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  • Surrinder Johal

New beginnings

On 16th April 2022 my daughter got married. Never did I dream that l would see this day. Walking her down the aisle with my son was one of the happiest days of my life. We were shaking because all 3 of us were celebrating a happy occasion in our lives; one that we perhaps never thought would happen for us.

Just one year ago on 30th April 2021 l sold my house in London and moved to Ashford Kent to live on my own in a newly built house next to the lake. My Son moved to Edinburgh and my daughter bought a house close to me . These were decisions that we made as a family which were right for us but some people didn't understand.

For me it was scary living on my own f

or the first time in my life. I lived at home with my parents until l got married at 22 , then after 27 years of an abusive marraige l left my husband who committed suicide soon after. Then l lived with my grown up children until last year. For me it was always about my children putting them first as that is all l know BUT now i had to start thinking about myself; they were grown up and needed to move on with their lives.

l had grown up in a traditional family and was programmed to behave in a certain way. My life was planned out for me - everything from the subjects I studied to whom l had to marry. This did not work for me because l experienced abuse in my marriage but I was forced to stay despite it . At the same time no one wanted to know what my children or l

were actually going through. So I stayed for 27 years. I thought l was doing right by my children but NO l should have left earlier. On a daily basis all 3 of us did not know what mood my husband was going to be in. He was a narcissist and we all tried to please him but it was never enough. We all found our own coping mechanisms to get through life, for me l numbed out though excessive work

ing, drinking and eating. My kids saw their parents fighting and their mum being abused- this left scars on them as they did not have healthy parents showing them what a loving relationship looked like and all of this impacted their self worth.

During this last year, I felt safe in my quiet surrounding and the walls that l had put up to protect myself started coming down. l spent many a day curled up on the sofa crying and processing my emotions. l faced my feelings of shame, anger, guilt, pity- grief for a marriage that didn't work out, the death of my mum and husband by suicide.

l had to honour my body and do what I needed to heal and become stronger. It was scary. l had to peel the layers little by little and figure out who l was and what I wanted. This was something that l had never done before and I felt triggered often

. Although it was usually a case of 2 steps forward and 5 steps back l did slowly move forward. Even the simplest of things felt strange; what to cook for only one person, what l was interested in. I was som

eone who always put family first. I started practising self care- walking, positive affirmations, journaling, breathing exercise and gratitude. Slowly, I started to fill the empty vessel inside me and look forward to creating a new life with dreams that excite me. Simutanously, my adult children are getting on with their lives. As a family we are stronger supporting each other's dreams and aspirations.

My passion is supporting other women to regain their self worth and move into the next chapter of their lives. After my husband died l sought therapy to help me process everything that had happened but it wasn't enough so I kept searching for answers. I qualified as a counsellor and hypnotherapist. Now l use the self care tools that have helped me plus knowledge I gained academically to support my clients on their healing journey. Get in touch to see how my approach can help you - Surrinder.

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