#letitsync is a series where we feature real stories of youths braving through their psychological adversities. Meet Huda!
Accepting help can be surprisingly difficult. If you grew up in an environment where harm - rather than help - was the norm, then help can feel like an alien unfamiliarity. And what’s unfamiliar, makes one uncomfortable. Things get worse if the only help you’ve known comes in the form of “treatment”, rather than “relationship”. Let us explain.
Huda and her brother had a difficult childhood. Her stepfather would beat them up, while their mother helplessly stood by whenever such episodes happened. Even though she tried whatever she could to make them happy, it always ended up in abuse. Love and care were never her reality. So Huda was always uncomfortable with help, and when certain formal systems intervened and introduced her to well-meaning psychologists, things still remained uncomfortable — how could she trust complete strangers who claimed that they wanted to help her?
The only relationship she trusted was the one she shared with her brother. He understood her experiences, not with clinical expertise, but with his own. This relationship held fast even when both siblings were displaced from each other and sent to various institutions. Years later, her brother introduced her to SYNC after she had been discharged from a care facility. He shared how help from SYNC was actually working, and he thought it could be meaningful for her as well.
While her past experiences colored her skepticism, she decided to build on her trust in her brother. SYNC helped her and her brother to find a temporary space to stay, and she slowly found a space where people related to her as a person before they tried to treat her. Help still felt strange at times, but it was no longer uncomfortable.
After spending 6 months with Project Cope, things are on the uptick for Huda. Experiences of community have replaced feelings of abandonment, while motivation for the future has displaced a sense of feeling ‘stuck’. Even so, adversities still remain — she has to juggle both school and work while taking care of her step-father who was recently diagnosed with high blood pressure. But instead of feeling trapped by her circumstances, she recognises that she is on a journey, and that it is okay to not feel okay all the time.
Huda hopes we will remember that the way forward happens one step at a time. Who knows where your next steps might lead you? So traverse this journey with a friend with whom you can share your feelings, and don’t forget to sprinkle some self-care along the way.
Huda has completed Project Cope which enabled her to regulate herself through the adversities. We are grateful for everyone who has partnered with SYNC in order to support her.
Read more stories about youths at Impart.