Mental Health – Suheena’s Story

My name is Suheena and this is my story. 

A lot of people know that I have anxiety but nobody asks me why.

3 years ago, I was almost raped. It was 2am and I was in my apartment, studying for an exam I had the next day. I had just made pancakes and decided to go and shower. Before going into my bathroom, I latched my front door. Something made me take scissors with me into the bathroom and so I did. I opened the tap, undressed and my window flew open. I pulled it closed and told myself it’s just the wind. It opened again and this time I said okay let me just cut a piece of my bra hanging there and tie it closed. I did that. At this point I could feel my heart in my throat but I shampooed my hair and chanted quietly in my head. As I opened my eyes I saw a hand trying to force the window open. I screamed. My neighbour right next door couldn’t hear me. I went out the shower and saw the my phones were missing, took my laptop and went into my room and latched the door. While on call with my dad, in SA to try and contact my bf at the time to contact my neighbours, an hour later I heard 3 loud thumps. There were 3 of them and one of me. When my neighbour came I opened the latch and saw that they had the key, opened the door but the latch prevented them from entering. They were there to rape me. 

Instead of being asked if I was okay the next day, I was told it was because I exposed my arms and didn’t wear a shawl while walking around. This however was the second time an incident like this occured. The first time was 9 months before that while lying on my bed and I saw someone trying to push my window open. I didn’t know I had PTSD anxiety. Everyone treated me weirdly. I couldn’t sleep for months because every small sound would send me into a panick attack. The police were of no help because they told me to becareful because who ever did this would try and kidnap me. Doing nothing else about it. 

This was in India. I moved back to SA because of fear of my safety in India. SA is no different.  All I want to say is if you know somebody who has been through something traumatic, don’t tell them things like “it was just a scratch on your window”. It wasn’t. It affected my mental health to a point where I cannot stand someone talking loudly. Be empathetic because you never know what someone else is going through.