Being a Pakistani Divorcee in 2021

I just want to say that not all Pakistani women and families experience whatever I have. Sometimes the stigma behind the south asian culture can cause a rift of what is and isn’t so it’s important to say that my experience is entirely my own. If you relate in any way just know you are not alone and I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic.

I don’t know about anyone else or if you’re able to relate, but don’t you feel like you’ve had enough of being silent & hearing others bullshit about your marriage? The marriage you tried so hard to save and make work? The marriage they so happen to have the most opinions about?

If you happen to be south asian like me then this might be a hi5 moment as I discuss my experience as a Pakistani divorcee in 2021.

My Parents

Where do I begin? I remember being told at the age of 12 years old by my mother that I needed to learn how to kneed the dough, cook curries and clean my house to please my husband and just in case I lived with my in-laws.

My mother had the privilege of being born in the UK. However, my father was born in Bahrain and raised in Pakistan. So, he was called to the UK, 3 years after being married to my mother. In this case, my mother didn’t live with in-laws, however my father was very cultural and opposed certain laws onto my mother such as not going out on her own, covering her face if she ever visited a certain part of Birmingham and being a housewife. But, soon as we grew up and my father got with the times and watched the generation change where women became more independent and were out there working hard and striving to meet their goals, my father changed.

When it came to my divorce, after me constantly trying to make my marriage work and my father watching me day and night, watching me cry and not eat, he would speak words of comfort to me. Now, not every south asian man or woman gets this treatment and till this day we are hearing and seeing people commit suicide or suffering at the hands of their husbands/wives/in-laws. But, not my parents.

All praises to God, my parents are so supportive.

The following words of comfort and encouragement are some of the things my parents said to me when I was broken and ashamed of whatever was happening:

God wanted you to be happy and that’s why he removed the one thing that wasn’t making you happy.”

Aslong as we are alive, no one can say anything to you or question you about whatever happened.

Live your life and if you want to work and travel the world go for it.”

A good man will enter your life and will support you and love you for the good woman you are.”

My Friends

My friends have been so supportive and kind. Not out of sympathy but because they’ve known me for years on end and know that I would have gone lengths to fix my marriage. ‘Fix’ was not the problem in my marriage, he is a narcissist that couldn’t get fixed.

My friends have encouraged me to start building back my confidence through skin care, getting dressed, putting on some makeup and double dates! And let me tell you, most guys don’t care if you’re a divorcee. I’ve been told my past is the past and they only care about the person I am today. It was an experience that has made me a stronger person.

Driving around the countryside, going to different cities, parks, restaurants and spending quality time with family and friends really is helping me with my mental health and well-being.

Choosing Yourself

It’s really sad that in today’s society women are being forced to stay with abusive partners and to ‘accept’ their fate because ‘daughter-in-laws’ are to take care of everyone and not have a life of their own.

I was always told from my ex that no one would look at me the same after knowing I’m a divorcee because I’m a woman. But, ever since i’ve been back and met new people, being a divorcee doesn’t affect most men’s opinions of you. This really helped my confidence.

I had to choose myself for the sake of my own mental health, to feel secure in my own skin, to be independent and have the choice of having my own bank account (I know, crazy right?) and to be loved unconditionally.

Being a Pakistani divorcee in 2021 has really shown me a different perspective of what other men actually think of you and how the community sees you and to be fair it ain’t all bad. You just have to remind yourself that you’re a bad ass bitch regardless and no one can judge you with this ‘label’ of being a divorcee.

Written by Layla

My Trip to Knypersley Reservoir: Stoke-On-Trent

I love spontaneous outings and adventures! The places I visit the most have to include some history and background to pull me in. This place caught my eye as it wasn’t too far from home which was probably an hour and six minutes from Birmingham!

I grabbed two of my closest friends who never hike and walk through nature as they are scared of insects! But once they discovered the beauty behind the nature they loved it.

Forest – Knypersley Reservoir
Falling Tree – Knypersley Reservoir
Lake – Knypersley Reservoir
Small bridge – Knypersley Reservoir
Cool looking tree – Knypersley Reservoir
Hidden castle – Knypersley Reservoir
Waterfall – Knypersley Reservoir
Waterfall – Knypersley Reservoir

The walk around the reservoir was amazing as it was very picturesque and the views were amazing! There were many benches around the park as it can be quite tiring reaching the waterfall. However, it was worth it as there were many cool sites to see and explore!

I would definitely recommend this place as it is so beautiful and the hidden castle and waterfall really makes up for the hike!

Written by Layla

My PCOS Journey: Living with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Living with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, this is my PCOS journey and story. Before I begin, I just want to praise and acknowledge anyone who gets up everyday feeling optimistic and accepting their PCOS journey. Even though you may question why this has happened to you or feel you may not be worthy of being a mother, know that God or whatever you may believe in has a better plan for you.

Below I explain PCOS and some symptoms I face:

What is PCOS?

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is a condition that affects women and how the ovaries function. Nowadays it is thought that about 1 in 10 women in the UK suffer with PCOS. It is a hormonal condition and it is not known what causes this. Living with PCOS can be very difficult.

Common Symptoms or Signs of PCOS?

  • Excessive hair growth (face, chest, back)
  • Irregular periods or no period
  • Weight gain
  • Difficulty getting pregnant
  • Oily skin
  • Acne
  • Hair loss or hair thinning from the head
  • Increased risk of getting type 2 diabetes
  • Depression
  • Sleep Apnoea
  • High Blood Pressure

My PCOS consists of all these common signs and symptoms except type 2 diabetes (all praises to God). However, when I was seen by a gyno 8 months ago, she told me I was borderline type 2 diabetic. I was in the middle of my emotionally abusive marriage which I know was not helping my condition either!

Anyway, I only ever started my period naturally maximum 3 times in my whole life! Once when I was 11 years old and my period lasted 1 day, again at 15 years old and my period lasted 2/3 days and lastly at 27 when my marriage broke down. But my gynocologist mentioned I may have miscarried due to stress during my marriage breakdown. As you can imagine, living with PCOS and in an abusive marriage was extremely taxing on my mental health.

At the age of 21, having no period was obviously very abnormal. PCOS can run in the family and my cousin had been diagnosed with PCOS so I was pretty sure I had the same condition. However, I was neglected by the NHS when being checked by doctors at the age of 16 and was ruled out as having a “hormonal imbalance”. At 21 I had the same scan again and was finally told I had PCOS. I cried my eyes out because the thought of not being able to have children was daunting.

Toxic Relationship and PCOS

For me personally, I now see my PCOS as a gift. Why you may ask? Without a doubt it has saved me from my biggest regret. My marriage. I know if children were involved my life would have been over because he would have used my kids against me. Being in a narcissistic relationship didn’t help me or my health when I was trying to get pregnant. And thanks to my PCOS, I was saved from an abusive relationship longterm.

My ex husband was adamant that we would have children, despite knowing about my PCOS before we married. I stopped taking my contraception pills and began to see a gynocologist to help me conceive naturally. Unfortunately after some scans and blood tests I was told I would need to go through IVF. IVF is a procedure where the sperm and egg are fertilised outside the body by scientists and then inserted back into the female. This comes with some risks and is very expensive, however, many have been successful.

I would have mental breakdowns due to my ex’s comments on my weight as well as me not being able to conceive. He would embarrass me in front of other people. I had never hid my condition from him but he made me feel like less of a woman due to my infertility. Due to this I became suicidal, and had constant panic attacks. Thanks to good friends and supportive family members (who lived in the UK whilst I was in the US) I managed to escape my marriage.

Also, the pressure of his mother always complaining about me not being pregnant was constantly on my mind. She would make remarks about if me and my ex were using protection and would discuss this with her friends in front of me. I would be so embarrassed and my ex was okay with it. He would defend his mother and tell me she can say and do what she wants.

How to Cope with PCOS

So what do I do, while living with PCOS to cope? I remind myself every day that I’m beautiful in any shape or size as PCOS does make losing weight difficult. My weight fluctuates but I don’t let it bring me down. Yes, I do experience bad days but I try to eat healthily but never starve or deprive myself. PCOS is a mental challenge more than anything so it is very important to keep and have an optimistic mindset.

PCOS does not rule out having children for me. It just makes the journey to become a mother more difficult but I know that God has a plan for me. I surround myself with people who will always love and support me.

It really does affect my mental health and I always try my best to support charities who help orphaned children and women struggling with fertility. This gesture gives my mind comfort that I’m helping those less fortunate than me and I begin to show more gratitude.

I have started to try and drink green juices every morning, I avoid dairy products as much as I can as I become bloated! I was also advised to eat gluten and dairy free products to avoid diabetes and increase in weight. So you might want to look more into that!

For excessive hair growth I have had laser treatment done and it has really helped with my confidence and self-esteem. Laser has many benefits as it also clears up your skin and any hyperpigmentation caused by PCOS.

Remember ladies, having a supportive partner is so crucial when facing difficulties in life especially involving fertility. I wasn’t as lucky BUT not being able to have children doesn’t define who I am as a person or a woman. Just remember after hardship comes ease and if we are not blessed to have children, we will be blessed in other ways.

Written by Layla

Why 2021 should be the year we step outside our comfort zone

If you are feeling stuck, bored or frustrated with the direction your life is going, you might be spending too much time in your comfort zone. Today’s blog post is all about why 2021 should be the year we push ourselves to step outside our comfort zone.

What exactly is a comfort zone? Well, it’s defined as a psychological state when things feel familiar. We are at ease and in control of their environment. We tend to get used to the routine and humdrum of daily life. There is nothing that will set off our anxiety, nothing to make us uncomfortable and so we stick with what we know whether we are happy or not. There is no incentive to change because we feel safe. However, as most of us know, nothing grows in the comfort zone.

Your desires and dreams are normally outside your comfort zone. Dreaming of a career change? Trying to learn a new language? Got fitness goals you want to achieve? Want to travel to that dream destination? These are completely achievable. But they’re not inside your comfort zone.

Here’s 7 reasons why you should make 2021 the year you push your boundaries are get out of the

Tackle Your Fears

Our mind is a funny thing. Sometimes we allow ourselves to build things up in our head that are rarely as bad as we think they are. And the fears we refuse to face, will become our limits in the longterm.

people on sidewalk selective focal photo
Photo by Cameron Casey on Pexels.com

Nobody Cares As Much As You Think

People do not care. When you are nervous and putting yourself out there, you feel like everyone is judging you. Most people are too self-absorbed to notice. And if they do, they’ll likely think “Good for you!”

People With Less Talent Are Achieving Your Goals

You’ve probably seen other people do things that you want and thought, “what do they have, that I don’t?” The answer is probably balls. They’re willing to put themselves out there and make a fool of themselves to get where they want to be. Are you?

Imagine How You’ll Feel When You Do What You Want

We’ve all been stuck in a place we don’t want to be. A dead end job, a toxic relationship, out of shape. Imagine how good it will feel when you actually escape that life and are doing the exact things you want to do in life. Being brave is what will get you there!

road between trees near snow capped mountains
Photo by Janiere Fernandez on Pexels.com

You Won’t Be Scared of Failure

Failure teaches us and it breaks our ego. Once you have failed, you have learned a lesson. You won’t be so scared of rejection or “failure” in the future. What lessons can you use from this failure to get to where you want to be?

You Pull Down Other Mental Barriers

When you have achieved one of your goals, you start breaking down the boundaries you had set for yourself but things that once seemed unattainable start looking like options. And your life goals become bigger.

You’ll Become More Confident

Who doesn’t love smashing their goals? It’s an amazing feeling to achieve something you once dreamt of. Pushing yourself will boost your confidence and you’ll feel on top of the world!

Are you feeling inspired now to take a leap of faith? Make 2021 the year we face our fears and achieve our goals. Let’s step out of our comfort zone and get to where we want to be!

Written by Jade

My Trip To EL&N Cafe London

Written by Layla

I planned an afternoon tea for my best friend as it was her birthday June 3rd and we decided we wanted to visit London’s most Instagrammable cafe’s!

I love trying out new places and especially if they are Instagrammable! This cafe was screaming with different shades of pink flowers, seating and neon lighting settings! My best friend’s birthday came at the perfect time as the weather was beautiful in London at 27 degrees! We got our summer dresses out and made our way to EL&N Cafe Lowndes Street!

EL&N Cafe Lowndes Street

EL&N Cafe on Lowndes Street sits perfectly on the corner with lavish pink seating outside. The staff in light pink t shirts and pink face masks, and the amazing bright pink flowers decorating the cafe.

To be seated indoors, due to Covid-19 guideliness in place, we had to reserve a table of four a week in advance. We arrived at our given time at 1:45pm, and were greeted at the entrance. We were told to follow a staff member down these spirally pink stairs which lead to our reservation table.

Adventure awaits, but first coffee – EL&N Cafe Lowndes Street

As we reached the basement of the cafe it was brightly lit with beautiful pink roses and flowers attached around cocooned seating areas. Arched windows with flowers blooming underneath and around the seating. We chose the booth that beautifully wrote ‘I love you a latte’.

I love you a latte – EL&N Cafe Lowndes Street

Once we sat in our booth, we discovered a reflecting mirror fitted in the ceiling which complimented the neon EL&N lighting and surrounding decor.

Ceiling Mirror inside the booth – EL&N Cafe Lowndes Street

We were four people and so we had ordered two portions of afternoon tea bundles which included a variety of sandwiches, cakes and cereal!

Afternoon Tea – EL&N Cafe Lowndes Street

We also ordered peach teas which were very delicious and not too sweet! They were perfect and had pretty little colourful flowers to compliment the cafe.

Peach Tea – EL&N Cafe Lowndes Street

I would definitely recommend this cafe as it was so Instagrammable, the hospitality was brilliant and the food was great! I know I will be visiting again as the pricing was not too bad either! It has such a vibrant atmosphere and you would definitely enjoy the vibe!