I had just turned thirty.
Fifteen years ago,
It wasn’t normal to be single at the age of thirty.
At every wedding I went to, my aunts would tell me,
“We hope you’re next, dear.
May God reward your patience.”
They’d say it with sorrowful eyes,
You know the look.
domestic violence, gender violence, physical violence, motherhood, marriage, divorce
But I realised that he’d been lying to me.
He embarasses me in front of people and makes fun of my work and my opinions.
And if love is not there, then there is no reason for us to stay together.
But I realised that there are so many people who don’t see that as a valid enough reason.
She stood, pretty as a picture,
In the midst of a place that despised beauty.
The eyes of the passengers, once cold and dead, were now filled with anger and jealousy.
Filled with unspoken words I’ve heard before.
I had a recurring dream when I was young,
That my mother wasn’t actually my mother,
And that my father was married to another woman,
Who looked exactly like my mother.
I don’t know why I kept having this dream.
Maybe because my mother was very hard on me,
And my father was kind.
Everyone used to say that he spoiled me.
But I didn’t see it that way.
He used to shout all the time,
And my mother used to hit me,
So I’d grow up to be a proper housewife.
She’ll welcome you with a wide smile: “Hair or beard?”
Then she will burst out laughing: “We’re barbers too, but female barbers!”.
Most probably this is how you’ll get to know Hayam, through her “hair or beard” question.
She won’t care if this is your first time or your hundredth.
He used to hit me,
And curse me.
He wanted me to quit everything: work and school.
Because he wasn’t very ambitious.
He only agreed that I get a job when we decided he’d take my salary.
“You should thank God I married you,” he’d say.
“You’re supposed to clean up my shit.”
domestic violence, marriage, divorce, gender violence, physical violence
I married him twenty years ago.
Not a single year passed by without beatings, humiliation, scandals, and divorce.
He’s stingy and horrible.
He humiliates me in front of everyone.
He has a terrible personality,
And he’s weak.
He doesn’t even perform his marital obligations—
He can’t do it.
He always finds something to hold over my head.
I’m fed up with him.
I feel like I aged considerably the moment I got my first suitor.
I was still young, in eighth grade.
After I got married, I started bearing responsibilities, and I grew up.
My father had us thinking that marriage was the end-all-be-all
We weren’t supposed to fight with our husbands.
gender violence, physical violence, parents, marriage, divorce, work