Separated from my Child – I Saw a World I Never Knew 

“In a gentle way … you can shake the world” Mahatma Gandhi

Our stories are largely dictated by our choices. So to start with I’m no victim of mine. I had choices – but they were difficult ones. At a point I chose to let my daughter go, while I stayed behind in another country trying to find a better life for my disabled son –  my child whom I was not able to help, but have learnt to accept and find contentment in his peace and happiness. And the smallest things made him happy – I couldn’t let that slip away too. So I let my daughter leave while I decided to remain in the UK to give him the chance to live on, and to live as a precious being. As I felt obliged to fight for one child, I had no intention to let the other pay for it. 
 

When I let my daughter leave with her father last January, I thought our separation will only last for a few months. She is with her father and a family that loves her dearly and takes good care of her; and thanks to modern technology we can stay perfectly connected. It will be hard but it shall pass. Little did I know then, that the few months will mount to a year, almost! And we are all still – painfully – waiting.

 

As I continue with my choice to stay and battle for my son- the child without a voice, without a choice – a bit of me shatters for the other child, every single day. 

 Many around me will not relate to my experience, because I don’t know anyone who would be away from their child for so long. And truth is, no one should. However, many do. Not from my world perhaps, but from the same world in which we all exist. 

My agonizing experience shook my world and brought me to a different place – a place where parents and children separate every day. Wars tear families apart, but poverty more so. Poverty does it silently but persistently and painfully. Domestic help in many households around the world come from impoverished countries. Countless mothers leave their little children behind, travel across boundaries to work and provide for their basic needs. They often even have to take care of other people’s children while they remain separated from their own, in some cases for years. Many have I seen myself in the households of family and friends, smiled in their faces, enjoyed their services and overlooked their pain. 

 

Have they had a choice? Yes, but it was between love and food, care and education, the presence of a mother or the sustenance of life itself – even if without love. It is wrong in every way. No mother should have to make this choice.

 My choice was hard but not as harsh. However, the pain made me reflect on other lives to which this destiny is inevitable – perhaps even the only way to survive. We think we are isolated and safe but truth is we are not separate in anyway. We actually have a responsibility towards those whose choices are painful because their conditions are dire. Voices that speak against poverty and disasters in remote parts of the world used to feel so removed – but we are the ones removed from the real world and its agonizing reality. And we are all responsible to reach out to those who suffer, even if they fall beyond our little boundaries.

 Last week my 8 year old daughter told me, “I want to write a story, the story of us, when life was perfect.” At this point you realize that your child has learnt loss – and now knows sorrow. 

My daughter battles with me, just like millions of children toil with the parents who left them behind – they toil emotionally. We make our choices to the best of our abilities and knowledge – and some come with painful consequences. But the pain should gain us more compassion, and perhaps take us beyond our personal troubles and limited worlds. I may not have solutions for myself and others but through my agony I wish to be a little voice – a voice for those who are not able to speak of their pain or to let the world know how harsh their choices were. 

The reason I write this is to undress a wound that drips freshly in my life every day. I expose it to the world as I realize it belongs not to me alone. Perhaps if we could all see a little, feel a little and reach out a bit more, we could then, in a “gentle way … shake the world.”

 

23 thoughts on “Separated from my Child – I Saw a World I Never Knew 

  1. Oh my God ya Amina I cannot find words to explain how I felt reading your article.
    Right choices aren’t always something’s we like or will make us happy, but on the longer term, I know that your choice will prove to be the best for everyone your daughter included. Here experience as painful as it is will shape her character and make her a stronger and more understanding person.
    And finally, love has no barriers , it can travel wherever it wants and I am sure that her love is reaching her where she is.
    I love you Amina

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  2. May her story be filled with love memories despite the lost time with her lovely mommy. May her heart stay tender and compassionate. Your words amd hers do shake the world 😘

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  3. Such a touching and beautifully written piece! I wish u all the best and hope that u will be reunited with ur daughter very soon. Your daughter will grow up to know that she has an amazingly strong mum!

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    1. Once again Amina has amazed us with a new gem, that brings to my mind a unique lace tapestry, skilfully combining delicacy with intense emotions. Your heart can’t help but be touched by the pain of a mother’s heart torn between two loves, and you can’t help but identify and sympathize with all the tortured souls everywhere. I specifically admired the way you ‘generalized’ your personal crisis, a thing only a great and compassionate character can do. One quote that may relieve a bit of your pain is the one by Khalil Jibran: “Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls, the most massive characters are seared with scars”. Kudos to the talented Amina for another accomplishment!

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  4. You’re simply amazing … and your daughter will grow up being so proud of you …. may god grant you more strength and patience 🙏🏻😍

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  5. Amina ure a lovely mum and i know tota feels this! We have all been through sorrows as children and as adults, i think its life hah! Bas as long as people have a good heart like urs just know things will work for the best enshalah. and enshalah ull all be together soon

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  6. Amina its sooo true you write beautifully really your writing hits the heart this article makes you really ache … its sooo sad that someone has to go thru this.
    Love u
    Mai ezzat

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  7. Mino, I love you and it pains me to know you feel this way. You’ve faced very difficult choices but you were always brave and steadfast in your beliefs. Your strength gives me strength, as I’m sure it will for Touty.

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  8. Thank you for sharing Amina… I was very touched by your talking about the separation suffured by sooo many mothers, forced to chose between love and food/children’s life… God bless you and grant you courage…

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  9. Amina, this is amazing. You articulate your thoughts passionately but also logically and when you get to your conclusion, you deliver it masterfully.

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  10. I still have my Chrmatiss PJ's in my needs fixed pile for low crotch issues. And the last maternity thing I sewed ended up around my ankles at church. There is a reason it was the LAST.

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