Clinton Karim: Success Through Trauma

Having been raised by a conservative Christian woman of Ecuador and a misguided, traditional man of the Ismaili religion, my personal life exists as a thin sheet of ice – ready to crack and shatter at the slightest sloppy touch. I was raised by my late half-brother, a man of quintessential qualities and attributes that continue to shape me. He taught me to show kindness to those who reciprocate the feeling, and to understand one’s true values by learning the meaning of success through trauma.

Our mother tried her best to raise us; consequently, her stagnant biblical values proved unsuccessful in teaching us ways of being “good Christians”. My late brother rejected religion, and I was in a limbo between a Christian mother and Ismaili father. As a child of just eleven years, I was not given a choice of whom I would like to be, therefore the Ismaili church fell upon me. This path of religion was disorganized and mistreated towards a child of my youth; I would only practice it during my visits to Canada and it was pushed onto me to learn and memorize every concept of the religion.

My mother tried her very best to prevent me from completing this tasks for whenever I returned home for a majority of the year, she would burn their bibles and punish me for verbalizing any form of prayer from the Ismaili religion. Years passed by and my only brother passed away in the spring of 2018. I felt betrayed by the Christian religion, and betrayed by the Ismaili religion.

I was fed lies and truths that only those of frail ideals could give because of their flaking snake hides. Life itself felt harsh and unworthy, and I tumbled into a long, dark depression. I was emotionally beaten for rejecting any type of church, and physically abhorred for being a homosexual. My late brother always knew of my sexuality and always showed support for he knew there was no reason to bash me. It was because of him that I became spiritual, not religious. I began to learn of meditation and spiritual connections from Hindu and Celtic texts.

Friends, not family, pushed me to become more loving of not only myself but of others around me. I had been shown a new world of happiness and tranquility; all of which was acquired through acceptance of who I am – my true identity. As a transgender female, my connection to my related family was cut off because of their religious views and beliefs, but as I hold onto my true self and the friends whom I consider family, I am able to finally accept my identity.

These hardships that cut, bruised, and broke my body allowed me to learn and absorb the realities of life itself. There is a balance in the world, just as there’s a balance between a single individual. We are given chances to learn and control the balance of ourselves and use it to our advantage. With that being said, my life a life that continues to breathe and feel, exists in this world because of I was taught to love my identity – and be my own self.

These hardships that cut, bruised, and broke my body allowed me to learn and absorb the realities of life itself. There is a balance in the world, just as there’s a balance between a single individual. We are given chances to learn and control the balance of ourselves and use it to our advantage. With that being said, my life a life that continues to breathe and feel, exists in this world because of I was taught to love my identity – and be my own self.

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