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.
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’m a woman who has been struggling her entire life.
Ever since I was a little girl,
I’ve been struggling.
My father was a national railways inspector.
He passed away.
I got married to a man who came from a modest family.
I thought they’d care about my wellbeing.
I got married shortly after graduation.
I hadn’t yet figured out what marriage really meant.
I found out he was a psychopath after we got married.
He started hitting me three days into our marriage.
He cursed me and accused me of infidelity.
He humiliated me in every sense of the word.
motherhood, marriage, divorce
Last week I had an argument with my ex.
He confronted me in public.
All because he found out that my daughter and I have jobs.
“You shouldn't be working!” he said.
How can we not work when he doesn't pay me any child support?!
domestic violence, gender violence, sexual violence, physical violence, marriage, divorce
I got married to an old man I didn’t consent to marrying.
Of course, this is how it is in the country.
They act without taking a girl’s consent.
I felt sorry for myself because they married me off to an old man.
gender violence, marriage, divorce, motherhood
After I left my husband, I decided to look for a job.
I tried to find a job at a hospital, but they only needed nurses, and I’m no nurse.
I kept looking for a job but couldn’t find one.
Things were looking bleak.
“How old are you, ma’am? 36? Sorry, no can do.”
domestic violence, physical violence, sexual violence, gender violence, marriage, divorce, motherhood
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.
Every month, she’d pick up and leave, taking our son with her. She’d stay at her parents and prevent me from seeing my son.
When I’d try to make up with her, she’d only relent on the condition that I obey her every word.
Otherwise, she’d go back to her parent’s place, and I’d be deprived of my son again.
divorce, marriage, romantic relationships