Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Journal Entry of an Overdose Survivor

Hey guys!
Following my last blog posts a friend of mine has come forward with a journal entry that she wrote after she had drug overdosed and survived. She is a survivor and reading this entry had me crying because I knew how she felt, but reading her words made it harder and it hit me how she actually felt. I think it is important to see the perspective of someone who is suffering from depressing by reading the thoughts they are battling with. Please take your time to read this and let me know what your thoughts are, I will be sharing them with the person who made this entry. 


Sunday, April 14, 2019

Suicidal and Anxious at University

Hey guys,

Now that I have started talking about serious matters, why stop here? I have so much more to say, things that are not spoken about enough. On today's Sunday post, I want to speak to you guys about mental health specifically at university. The pressures and struggles students go through are often joked about through memes most of which mental health related but you know it is easier to laugh it off and share it with your friends that can relate than actually think of it as a serious mental heath issue. If you're a student you know what I am talking about.


Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Sexual Harassment - I Have More To Say!

Hey guys,

I would like to first of all thank everyone for the overwhelming amount of positive responses I have been receiving on my last blog post about Sexual Harassment and my story.  I didn't expect for the story to be read, shared and spread as much as it did but it was intended for the purpose of awareness, so I am glad it did. I appreciate the way my post is being used to get the community into the positive direction toward the issues around sexual harassment and assault. I do however have a request to you all which is to please get to the bottom of this blog post and to take the things I am saying into consideration the next time you hear about assault.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Sexual Harassment - Here's My Story.

Hey guys,

I'm going to write a blog post that I never imagined myself writing. I didn't think sharing this would be beneficial to anyone in any way and frankly I was not ready to share this with more people than my close friends for the longest time. I've made the decision to share this story now because after talking to my friends, I realised it is happening to too many of us and it is not uncommon. It is not something I should be feeling ashamed about, which I did for a very long time until I realised, I was the victim and no I didn't let this happen to me. I had no control over it. 

This is a rarely spoken about topic within the Tamil community and I am hoping to make more of you aware that it does happen - a lot! We have the mentality of thinking any form of harassment and assault are not committed by Tamil men or boys because -why would they. The community looks down on such behaviour and we are made to believe that there is no way it could happen. We feel safer because you don't expect people from the same background, values and morals to commit such crimes. Well guess what you're wrong. Fathers, Brothers, Uncles, Cousins, Boyfriends - men of any age and relation to have committed acts on women in the Tamil community and I have heard enough stories from my girl mates. I wish I could erase all those painful memories for every single girl that went through this.

So here's my story....
In 2014, I started taking driving lessons, I was 17. My driving instructor was Tamil and he has taught many people from around the area. He also taught a family friend of mine, she passed, and she recommended him to us. At first lessons went well but soon he would start asking questions like "so where does your dad work?". "What does your mum do? Are they busy and are they home a lot?". 
I am a very cautious person and at this point I started feeling like something is weird so I told my mum that he is asking me a lot of personal questions about my family during lessons and that I try to swerve them by not giving away much information. My mum said that a lot of Tamil people are just curious about your life and to ignore it and not to tell him anything. 
I was running late one time because I went to a friends' birthday party and I messaged him saying I will be late, so he offered to pick me up from the station for the lesson instead of outside my house which seemed reasonable. I was wearing makeup that day and looked nicer than usual. I didn't like the way he looked at me that day, but I still didn't think much of it. Why would a man in his 50s, with a wife and children look at me like that right?
So now it's December 2014 and it's Christmas day. He always sends Christmas wishes to every one of his students. I was at my family friends' Christmas dinner party that night and we both received the text saying Merry Christmas and obviously I replied saying thank you. That's when he took the chance and continued messaging me. He asked me what I was doing that day, so I replied saying that I am having a Christmas dinner with my family and ended the conversation. I felt weird as it was because it's 11.30 pm. Why is my driving instructor trying to send me text messages?

I know at this point it already sounds like he is a creep and the signs were there but what was I supposed to do? He hadn't done anything that I could accuse him of and what do I tell my parents? 

Time goes by and I am already on lesson 24 of two-hour sessions. He would talk to me about his daughters during lessons. One of them is the same age as me. Occasionally, he would mention something about his wife too. As time passed and I was near the end of my lessons, is when he became brave...I was holding the steering wheel and he put his hand on top of mine while I was driving. I was in a position where I didn't want to die by crashing and I couldn't be like "wth are you doing" either. I was 17 and scared. Why was he touching me? It didn't stop there. The next thing he did is he put his hands on my thigh and slowly moved up until I kicked my leg. I stalled. I was shaking. I was about to take an exit on a roundabout and I had to focus on the road, but this man just put his hand on my legs. My voice left me. Even now writing about it, I'm shaking. He made it seem like it was necessary to put his hand there to help me steer. I was so scared at this point and I came home, and I didn't know how to tell anyone, especially because this man has three daughters. Women before me have passed their driving with him. So why me? 

I continued attending lessons and then it was my 18th Birthday. 14th January 2015, I receive a text on the way to school from him: "Happy Birthday baby x". I was ready to cry. It was my 18th birthday and it couldn't have been any worse. He tried to call me. I declined. He texted me repeatedly. "Baby what's wrong?" There were much worse messages I am wishing to not reveal.
Let me say this to you again - A GROWN MAN in his 50s, with a wife and three daughters. 
That feeling will never leave me. That's when I had solid evidence that he had other intentions. I couldn't tell my mum face to face, I never spoke about it to my mum. I texted my family friend because I couldn't tell her verbally and I sent screenshots. I begged her to get me away from this man and to tell my mum. 
I am so lucky that he didn't do anything crazier than that. He could've driven me off to any place and anything could've happened to me. He shouldn't even be allowed to be an instructor and I should've reported him, and I feel bad for not doing so. I am worried for the girls that are still going to his classes. I am just not ready to name and shame this man and to deal with the consequences that will have an impact on my life. Neither do I want to destroy the girls' image of their father. 
After all that happened, and I stopped going to his classes he STILL had the guts to send me a friend request on Facebook in which his wife was on his profile picture. I was disgusted and to this day I fear him seeing me on the road. I deleted his number, blocked it and deleted the messages. I was scared.
I changed driving instructor and I realised this man didn't even teach me how to drive properly. He just let me drive however I wanted to. He never corrected me. His intentions were to not send me to an exam for as long as possible. Months pass and it is the day of my driving exam, I am now with my new driving instructor. I am about to enter the car for my exam and my old driving instructor passes me with the biggest smile on his face into the test centre. All the flashbacks came crashing down but I had to stay brave and just get on with my driving exam and I passed.

These memories came back to me when I was recently harassed on the road in front of people.
Back to 2018....10.30 pm on a cold winter day in December. I was walking home in Germany. I was in my waitressing clothes which was a pair of jeans and long jumper. I looked exhausted and I can really say I didn't look like anything special. I could hear someone fast approaching me, so I held onto my bag as tightly as possible and started walking faster because I thought I was going to get robbed. It was a man on a cycle who approached me from my back, he slapped and groped my bum. It was so loud that everyone that was still on the road saw. The slap was so hard it hurt. It was an unwanted touch and I ran home, locked myself in my room and cried myself to sleep. Why would you do that to a girl? 

That’s my story. The reason I shared it is because I want everyone to know that you’re not out there alone suffering. Creating awareness on this topic is the first step toward the right direction in our community.
These experiences have not stopped me from being who I am now. I am still the brave, active, social girl that I am. I am not going to hide and stop myself from exploring and achieving things. When I announced that I am travelling solo everyone said – wow you’re brave. It’s dangerous to do that. Well I wasn’t safe in London either with my parents present.  "Safety" is a concern anywhere in the world. You think you are safe just because you are in the western world. I would love to believe that too, but too many of us have been victims to sexual abuse, harassment and assault for it to be true. 

I hope sharing my story will have a positive impact.
Thank  you for reading it all and to create the awareness I wouldn’t mind this story being shared as everyone involved remains anonymous.


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