I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to Free Hearts Free Minds for providing me with free therapy sessions during a very dark time in my life.

I really needed to talk, and for someone to listen to me without judgement and to talk to me with a voice of reason as that is something I was missing in my life. I was shunned by my community and I was fighting for my life and for my livelihood. I was fighting against powers that held so much authority and things seemed very dark at that time. Yet, I never asked for help. I never wanted help. But I was missing to feel like a human again.

And that's what therapy has provided for me. I was able to express my feelings, share what goes through my mind without having people trying to take advantage of my low points or to try and influence my decisions or point of view. I encourage each and everyone to seek therapy as it could be the catalyst for positive change or at least help you to put your life experiences into perspective. Again, a big thanks to Free Hearts Free Minds, and please keep up the good work!

The headspace I was in was conflicted, I was feeling helpless about having a normal social life and was feeling alienated overall, I was in tunnel vision where I couldn't see the bigger picture where I can be both an ex-Muslim and fulfilled emotionally and socially.

The sessions helped me see the bigger picture where I can be myself and at the same time connect with people knowing that it's only skin deep and that doesn't invalidate my stance on religion or my environment or any other views I have, I don't overthink my situation as an ex-Muslim and I don't feel like a hypocrite or ashamed anymore because I know myself and I'm hopeful that things will get better.

The most rewarding part for me was being able to voice my concerns out loud and get to hear how they sound from a new perspective but also have an understanding eager ear to listen, Ayesha was brilliant and helped me get over a lot of the fears I had.

When I first started my sessions I had panic attacks, suicidal thoughts, nightmares, and felt emotional pain.

My feeling about life was too confused, I was blaming myself for being raped, and that I faced sexual assault. My mental health was so bad, I was having nightmares about my rapist, and my friends assaulting me, that nightmare was repeating several times a day, and I was so afraid of everyone.

Now I feel that I'm more confident, and stopped blaming myself, as I know it wasn't my fault for being raped or abused.

I feel that life is so much worthy to live and have fun of each part, and moment of it.. as I feel that I have to fight for my life. My therapist sessions helped me to replace suicidal thoughts with surviving thoughts. So instead of thinking about killing myself, now I know that I have to own my life and fight for it, I MUST LIVE, and STOP BLAMING MYSELF for being raped, or for being a lesbian, now I feel that I'm comfortable than ever, and I have that image in my head "that I live in a safe place and feel peaceful;", that helps me to keep going and stay positive, and never give up on my life.

The most challenging part, when my therapist told me that "You won't live like that forever" I thought she just saying motivating words, I was depressed back then, but I realized that she was right already because now I'm trying to get away out of my country, and applied for a visa, job, life out there.... etc. She was right, I won't live in that situation forever and I hope when I get a job with a good salary, so I can continue my sessions with her, because she was really good, and helped me a lot.

Shaimaa, Egypt