I had never been to a therapist until I reached the age of 45. I had a successful career, I was married with 2 kids. Other people needed therapy. I had a good childhood and I wasn’t broken. I should have been happy.

The truth was that I was miserable. I didn’t know why. Then all of a sudden my marriage collapsed and this was my first clue that something was not right for me.

Since then I have spent a lot of time working on myself and I have become a different person. I have had exposure to different…


Lets examine the word SHOULD

It is shaming

It implies you are not enough

It is not the same as the word COULD

COULD is not judgmental

COULD hints at possibility

but SHOULD wants perfection

So why is it okay to say SHOULD and not FUCK or SHIT?

Is this because shaming is okay but expressing anger is scary?


A blood splattered windscreen

A bleeding forehead

A racing heart

Panic

My insides jerking around inside my body

Loud voices

Anger

I reminded my kids to put their seat belts on as we got in the car and my thirteen year old son remarked that he had never been in a car accident all his life.

You’re lucky I said

I grew up in a crowded city in the third world

I haven’t just been in accidents, I was in a high speed car chase too

The guy my parents had hired to drive us to school hit a cyclist…


Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

A few days ago I wrote a story that made a lot of people angry at me and I had to turn off the comments section.

The thing that people didn’t like was that I pointed out that perpetrators are very often victims too. Ironically, I don’t think that I said anything new here, it is well known that people who are abused tend to abuse others.

I feel very strongly about safeguarding victims and holding offenders accountable and I say so explicitly in my story but I do feel that no baby boys are born rapists. …


Image courtesy of Sira Anamwong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

While I was growing up, more than one person that I loved was raped. I myself suffered several incidents of attempted sexual harassment and assault though luckily I got away each time. Since there was no sexual abuse in my parents home and also because I myself was never raped, I was able to remain in total denial about the fact that I was traumatized from growing up in a place where extreme sexual repression made it very dangerous to be female.

Reading, writing, therapy and supportive friendships have all been instrumental to my healing process.

Despite my own sadness…


You’ve got something on your face right there bro. Let me get that for you.


I love reading and writing on Medium

I have been doing therapy for two years. I used a lot of defenses to avoid my feelings

I would give advice or fix things for people instead of sharing in their pain

I would stay really busy all the time. I indulged in obsessions and acheivement to avoid feelings

I would redirect to more surface level conversations when any conversations went to deep

I talked in circles when anyone asked me questions about me

I spaced out when things got too deep

Therapy has changed me. …


I judge people and I used to be much worse about it.

I recently heard someone complain about getting older. It’s true that I don’t enjoy how my ankle hurts when I take long walks.

I know my body shape now includes far too much belly fat but this I love in spite of its imperfection.

I would not want to be 20 years old again because even though I was stronger and much skinnier, I was also unfortunately a jerk.

I would not have stopped to listen to my disabled friend talk about her fears. I wouldn’t have spontaneously…


Image courtesy of Stuart Milesat FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I was raised Muslim in a Muslim country till I migrated to the United States. I disagree very strongly with discriminating against or banning Muslims and I am in no way a fan of any politicians who have racist, sexist or xenophobic viewpoints. However, I do know that Muslims have a problem and it’s harmful to pretend otherwise which is the stance that many on the left are taking

The shooter in the Orlando shooting was a lot of things, an American, of Afghani decent, raised by Muslim parents, known to have a history of domestic abuse and anger, potentially…


Photo credit: Freedigitalphotos.net/anankkmi

I grew up in Pakistan while the Afghan war was in progress. I saw things that disturbed me but I was too young to piece together the bigger picture of my own reality. I saw little children in the markets when I went shopping with my mom. These kids were Afghani and they were really cute children, many of whom might have been as young as three years old. They were barefoot and carried tattered baskets and would crowd around my mom asking if they could carry her groceries for some change. There were so many of them and it…

Salma Sitara

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store