I had an arranged marriage when I was 17. My husband was a drug addict who used to beat me. For a year I kept my struggles to myself. When I was 4 months pregnant I could not tolerate my husband’s violence anymore and I opened up the issue with my parents. Based on social norms and traditional society, my husband and my families tried to solve the issue peacefully by having conversations with my husband but it didn’t work out.
Due to family pressure, I returned to my husband until my daughter was born. In the second half of my pregnancy, I experienced mental and physical violence but I wanted to bear through it because of my daughter. According to current Islamic law, the child goes to father after divorce and I did not want to give up my daughter to an addicted violent father. Also, by law, I couldn’t get divorced until the baby was born.
Finally, I got divorced when my daughter was a month old. My ex-husband forcefully separated my daughter from me and I was prohibited from seeing my daughter.
I was traumatized by the act that they forcefully took my daughter from my arms. I was traumatized, depressed and suicidal for over 5 years. I regularly visited a psychiatrist and took medicine.
I believe that it was my family support and my job that mostly helped me recover. When I was suicidal and isolated, my family didn’t leave me alone. They held family conversations and talked to me about what bothered her. Her brother tried to distract me by employing me in his private school. When I started working, I spent less time thinking about the trauma and missing my daughter.
Even though it has been more than 10 years since I recovered, I dream about the past and anything that reminds me of my daughter triggers short term depression and I isolate myself. I accept that mild depression will be with me forever and my acceptance has made it easier to deal with my emotions.