who is in no way deserving of this outcome.
In the absence of the father, mothers are forced to be both mommy and daddy, not only taking on the goodie and baddie role’s but also working through times of illness which can only impact their well being. This means children are being raised by mothers who are often working under extremely stressful conditions, and when they get things wrong, people fail to remember this.
Why we live in a country that seems to make it all to easy for fathers to abandon their responsibilities. Child Support doesn’t make a great father, emotional support does, and whilst mothers continue to play mommy and daddy, I question the well being of a generation raised in one parent families. I could go on but I think thats enough to think about for now!
They could no longer hide the truth, ‘they don’t care, harsh but true’, from the words of those that did. I cried in despair feeling helpless and exhausted from shifting through the endless ways I could find excuses for the way they treated me.
“Why do you punish yourself”? Many began to ask me the same thing, and I had to start changing my answers. I never perceived it as me punishing myself but rather another opportunity for them to love me. All of the movies I watched had happy endings, so why couldn’t mine be one I thought. University taught me what was right, so why couldn’t they fulfil that role.
When your life contradicts your reality it can turn you crazy as mine almost did. Young Pakistani Asian girl raised in an Off Licence. That was my first hurdle, and yet I never quite got it then either. People were shocked, but rather than ask this young girl more questions I was given the silent treatment. People back then were 10 times more cultural then what we have today which is nothing more than a diluted cordial drink. I was in the core of Pakistani culture, Salvar Kameezes, trousers under my skirts and two pig tails.
My teacher always said, “One day, I’m going to turn on my TV and see you on it”. She wasn’t wrong, I’ve been on TV alright, but for reasons not even I would have anticipated.
Draped in material with my head in my hands I lift my head up and took a deep breath. “I’ve got nothing to be ashamed of. If anyone should be ashamed, its them, for not protecting me or defending my innocence when I was a child”.
My hands crept to the keyboard of my laptop, I took a deep breath, “Lets Begin”
A snippet from my book… watch this space
Only the black sheep of the family, would really know how it feels when you’re own family turn their back on you. You become the ‘Billy Mitchell’ of the family, sometimes treated even worse. You’re laughed at, the last one to be told, the last one to be invited if not at all. You’re great achievements are belittled to nothing, as everyone else notices you but THEM.
For years I’ve battled with the idea that eventually we can resume happy families, but in the meantime my own family grows, and the questions begin as they see the injustices before them that they REFUSE to remain silent about.
Its the very thing that makes me who I am today. I’m able to speak to people and relate to THE SILENCE THAT KILLS YOU.
However my silence is now beckoning me to be released as I’m approached by media, students, publishers who want to know more about me. At night I meditate and meet the same wall again and again and again.
Faith and belief is charged by life’s new understanding to shift from one paradigm to another. What I’m presented with is fear of the unknown. Do I love myself enough to continue with this journey of self discovery that not only liberates me but others who have become spectators with their own secrets, anticipating my next move.
To be continued….
It was wonderful! I crept out the room and ran myself a hot bath. Only 7am in the morning and the whole house was silent and peaceful.
I sat at the mirror and took a deep breath, another day I thought Praise be to Allah.
No sooner had I exhaled my son walked into the room, ‘Morning Mom’!
“Sssshhhhhh”, I commanded him! I was desperate to complete my blissful morning with a cup of green tea. But no, that was not going to happen not today.
Time alone used to be something I ran from. And trust me, when you are not used to it, its harder than you think.
However after forcing myself to 7 days of being alone with myself, I now rush at the opportunity to sit and just breathe.
As I write this my daughter crawls on my back desperate to have my time. I realised spending time alone that if we don’t assess how we distribute our time, we’ll often miss out on the things and people that count the most. And most fortunate for me I value that time alone!
We enter this world fully stretched out and standing tall. And slowly expereince after experience our self image is chipped away at, programming our very essence. Before you know it, your ability to think and love for yourself dimenshes as you question what you can do to put it right. And that feeling of standing tall, curls up into a tiny ball.
You can never put an age to this process, for some it may be in adulthood, and for others in their early childhood experiences. And if you are very fortunate you may never see this day.
It is a time when you totally surrender your love to the one you thought was supposed to look after you. But when that trust is abused, you are left totally disabled while you figure out how to remove yourself from this vortex of despair.
Freeing yourself, takes a lot of courage, and the stronger you get, it seems the stronger your abuser fights to get you back where it is comfortable for them, to have you belong.
The picture in this blog, may give you the thoughts of a man, abusing a woman, but this is not always the case. This picture represents the many women I speak to on a daily basis who have been left in circumstance by family and loved ones.
Walking away means you have accepted that you deserve better, but staying away can only be done when you love yourself enough to say I will never knowingly put myself in that position again. And I say knowingly because it is not always apparent who will abuse your love.
Finally, do not have a hand in this abuse, because once you acknowledge what is happending you have to love yourself enough to walk away and stay away, I did!