ADVICE: AUNTIE AGNI

Published November 20, 2022

Dear Auntie,

I am a 23-year-old girl, an introvert and silent by nature. I am the second of four children. My elder brother is married and my younger sister is engaged to a man of her choice. My parents were concerned about my younger brother’s engagement instead of mine and he also found someone. I have not found someone for myself nor have I got a good proposal like my parents want. I was waiting for the right time but my relatives and community created serious problems.

I find it painful that they laugh at me. They made me think I am worthless and defective. They even told me that my mother doesn’t love me like she does my other siblings. I couldn’t bear those words. These words push me to commit suicide or do something wrong to myself. I started believing that, perhaps, these people are right. Gradually, I reduced my socialising, but I am still failing day by day. Due to stress, I am suffering health issues. I told my parents that people are talking about me but they say they are waiting for the right proposal for me.

I don’t have a trusted friend I can share this with. I am just killing myself inside. I am totally disturbed. I am unable to concentrate on my studies. I have gone quiet and everyone is ignoring me. Please help.

Feeling Helpless

‘I feel worthless and want to harm myself’

Dear Feeling Helpless

Thank you for writing in. You are a smart woman who realises she needs help. And by doing this you are helping others who may be in a similar situation.

You are going through emotional pain because your siblings and others your age have found partners and you haven’t, which is making you feel stuck. Each of us reacts differently to such feelings and has different coping abilities. The first thing you should do is to tell your parents and siblings immediately that you are having these thoughts. If you have a counsellor in your college, please seek an appointment urgently. If you have access to a therapist, start professional therapy straightaway. And that social circle that you dropped out of? Please start connecting with them again. Most people are a message away. Call them and, ideally, meet them face to face and discuss your feelings. You may think your feelings are embarrassing, but I urge you to share them with someone and give them the chance to help you.

The emotional pain you are experiencing is making it harder for you to see solutions right now. But that doesn’t mean that a solution doesn’t exist. You may think this problem will never end, but problems are temporary. Twenty-three is young and you have time to get married. If your siblings have found partners, you will too. It does not mean that you have failed. It means there is still time for you to find the right person. Things will change. Just give it time.

Even if you think your issue is unsolvable, tell yourself, OK I am going to wait a week and see if things get better. During this week, remove anything in your room/house that you could use to hurt yourself, like pills and razors. And please, please tell someone how you are feeling. And to everyone reading this: Please take it extremely seriously if someone comes to you and talks about a desire to end their life. You could save someone’s life. Please call Umang, a Pakistan-based suicide helpline and let them help you.

And, my love, life is full of problems and hurdles. Even those who seem to have it all, have problems. When faced with a problem, the idea is to get through it. There are others who have not found partners and are getting through their days. They should give you hope.

I urge you to call the helpline.

Please take care of yourself. There are a lot of people who would be heartbroken if anything happens to you. Love.

Disclaimer: If you or someone you know is in crisis and/or feeling suicidal, please go to your nearest emergency room and seek medical help immediately.

Auntie will not reply privately to any query.

Please send concise queries to: auntieagni@gmail.com

Published in Dawn, EOS, November 20th, 2022

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