“The burden is so heavy. I want to come out and scream my heart out. I want to yell out ‘please try to understand’. My past still haunts me. My pain resurfaces repeatedly. I wish you understood what I am going through. Nothing is helping. I need someone to tell me what to do. Please. But none of you. Because even though you all love me you do not understand my feelings. I need a therapist or a counselor, a third outside person”
“You have so many things to be grateful for. Maybe your getting weak in faith. Recite more prayers. Go out more. Talk to us all. You do not need a therapist. You are not crazy. You just need to fix your perception and be happy. You just need to forget your past. Let it go. Sick people go to therapy. Crazy people take meds and psychological help. And worst other people will think you are mentally ill”
Above is a common conversation between a person who needs help and the common replies of the stigma and society’s view of therapy. A woman especially is not encouraged to seek professional help if she is suffering from domestic violence whether it is physical or emotional abuse. She in our distorted Desi (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh) culture is always told to be patient. She has to survive for the sake of her kids. Or who will pay for her and her kids food and shelter if she gets divorced? She is told that the more patient she is and saves a home she will be granted Heavens and things will get better in the future. But the future doesn’t come until she gets wrinkled and dies out of stress and depression. Children of abusive relationships turn out emotionally unstable. Its a huge mess.
Say even if a woman just needs a third person to help her go through the normal stresses of her life because she has too much going on, she will be looked down upon as someone who is weak and plotting revenges and planning breaking up of families. And trying to defame her family or her husband and in-laws.
A man who needs help will be labelled as weak and “not a man” if he is emotionally weak. So many men break after their loved ones pass away, or because of betrayals by family members. The Prophet Mohammad PBUH took advices and found help when he was emotionally weak too. Prayers and faith are the foundation of your strength but God made other human beings for resources too.
A man does not bring sustenance to a woman. God made him the source. A woman and man are equal in the eyes of God. The stigma behind conditions like physical and mental abuse, mental illnesses need to be eradicated.
Seek help. You can do it secretly but you must if you need it. It will help you a long way. I did. I still do. I would have been a havoc had my family not encouraged me to seek professional help. I suffered and survived emotional abuse and brutal betrayal. I am still a work in progress. And I wish no woman or man goes through what I did. But if you need it. Please find professional help. It is not a shame upon you.
You are brave and God will provide for you. We rely only on God and we shall fight against our weaknesses and become strong and happier.