Introduction and Motivation

Introduction and Motivation

Trigger Warning: sexual abuse; emotional abuse; physical abuse; trauma.

My name is Jasvinder Kaur, I am a first-generational descendent of Punjabi-Sikh parents and I was ‘brought' up in South East London. In this blog, I will give a background about my life, my experiences and what brings me to share my story with you today.

I am the middle child, with one older brother and one younger brother

Being an only daughter in a strict Punjabi household has not been easy to say the least. Especially since my extended family saw girls as a burden, because they are meant to represent the family they are coming from when they marry.

I am also a survivor or honour-based abuse and childhood emotional neglect.

I witnessed and suffered extreme emotional and physical violence towards myself, my siblings and my mother. Seeing the violence towards my mother instilled a fear in me, which I never realised until a few years ago. I was sexually abused by my brother from the ages of 8 years old until about 14 or 15 when I finally said no to him.

I left home at 22 in 2004 to a world, I had no idea about.

I moved into a women's refuge for 3 months near Gravesend, Kent. Where I started using anti-depressants and was pulled into using cannabis and ecstasy. I was manipulated by a girl who was stealing from me, using my mental state against me and was covertly racist.

I never disclosed to the staff at the refuge the depth of my abuse at home, just that I had suffered domestic violence, as a result of this I fell through the net, as I did not know how to ask for ‘real’ help.

I was asked where I wanted to move to, and I chose Croydon, where I was put in touch with an association to help the young and single homeless.

I was put into a shared house, where I was bullied, but was too scared to tell anyone. Of course, this stemmed from childhood, but I was also threatened after I moved out by the girl bullying me. Someone else in the house had mentioned to staff that I was being bullied and I was moved out into another place.

I was pulled into two grooming gangs at the time, while living in Croydon, I was looking for love and it felt normal for me.

I was having sex with men from my culture who were old enough to be my dad, and I did not know why, I was numb to it all.

I recently activated a memory of when I was about 5 years old and had been given babycham [alcoholic drink] and telling my dad that I feel drunk. This picture kept coming up and I didn't know why and looked more into it and came to realise that my dad had done some stuff to me too, this revelation from me to me, has made me realise so much.

I had chances to work, but I was either sabotaging the jobs myself, or I was being sabotaged.

Obviously subconsciously I felt as though I didn't deserve any of it.

Looking back now in hindsight, I can see how damaged I was, and the blessings I was receiving, but I was not in the right head space to see them.

I got my own flat in 2006, but could not maintain it properly, and was not given the right skills to look after it. I didn’t realise how much extra help I actually needed.

I moved in with my boyfriend at the time, who tried to help me to the best of his abilities. But because of my co-dependency and people pleasing issues, I did not see how damaged he was himself and my issues were a lot for him to deal with. We had many issues during the relationship, which ended in 2017 when I moved into 24-hour mental health supported housing.

I got hooked on cocaine while living with my boyfriend because I was living in my head so much and could not see what was happening right in front of me.

I went to the police in 2015 to report my brother, but my parents lied in their statements.

They said that I was an attention seeker, to protect the family name even though my mum had caught us on more than one occasion. The police also used my past against me, where I had dropped a case against two men, who had raped me after they had threatened me after they had been arrested themselves.

I was extremely vulnerable and was taken advantage of by these men, but the police only saw that I dropped the case and this was seen as a black mark against my name.

My therapy for all of this is a long and arduous one, but I am enjoying learning about my strength and tenacity.

Waheguru ji (God), has always been with me from the beginning, every step of the way, and I know that I had to go through these things for my own soul growth.

Breaking generational cycles can be like trying to break an industrial padlock, with just a household hammer.

It has been quite enlightening to delve deep into why I ‘allowed' certain things to occur in my life after I left home and why I could not stand up for myself in the moment on so many occasions.

I have had numerous counselling sessions but have found it hard to put the findings into practice because of the amount of layers to my trauma.

I am finally starting to feel comfortable in my own body though, as I finally reach the root cause of all of my issues. I have beaten myself up for years because of actions I have taken due to my immense psychological damage, caused by the emotional neglect and trauma I suffered as a child.

Learning to love myself and do the inner work has been the hardest job I have ever done, but it is the most valuable as I know it creates ripples in space time.

I want to thank Taraki for giving me this platform to be able to share my story and raise awareness in Punjabi and Sikh communities about this kind of thing which is hidden and buried, so as not to talk about it, as it may bring up their own traumas from the past.

I am doing this because I want to show men and women in Punjabi and Sikh communities that they are not alone, as I felt I was for so long, and that they have a voice and do not need to live with shame which is not theirs.

Waheguru ji Ka Khalsa, Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh

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