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“Seeking help can be the bravest thing to do”: Aisyah's Story

Updated: Jun 20, 2022

#letitsync is a series where we feature real stories of youths braving through their psychological adversities. Meet Aisyah!

Portrait of Aisyah. Art by @zoey.draws

Aisyah was only 10 when her father started physically abusing her. As the days stretched into years, she hoped that adulthood would bring an end to the abuse, but reality would have it otherwise. At the age of 18, she met a man who impregnated her and piled onto her misery with similar experiences of abuse.

Alone, afflicted, and already a young mother, Aisyah began to entertain suicidal thoughts. The intense negative emotions that constantly accompanied her felt too much to shoulder, and the inclination to put an end to her suffering loomed large. Thankfully, she made the decision to cut ties with the father of her child, holding on to the hope that life might change for the better with a significant source of toxicity removed.

But her circumstances at home continued to take a turn for the worse. Often faced with severe conflicts that would turn physical, what was once her home turned into a place of danger and fear for herself and her baby. It was then that she met her current boyfriend, who was empathetic to her suffering and referred her to SYNC.

Having had a difficult experience with social workers in the past, Aisyah was initially skeptical about opening up to SYNC - would her experiences and emotions be invalidated again? However, she began to see the effort that SYNC’s outreach volunteers made in listening to her struggles and understanding her feelings. Safe harbour was in view, and Aisyah gradually opened up.

Apart from caring for her physical needs by finding her a home to stay where she felt safe and cared for, SYNC also respected her boundaries and helped her to come up with coping mechanisms for the conflicts and obstacles that she might face in the long-run. She began to find the mental health skills she learnt useful, and discovered that there are a variety of coping mechanisms that are applicable to different situations. Caring for an 18 month old baby girl as a 21 year old will always pose a challenge, but Aisyah now feels ready to take on such challenges in a community of care.

As it is with deep and difficult hurts, Aisyah is still on the road to recovery. Yet, she is in a vastly better place than she was before.

Aisyah shares with us: “For those who are struggling on their own, having such strong negative emotions like anger and anxiety is not at all embarrassing or shameful. It is human, and sometimes, seeking help can be the bravest thing to do.”

Aisyah is currently under SYNC’s Project Cope learning adaptive coping skills. Beyond coping skills, Impart is currently equipping her with the skills required to engage youths in the community, creating circular ecosystems of care. We are grateful to everyone who has partnered with SYNC in order to support her.

Artist: @zoey.draws


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