Why I went to therapy: Fauzia’s story
“The advice I’d give to somebody that’s silently struggling is, you don’t have to live that way. You don’t have to struggle in silence. You can be un-silent. You can live well with a mental health condition, as long as you open up to somebody about it, because it’s really important you share your experience with people so that you can get the help that you need.” — Demi Lovato
When I interviewed Fauzia, one thing that stood out to me was the fact that she mentioned childhood trauma, so I decided to look into that. According to The National Institute of Mental Health (USA) childhood trauma is: “The experience of an event by a child that is emotionally painful or distressful, which often results in lasting mental and physical effects.’’ Contrary to what people think, this doesn’t always involve deep or over the top events, it’s the small things and then the big things that add up-the childhood abandonment, witnessing domestic violence, experiencing bullying, neglect, going through war or a natural disaster, losing a loved one… it’s a whole lot.
Childhood trauma is real and very valid, as adults, we need to acknowledge the struggles and experiences of children in our lives, not invalidate them, not say oh they’re still young. Statistics show that trauma experienced by children from ages 0-6 actually leaves behind the worst effects as their brains are still in formative stages and that’s what becomes embedded in them. We have to be intentional with the children in our lives. And dealing with childhood trauma is okay, it happens to the best of us, it’s okay to acknowledge that we were hurt and it’s okay to seek healing and support from the trauma.
For context, Fauzia is a gorgeous 23 year old muslim woman. Enjoy her interview;
Hey Fauzia, what was your life like before therapy?
Before therapy my life was a hot mess, I couldn’t figure anything out. I kept wondering why I found myself stuck in the same loop, and why I couldn’t seem to get anything right. After years of self-sabotaging I got to a point where I no longer knew who I was, I was so detached from everything and everyone. It almost felt like my life had no meaning and this was extremely frustrating to me because I knew there was so much more to me than my reality at the time. There was so much that I wanted and needed to do but I somehow couldn’t get myself out of that funk.
Mhmm, what was the final straw that pushed you into therapy?
I finally decided it was time for things to change, the life I was living was no longer serving me, it never really did anyway but it was high time I changed something before I completely lost myself. I decided to get therapy and quite honestly it was the best decision I ever made.
How has therapy helped?
Going to therapy made me self-aware, it made me look deeper into myself and truly understand why I was exhibiting those patterns. I got to know why I found it so difficult to break free from them. I saw the reason behind my choices and how my childhood had subconsciously been affecting my life as an adult. Believe me, childhood trauma is real and it affects us in more ways than we can ever imagine. It’s extremely important as adults to reconcile with our inner child; it’s the only way we can truly grow and break free from self-destructive patterns. Therapy has given me a new focus, I see life through a different lens. I am beginning to understand and appreciate myself on a deeper level, something I never thought was possible.
What should people look out for in a good therapist?
I struggled a lot before I found a therapist I could relate well with. I think the Nigerian culture really plays into that because a lot of people unfortunately even professionals tend to be judgmental and myopic. It took me a while before I found someone whom I felt I related with and felt most comfortable with. I think for me when it comes to finding the best therapist, go with whose energy agrees most with you. Energy doesn’t lie. If you feel a certain way with your therapist, chances are you need a new one. The vibe won’t lie.
Do you recommend therapy?
I think everyone should get therapy, whether or not you are struggling in life. Understanding who you are and why you do things is your responsibility as a human, the only way you can achieve this is by getting therapy. I definitely highly recommend therapy for anyone and everyone. It should be a must.
Thank you so much for reading so far, will you ever consider going to therapy?
Your favorite neighborhood slay queen,