LONDON: “Before this happened to me, I had a very clear idea of where I wanted to be in the next five years and where I wanted to be in the future, and now I feel like although I am trying to stick to a good path I have no idea where life is going to take me.”
Acid attack survivor Resham Khan, who has been enlisted in BBC’s 100 women list this year, speaks about her life before and after the attack in an interview to the BBC.
Khan spoke that she is trying to find the good in it all. She said victims of acid attacks have many struggles to endure and it is not as easy as waking up the next day to continue normally.
“There are a lot of things that I would have liked to have done that I just can’t do anymore,” Khan added.
Resham Khan and her cousin became the victims of an unprovoked acid attack when they were out to celebrate her birthday on June 21. After the attack, the young aspiring model became active on social media and started expressing her experiences through blogging.
“I blogged for a bit of self-help therapy, I did not receive any kind of therapy or counselling. Getting my thoughts out was, in a sense, a way to confront my own feelings.”
She said that she has received many messages in regards to how brave she was and how she helped so many people.
“That motivated me to continue writing and make it a little bit more accessible for people,” Khan added.
“When I look in the mirror I see a constant reflection of what happened on my birthday I have half of the old me and half of the new me.”
“Since being attacked, my views have completely changed because now instead of trying to look like somebody else I am trying to look the best version of myself.”
Through social media, Khan shared her experiences and the progress of her skin grafting and how she is coping with her life-changing experience.
She wrote on her blog talking about the mental ‘ups and downs’, and physically dealing with the demands of skin grafts, and how she has to wear special clothes to ‘prevent scars’.
Khan in her interview said that everything becomes a struggle from morning to night whether it is the pain she has to endure, or from the struggle to put on make-up and how she struggles to hide her scars.
“Sometimes I debate whether or not to cover my scars.”
The acid attack survivor also spoke about how she keeps herself busy and works on remaining distracted. She said that she tries to remain levelheaded by distracting herself from thinking too much about the incident.
After the attack and active social media presence, Resham lobbied for a petition to stop the purchase of acid without a license and she received over half a million signatures.
“I was extremely happy when acid was made an offence weapon in law. To me that was a success when under-18 are banned from buying corrosive substances,” Khan spoke about the success of her petition.
“If I could speak to the attacker I would then ask him why he threw acid over us and I just pity him.”
“The violence in a split second destroyed my life, my cousin’s life, his life his children’s lives and it was just not worth it.”