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.’


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


    • 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


  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!


    • 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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