Zaain, Survivor of Sexual Abuse
“My parents thought I was crazy. They didn’t believe I was mentally ill. They wanted to do ruqya on me” says Zaain who is diagnosed with Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder (EUPD).
Zaain was sexually abused at the tender age of 6 years. The trauma made it difficult for Zaain to trust people and she adopted harmful coping mechanisms to deal with it. “When someone talks to me I don’t believe they are being genuine”.
Zaain recalls that her ultimate downfall came when others told her she couldn’t play cricket since it was only for guys. “When I was playing, I was very exhausted physically so mentally my mind didn’t wander. So, when I stopped, that’s when everything started happening at once, even the episodes.”
She also shared that she had attempted suicide several times. Zaain mentioned that when she tried to get professional help, the doctor talked to her from a religious point of view. “They are not helpful. They are very close-minded. They have a cultural mindset. It feels like they are not listening to me. They listen to what they want to hear.”
“The diagnosis was helpful. It helped me understand my behavior. I knew I didn’t act the way I did because I was a bad person” Zaain explains how her diagnosis helped her understand herself better.
“I used to disconnect a lot in school. I couldn’t concentrate on what was going on. The teachers basically assumed I was ignoring them and had given up on my academics.” She stated that most teachers believed she had given up on her schoolwork, and that she sought help from a school counselor after one worried teacher noted her mood swings. The therapist then recommended that she consult a psychiatrist.
Zaain says that she lives each day like it’s her last. She urges the next generation to be kind towards themselves and adopt healthier coping mechanisms. People are more open-minded about mental health, according to Zaain. However, many people are hypocrites.
“I feel like everyone is joining a trend where they say mental health is important. But the same people are being unkind towards others. But people are more aware, at the same time, there is a culture of hate. So it will take time for that to change.”