Writing as a Journey of Healing and Self-discovery

I started writing creatively in December 2011 to make a sense of my life. My parents got divorced when I was two weeks old. I never met my dad, and when I was in my early twenties, I heard that he died at the age of 44. For years, I tried to answer an impossible question: How would my life have panned out if we were still together? As I grew up, I tried to convince myself that I didn’t need a dad anymore. Except … I was looking for him in family photo albums and dysfunctional relationships. With time, I turned to therapy and other healing approaches. They took the edge off the pain, but that gaping hole in my heart would not close.

So, in December 2011, I decided to have a closure on this father thing. I went to my home town determined to find his grave, say goodbye, and set us both free. My grandmother promised to help but when I got there she said she hadn’t found his whereabouts. Disappointed, I walked to the town centre. Out of blue, I hear my mum’s voice in my head, the words from the distant past:

‘You have an auntie who lives in the town centre. Her name is Tahira.’

Desperate, I went knocking on doors and asking after this woman. An hour later, a man greeted me in his front courtyard and said that indeed there was Tahira in that household. I couldn’t believe my luck. She came out, peered into my eyes and said:

‘You look familiar, but I can’t place you.’

‘That’s because we’ve never met. I’m Nizami’s daughter.’

dad

My dad is on the left

She did something I hadn’t anticipated. She hugged me and cried tears of joy, saying she was waiting for this day for years. I asked for my dad’s photo, and she took me into the house. I walked in and nearly shot out.

To read the rest of this post, please visit Louise Allan’s blog, where I’m a guest today. You can also watch my video where I talked about meeting my auntie.

6 thoughts on “Writing as a Journey of Healing and Self-discovery

  1. Closure, so important. I met my birth father twice, briefly at the funeral of my grandparents, tried to connect with him years later again, but since he didn’t make an effort, I decided then to give up and be grateful for the two stepfathers I have. Both more are father to me, then my ‘real’ dad ever will/can be.
    That decision gave me a sense of piece, but sometimes it still bothers me, he didn’t want to connect.
    Thank you for your posts about this topic, since it confirmed for me, I made the right decision. I feel for you, you didn’t get the same change and maybe even with a better outcome. At the same time I am happy for you, you found closure.
    Big hug, XxX

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    • Thank you, Patty, I’m glad these posts are helpful. I’ve been writing and talking about this moment for a while, it seems there’s a new wave of processing. It’s like I’m looking at this event afresh and so many lessons to learn from it. Yes, the peace I found that day is priceless, despite never meeting him in person, I was able to release the story. This experience became a cornerstone of what I offer too – without putting to rest some of the past events, it’s so difficult to move forward. Many thanks for all your support. Big hug,xxx

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  2. Gulara, It is incredibly interesting to me some of the similarities I see between us. I also see your growth from your writing. Unlike you, I knew my physical dad, but because he traveled for his job so much (he was home one weekend a month for the first 11 years of my life) that I didn’t really get to know the real person until years later. I went from treasuring him to not liking him. I do need to sit down and do more writing, as it will help pull out my emotions. Like you, I worked at being invisible… I’m more out in the open, but I have a ways to go yet. Learning to have confidence in me would be valuable. Was there a specific turning point for you or a gradual growth? This is a lovely post. Big Hugs!

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    • Thank you, Gwynn, I so appreciate our connection and your feedback. The growth was incremental. I remember well how terrifying it was to start blogging and being more visible. I had some growth spurts along the way 🙂 For example, the birth of my daughter was an important milestone. I was speaking up for myself and other little girls. The more I do it, the more confident I get. I also use blogging as an opportunity to see what needs healing in me. I’ve uncovered so much in the past two years: fears of rejection, being seen, saying too much, etc. It’s a process of discovery for me, and I’ve still got some way to go. Again, many thanks for reading, and your kind comment. Big hugs!

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