Break. Open.

Break. Open. 

Beginning of this year, I was in an unfamiliar space. I lost sense of who I was. Just like that, I didn’t know what was happening to me. 

Moving back home brought memories I haven’t faced since I left 13 years ago. 

Here I was in the same place where I was abused verbally, emotionally and sexually. 

The place I escaped and never thought I would look back on. But I moved back. 


When my aunt passed, a strong feeling came over me to move back. Wasn’t sure why or what that feeling was. But it was so strong it wouldn’t let me sleep. So I trusted The feeling and I listened. 

But Being home, triggered memories I didn’t know how to handle. I was reaching for comfort in my relationship but wasn’t getting it. Not that he didn’t want to comfort me, just didn’t know how. 

He couldn’t comfort me because I didnt know what was going on with me until now. 

I was breaking open and didn’t even realize I was broken. 

My pains finally caught up to me. 

I thought prior to my career transitions and prior to my Aunt’s death, 

That I was whole. 

That I had it all together. 

But All those things left me realizing that I wasn’t.

All those things shattered the image I had of myself. That image that I was at peace, I was balanced, I was complete

But I wasn’t.

That I dealt with all my pain 

but I didn’t. 

I was distracted by ego, by accomplishments, by situations that covered the pains I hid inside.

I was avoiding. 

I hid behind my external accomplishments just to realize they only destroyed me internally. 

Pains I thought I dealt with, came back. That one call I received back in Dec 2016 at the mall reminded me of the 13 year old broken girl. The one that was worthless to the one man that mattered to her the most. Her protector

But here he was again. Yelling through the speakers of the phone, cursing, judging, belittling and shaming. His words pierced through my body like sharp knives. All because I was living my life with my own rules. 

The image of me sitting in the living room at 13 with a knife against my wrist, wanting to leave this earth, came back. 

In that very moment, I was taken back to those pains. I was sinking inside but I kept my composure. Because that’s what I do. Telling myself, “Keep it together Sana’a, Keep it together, you’re strong, remember?” 

But really I was backed into a corner. My Throat tightened up, my heart was beating fast, I had to put myself in “survival mode”. But no one knew it but me. 

In the past, I didn’t reach out for help, I kept all it in. My thoughts and my emotions. I used school as my escape, math especially. Solving problems solved my problems, that's how I survived.

But This time, at 30, I was out of school. I couldn’t escape anymore. I felt trapped. So I reached for help but it wasn’t helping. Felt alone as I felt my soul coming out of my chest on numerous occasions. I cried for help, but no one close to me knew how to help me. 


Because “Sanaa is strong. She doesn’t break. Look at what she has accomplished for herself so far. Look at her getting up every day and pushing through like nothing is happening. She’s alright, no need to worry about her, it can’t be that serious.”

I was dying on the inside. But no one could see it because all they see is a strong accomplished woman. 

They couldn’t see how I could be depressed and broken. I was falling apart. Even when I said I was, they didn’t believe me. 

Everything from my teenage past came to surface. The feeling of being unworthy, rejection, the suicidal thoughts, the abuse .. all of it. It came back in full force at once. 

I started to reject myself. My body. My emotions. Everything about me. 

I no longer had my escape to feel better. . I was out of school. Couldn’t dive into my math books anymore.

I prayed over and over and over again. Trying my best to get out of bed every day, trying to smile through it all. I was trying but it wasn't working. Then, Finally decided That I had to leave, I had to get out. I had to breathe. 

So I left for Bali. Decided to disconnect myself from everything and everyone and connect with myself. I realize I had to face my pains on my own. I had to feel it and not avoid it. I had to help myself. because no one can. I had to feel the love within me. 

In Bali, I prayed and meditated every day. Asking God to continue protecting me, to guide me and to carry me. To let his force be stronger than any force out there and remove what is not for me or what is harming me out of my path. 

I think He heard me. All of what is happening to me NOW is because He heard me. I cried my soul out for Him. I asked for guidance. I asked for healing. I asked for direction. I asked for strength. 

He definitely heard me. 

I came back feeling light in the heart and myself again. I was finally breathing. My smile was back.

& then the summer came. And so did new emotions and new pains which dug up more emotions and more pains.

 I felt like my life was falling apart, I tried to hold it all together but it was slipping away. I was trying to fight through it. I couldn’t control what was happening. Here I am on my tour teaching people how to deal with life off the mat, yet I was trying to figure out how to deal with it myself. 

I was running out of energy from traveling, from giving so much emotional comfort to those around that were suffering that I didn’t have anything left for ME. 

I was suffering alone

So I cried my heart to God. Surrendering to the path He put before me because I didn’t understand why things were happening the way that they did. 

I just couldn’t figure it out. 

Then God removed everything I held valuable and left me with... myself. 

He Left me HERE, now in this space of healing. 

Here, on this path of finding my worth through the love of God. To see His light shine through me. To see the love within me. To see that He is here to protect and carry me through my pains. 

As painful as it is to be here in this space facing my pains, I realized this isn’t a bad experience.

“The cure for pain is within the pain” 

It is not an easy or comfortable path. Very painful and very lonely. But I have to see the light in me. See the love in me. The worth in me. I have to see past my pains. I have to feel the burn. I have to purify my heart. I have to do this walk alone. I can’t hide behind people and accomplishments anymore. 

I have to TRUST that my heart has the wisdom to heal itself if I allow it. 

I have to TRUST what God has planned for me

So here I am on this path a year later. A year after my move, a year after that call. 

I am here, in this space To heal. I was brought back to where it all started. 13 years passed but the feelings still feel fresh. 

Here I am, shedding those layers of pain, one by one. Pain that’s been carried for years. Pain that created even more pain. Every day is a new feeling, a new battle. But instead of running away, I’m allowing and facing each and every one. 

I, sometimes find myself being impatient with myself. Asking myself “why do I still feel this way? It’s been this long and I’m still feeling it?”. Then I realized in those very thoughts, I was resisting. I was blocking the process of my healing. That I should just allow whatever I’m feeling to flow through me. To let it burn and let it burn out.

I have to accept the unexpected path that God selected for me. 

TRUST that He knows better. 

I am here to heal Me through His light and love.