Here is the thing. Words like abuse, trauma, hitting, bullying, emotional neglect and mental health are still pretty foreign words in the South Asian community. We only hear about these words in the media if there is a death or a missing person. Until then, it is carefully masked and kept behind closed doors. And this needs to stop. It needs to stop NOW.
Unless we begin to feel brave enough to take off our own blindfolds and see the issue for what it is, we cannot make the changes we need to make. And by WE, I mean all of us in the South Asian community.
The first step is to admit that there is a problem. The second step is to become aware that trauma and mental health doesn’t just exist in the non-south Asian communities. It exists everywhere. It is an experience that many children, women AND men experience, but are afraid to put a label on. If a child who grows up in an abusive household doesn’t know it is wrong to hit or emotionally hurt a child, he or she will grow up thinking it is the norm. And when is making someone feel inferior the norm? Never.
Once we take our blindfolds off, we take the brave step in confronting the truth. The truth can be hard.
Often shame and guilt are attached to those stories of abuse. However, it is with facing the truth that
we get one step closer in making a real difference in our lives and others. If you experienced trauma, or emotional neglect, admitting to it takes strength. Vocalizing your truth however, is not only a powerful release for you, but it also frees others as well. By you speaking up, you will give others permission to speak their own truth. It will validate their experiences. It will open up the discussion on trauma and mental health we so desperately need in the South Asian community.
Confronting our truth requires a lot of love, compassion and commitment. It shouldn’t be done alone, but rather with support from a trusted friend or family member. It also requires an action plan to begin the process of healing. But through active healing, families and communities can begin to become aware of those taboo words. They can see mental health as something that can be worked through and not as a stigma. Traumatic experiences can come to the surface and begin to release.
There is power behind the truth. Let’s speak up.
For more on this and how-to create a step-by-step plan in healing, contact firstname.lastname@example.org