moment he appeared in her life again made her realize that memories remain raw
even longer than wounds.
was 19 years old back then when she had to remarry a man who was 20 years her senior.
She had to accept the marriage under the pressure of the social misconception
that divorced women are subordinate to virgin ones.
a second wife to a man, who wanted to keep his marriage a secret so as not to
enrage his first wife, the young woman had to live in the shadow, or as she
puts it “on the old dusty shelf of life”.
meant nothing to him other than a doll who would please him. His real life was
dedicated to his family with his first wife,” the women said to the therapist
with tearful eyes.
conflict between her husband and herself inflamed when she, contrary to her
husband’s calculations, conceived, putting their whole marriage to “the
infallible test of genuineness”.
“He went mad when he knew I was pregnant. He took his anger and desperation on me,
hitting me violently. He did not want the baby, and insisted that I undergo
abortion. He even hit me with the intention to cause me a miscarriage,” she
recalled “the dark days” she lived.
her husband’s intimidation and verbal and physical abuse, divorce was the only
way for the young woman to escape from her nightmare. She had to raise her baby
girl all on her own, in the absence of her ex-husband’s role.
the girl turned 13, however, the father appeared again in her life. He wanted his
daughter back, “after all the suffering and challenges” her mother had taken to
raise her without any support from him.
was a time when he turned his back on both of us. He made me carry the burden
alone while I was vulnerable, weak and in a dire need for support. Yet, now he
is asking for his daughter back at his very ease,” the heartbroken mother said.
her ex-husband reappeared in her life to claim his right as a father, the anger
and resentment together with all the painful memories were set against her pushing her to the verge of collapse.
started experiencing episodes of subduing feelings that made me struggle to
breathe to the point I felt that I was dying,” the single mother said.
“I had experienced these episodes in the past during my second marriage ordeal, but
after my ex-husband's reappearance, they came back with more intensity and higher frequency,” she
with anxiety disorder, GCMHP multidisciplinary team put a therapy plan with a
set of techniques to be administered to
her. The plan focused on boosting her coping mechanisms, building
self-confidence and correcting her distorted thoughts.
treat the bouts of subduing feeling she experienced, she was intentionally
exposed to them through making her gradually recall the moments when they occurred.
Relaxation exercises were also used to help her release her stress and maintain
the counselling sessions she developed the skills of identifying her points of
strength and invest into them. She started taking care of herself, took on
walking as a sport to help her ease her stress.
two months of the intervention, things have become quite different: she is more
in control of her life, according to her.
have come a long, long way with the recovery. I got rid of the bouts of
anxiety, and feel relieved and more able to manage my life. I am really
grateful to Gaza Community Mental Health Programe,” she concluded.