My name is Aisha

Who am I? Who am I, that I feel so much anger and that I am afraid of my own behaviour and thoughts? My anger can explode out of nowhere because of something small. It is uncontrollable and then at the same time I am afraid. Afraid of hurting, or worse, killing someone else. I am afraid for myself and afraid for what I can do to someone.

‘I feel so much anger inside me. It is uncontrollable and sometimes it bursts out. Then I want to hurt and destroy everything that stands in my way at that moment!’

I was sexually abused. It started when I was about 5 years old. A family member was the perpetrator but later also friends of my parents. The abuse has lasted for several years. My parents knew nothing about it and I never dared to tell them. And what is the point of telling them now... it happened and nothing can be changed about it anymore. I am now 21 and living on my own. I find it difficult to make friends. I am, and I often feel, alone.

A while ago I had a very bad fight with my boyfriend and it all went wrong. Rage took over and I could not control myself anymore. I blacked out and attacked him. We got into a fight, and it was tough. I seriously injured him and I also had bruises. It was terrible. I was shocked but also very angry.

‘Angry at him, at my parents, at my brothers and sisters and especially angry at myself. I am a burden to everyone, I am nothing, and I only cause problems.’ 

I want to do well so much, but I really have no idea how. In the end, luckily there was someone who saw that I was not doing well. That person asked me where my bruises came from and she asked if I needed help. I knew that I had to change something about myself if I wanted to get out of this bad situation, so I said: "Yes, I need help". Together, we looked for the right help. I ended up at the Guiami hotline and I told the social worker everything. It was very difficult, but I wanted to do it. It was such a relief that I could finally share my story with someone I could trust. Together with the social worker, I started to explore what I want and who I want to be. There have been times when I wanted to die and I could not see a way out. I learnt not to keep these strong emotions to myself, but to share them with my social worker and also with someone from Mental Health Caribbean (MHC). They helped me a lot. 

Actually, you could say that they built a ladder for me. It is up to me to step on that ladder and climb out of the abyss. It is a long ladder, but each time I climb a little further. Sometimes I fall, but the ladder stays and all I have to do is climb it.

Hotline officer of Guiami

An employer was concerned about an employee. The manager noticed that the young woman did not feel safe and had gloomy thoughts. The woman had given us permission to contact her and I immediately arranged an appointment.

In our first conversation, I explained that everything we discuss together will be kept confidential and that I will not talk to anyone about her situation without her permission. I also explained that, together with her, I am going to look at her safety and how we can work together to make it safer and make her feel safer.

She spoke and I asked questions, but most of all I was listening. I saw the pain and sorrow in her eyes. I felt the powerlessness and the loss of control because of everything she had been through. I saw fear and shame. Shame for who she had become and fear of what was to come.

She said that she no longer mattered and that she would be better off dead. "Do you really want to die or do you wish all your problems were gone?" was my question.

We talked several times about her life, about her fears and about what she needs right now to stay and feel safe. Of course we also talked about what makes her happy and about what her dreams are. Sometimes we had a cup of coffee or we went for a walk.

Because of the seriousness of her problems and everything she had gone through in her life, I advised her to talk to a psychologist. Together we went to the GP. The GP referred her to MHC and later also to social workers within Akseso. She worked on her process step by step.  A long road with ups and downs.

Advice centre and hotline Guiami screens safety and takes steps, together with the client, to feel and be safe again. Sometimes, Guiami offers men, women, and children a safe place or a time-out. Every situation is different and requires a different approach.

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