lifestyle

Windows into my soul - Part 3

Tuesday, July 12, 2016




It's the people that you surround yourself with that end up shaping who you are as a person. Now that's not a 'set in stone' sort of statement, what I have learn't from studying child psychology is that it depends on the nature and nurture of your life; your genes, your condition (whatever it may be), the way you're raised, the environment you're in, where you see yourself in future and much more.



As I turned 22 recently I really did reflect a lot on my life; how far I have come and my state of mind on everything. Anxiety is still something I deal with today and I think it's because of my eye, how things played out in the start and the people that I faced that caused my anxiety. Confidence doesn't just make everything go away, yes it makes situations easier but there is still times I have to be brave and just do something even though my anxiety level is through the roof. I do however try my best to not let it hold me back from doing anything and sometimes acting strong and brave makes you believe that you are and all those worries seem so silly once the situation is over.

Beside friends or strangers I realised family really can make or break you because as you grow you look to those you know as family to learn how to react, think and feel and that is how you are molded into the person you are today. When it comes to my family and my condition I have some moments that I wish never happened or happened differently. The way my extended family reacted seemed differently to how my immediate family was, it's not how they acted or that they would treat me a certain way, but the one line or comment in a conversation that requires you to take a step back emotionally and just keep a poker face. I did write about how 'Indian' families can be in the first part and it is something I have experience on. Writing all this isn't easy, I have to open up a side of me with all the bad memories, tears, moments that I haven't faced in a long time. That is why the each part of this series is so far apart as I publish them I'm thinking back a lot because I want to be as honest as possible about everything.

As I grew I learnt to not be angry, which was an emotion I dealt with quite a bit and learning to not let my anger get the best of me and to not lash out or 'hate' honestly took years to get through. Sometimes when I look back or I come across some situations I'm taken aback by, how some people react or what they say; as strangers or family it seems so easy now-days to say something and not really know how it affects someone or even seem to care. You would think that I was trolled behind a screen but no some people had the guts to say things to my face or my family and not think of how bad their words actually sounded. No I don't think I'm being dramatic, every single day people are judged because they don't look a certain way. They're held back in life emotionally and physically and so their feelings that go along with all of the things that they are judged on should never be considered 'dramatic' or should be thought of any less.

So now my extended family, for the most part they did not focus much on my eyes or to me personally they didn't say anything. I don't mind the curious questions but I do mind these ones I got very often or overheard for the most part:

"Who will marry her/you?"
"How will she find a husband?"
or asking my parents "Are you going to get surgery? She's getting older...she's very pretty but look into getting her eye's fixed"

Again don't forget the side looks, snickering, whispers, more comments and just general behavior of some people around me.

Now there is more, but like I said its very hard to think of these things and actually type them. I will say not every person in my extended family were like this just a couple. Such few words, no one will understand the effect it has on a person but the person them-self. It was very easy for people especially family to say that to me or my parents, they were 'concerned' but as I grew the reply "Allah made me this way" became something I actually believed, that made my faith in Allah stronger and made me stop being so angry, hating myself and the world. It was a line taught to me by my parents, because as a child naturally I'd be affected by the questions or comments and that is how I was told to reply who ever asked and honestly after sometime comments or rude questions get old and that one line kept everyone quiet.

Side story so once when I was younger my family and I were at a family friend's braai/bbq and I started getting teased and I began to cry and I was upset. The elderly man took me and made me feel so much better; calmed me down, wiped my tears away, told me I was beautiful and that the way Allah made me was perfect I shouldn't let anyone make me feel bad about how I looked. He than made the kids apologise to me lol and what he did next was so wise and the perfect way to handle such situations with kids. See kids are the most honest beings you will find, they call situations out the way they are and have no filter, shouting is not the way to show the kids what they say can hurt people but educating them that words hurt and that making people feel bad about how Allah made them is NOT acceptable. That's how the elderly man handled the situation and I think from than I personally didn't feel attacked by the kids after that. It's these moments that make situations very real for kids, to me my eye never bothered me and I didn't care when I was small, but it became real when I got picked on and I became self conscious. Now this story is very hazy to me and maybe some of the details I can't remember I just know it happened along those lines.

The thought of surgery never crossed my mind, to me as I got older I got comfortable in my skin. I didn't even think of it when it was making me go through my lowest point emotionally when I was a teen. It did however become a much talked about topic after I finished high-school at 16, because the year after we went to India for holiday; to tour and also medical checkups because of the amazing doctors and facilities available there also it wouldn't break your bank account. That is when family kept asking if I was going for surgery, if my eye was going to get fixed and so on.

Like I said my parents left it as my choice or they had no option but to leave it up to me...I can be very stubborn lol! I don't think some of my extended family understood that, so you can imagine how the questions and comments increased when I decided not to have the surgery. Thinking back I do think my parents had it just as bad as I did. they got lectured and comments from a lot of people, they couldn't do anything or change anything but I really feel they always backed my decision, they never pressured me or made me feel anything bad. In a way my immediate family made me stronger, the words from some of my extended family didn't make me feel ugly or terrible, yes their comments rubbed me the wrong way but I always took it as a test from Allah that made me stronger. Now my parents and granny never annoyed me on the topic, they asked I said no and that was it, it's something I appreciate because I did not want the surgery I was finally happy with myself I didn't want to change anymore. I battled so much to get over all that crappy feelings to become the strong and confident person I was why would I go and change it again.

When I say I began to believe that Allah created me the way He did, means I began to not care about what others thought, about how I came across to someone new I met, if I'd find a husband or get married one-day. Once I started to believe this my life and heart changed, when I said "Allah made me this way" I believed it and I thought if someone has an issue with how I was created it's not my problem, it doesn't affect my life and really I wouldn't want to be associated with such a person. Thinking like this I began to be more confident to have more ambition, I wasn't going to be held back and I thought honestly if someone didn't want to marry me because of my eyes that is not something I should be affected by. I'm much more than my eyes, I'm an entire human with a huge personality and mind!

My group of friends slowly changed and became smaller. I kept it to the ones I trusted the most and connected more to, basically the ones I got good vibes from. As my self-esteem picked up I stopped chasing clicks and I became more of myself as my own person. As my confidence picked up as well and I started accomplishing more in my studies I gained more purpose in life and my goals increased beyond who I would marry and if it would even happen. As I look back I realised how my 'eye condition' really became such a big thing in my life especially before I was 17. Everything of mine was held back; from my personality, opinions, goals, everything because all that I focused on was my eyes. Going from something I battled with and felt held back by to something I love so much because the way my mind is, my feelings, my heart is so content, happy and driven.

Thinking like this changed my life, changed how I viewed myself and others, how I handled situations, even my faith in Allah changed for the better. My anger subsided, my heart opened I became a better version of myself.



to be continued
Insha-Allah (If Allah wills)...

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16 comments

  1. Kids can be so cruel :(, I am sorry that you were bullied.

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    1. Yes they can, I just got lucky it made me stronger rather than breaking me.

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  2. alhamdulilah for hardships, we learn and get stronger. stay strong sister ! :)

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    1. Yes that is how we are suppose to take in hardships, we have to let it make us better as a person.

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  3. First of all I feel you have such beautiful eyes, maybe even the problem you have is to protect that beauty from evil eyes... :) It is so bold of you to write this and get rid of your ill thoughts and Alhamdulillah, only Allah knows why He has created us this way. While I was little, my father's sister's husband used to always call me dark or black, but go to see, I am nowhere close to the color I used to be during that time. :D Allah's ways are funny, isn't it? And we Indians are so concerned about everybody else even if our own house would be on fire... :/ Take care...

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    1. I love what you said there "maybe even the problem you have is to protect that beauty from evil eyes". I never thought of it that way, you're right Allah does work in very mysterious ways. As we grow we change so much physically and emotionally. Indians are very superficial and our generation should keep trying to better ourselves. Jazakallah so much :) you're so kind and beautiful!

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  4. 'people that you surround yourself with that end up shaping who you are as a person' agree with this statement.

    Kids can be so cruel but masha'Allah that elderly gentleman sounds wise

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    1. Yes sometimes Allah sends you an angel you rescue you in many ways. Alhamdulillah he helped a lot.

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  5. You have such lovely eyes. I've always had to hide mine behind my glasses and being Indian myself people have always made comments about that so I can relate with you. I find that just ignoring them helped a lot with my sanity.

    Cheers, Diana | www.footloosegirl.com

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    1. Ignoring works best and not letting it get to you. Jazakallah so much :) you're so sweet!

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  6. I have seen your pics and video and really I did not notice that until you said it.

    Really sometimes.kids can be very cruel.

    Thirdly, I know how Indian families are. Especially if you are a little diff6from others. I have dark skin and I have been bullied and emotionally abused a lot. So many people would.comment in a ways that who would marry you and like you said my personality was hidden under those comments. Now alhamdulilah I am.married to a wonderful person and slowly I am becoming true to the person I am. Now I am sad it took me this long. I should have been confident in myself and trusting of Allah's ways even before my marriage. I wish I was. So now my aim in life is to teach my daughter to be a well rounded and confident person inshAllah

    Sorry long comment. It struck me !

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    1. That is exactly how it was especially with the "who will marry you?" .I now left it to Allah because only He knows. See Alhamdulillah I am so happy for you, may Allah keep you very happy. Never let it get to you and Insha-Allah may you never take what they say seriously. That is an amazing aim in life, it's my aim. Not every person who goes through struggles comes out stronger so if we have been through it we need to try hard to never let it happen to anyone else.

      Jazakallah for commenting :) it made me happy.

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  7. SubhanAllah people sometimes are so inconsiderate and say the worst things without even thinking. Alhamdulillah Allah got you through that hardship and you came out stronger x

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    1. Alhamdulillah I am blessed that it made me stronger and did not break me.

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  8. I had to go through all the parts to get to understand this better! But One thing I will tell you, its is SO important to love yourself. When you start loving yourself an die confident with what you are and what you have, no one is going to stop you from doing anything! And with everything you have written, you have come a long way and you love yourself and are super proud of yourself! Allah always has a plan! you may not like it initially but He is the best of planners!

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    1. It is so important to love yourself even when people give you many reasons not to. It's hard though but you have to try, ignore the comments and just pray as well. Allah is the best of planners :)

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