The feeling of being alienated is terrifying. It’s worse when that is something your parents do to you.
Afreen was in the 5th standard when her stepfather began to sexually abuse her. As a child who did not know better, she shushed herself, tolerating his misconduct under the garb of “fatherly love”. She was extremely close to her mother, a well-mannered child who would top her class and she never wanted to jeopardize all of that. But things suddenly went in a downward spiral when Afreen decided to carve a career of her own in journalism.
The age-old emotional blackmailing led to Afreen finally bowing down and pursuing medical for the sake of her mother. She even tried to look for positives and enjoy her papers, but what is destined to be, has its own destination.
While pursuing a medical degree, she spotted the poster for a storytelling event in her college. As a child, her journals were a source of comfort and she got that feeling back momentarily. Once she took part in the event, there was no looking back. After sharing her story and experiencing immense support from others who could relate to her, she could not get over the thrill of it. That is when she took a stand for herself – embarking on a creative journey leaving behind the medical field.
Today, she has addressed 6000 people at a time in TEDx where people have related, empathized with and raised hands in solidarity with Afreen and her poetry. The poetry which stemmed from her trauma has blossomed into a source of strength for many.
It is important to understand that you do not have to please everybody, not even your own parents. Nothing invalidates what you envision your future to be and how you want to build your career. The abuse and trauma you went through makes you a survivor and not a victim. Watch Afreen talk about her journey and be inspired by the woman that she is.