Fahmida's Story

Everything was great, we were in love, we were happy. I was his world and he was mine. When we started dating it seemed like things couldn’t get better, I was working at a good job, living in a city and state that I enjoyed and felt safe in, I had a good relationship with my seven older siblings and father back in Pakistan, best of all, I was in love.

After only six months of dating, I knew he was the one.  When he asked me for my hand in marriage, I couldn’t think of anything in the world that I wanted more than to be his wife. 

I was wrong. 

I wasn’t wrong for what I was feeling at the time, I was wrong about the man I was feeling it for. Immediately after I became my husband’s wife, I was introduced to a new man, a cruel man, with horrific intentions. My sweet, loving, and nurturing boyfriend turned into a controlling, mean, and mentally, physically, and sexually abusive husband. 

The abuse made it impossible for me to feel anything but depressed. His words were cold, his fists were heavy, and his actions were soul-damaging. I got fired from my job, we lost our apartment, any friends and family I had before then disowned me. In the blink of an eye, my life went from joyful and full to fearful and empty. I did not know how to gain back control. 

After two devastating years of abuse, I was depressed, suicidal, and alone. My self-worth was obliterated. However, some tiny glimpse of strength crept into my soul and encouraged me to leave. 

Physically escaping him was difficult, but it was only a small portion of the battle that I faced. The depression did not leave me when I left him, the will to live did not grow as I transferred states and altered my life. In fact, my depression grew. My mind was cluttered with flashbacks and images of the assault that I faced, I was consumed by the shame and guilt my marriage left me with. 

A year passed since I left my husband, but the abuse was still with me. I believed in my heart that my life was over and things would never get better until I was introduced to WomenRising.

I began counseling at WomenRising damaged and petrified to open up. I was fighting a losing battle alone and afraid. I had no friends, no family, no job, I had nothing. Three sessions passed before I said anything, but my counselor did not give up on me. Instead, she begged me to open up – to let her in so I was no longer alone in my horror. 

God truly sent me an Angel when he introduced me to WomenRising. After a few months of counseling, I was becoming a new person. The darkness that once consumed me was now becoming light. I entered the program heartbroken and damaged and I quickly transformed to hopeful and powerful. It was not easy, but I started seeing myself as significant instead of meaningless. The flashbacks began to disappear, and my self-worth began to increase.  

The battle began with the abuse, but it did not end when the abuse ended. I was no longer in danger of physically being abused, I had escaped my husband, but I was immersed in the pain and despair that he created. If I was never introduced to WomenRising I would have never gotten rid of that pain and despair. I would have never gotten better. 

WomenRising affirmed that my life had meaning and helped me to become a brave, capable and significant woman who was more than the abuse she faced.

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