I used to love someone.
We worked together.
I really admired his personality.
He asked for my hand in marriage,
But my parents rejected him,
Because he was from a different social class.
I had a feeling he was ambitious,
And that he’d amount to something.
When we were engaged,
He was always concerned with the apartment,
And getting it ready.
I got married after 6 years of being in love.
During that time,
I found out he was cheating on me with the live-in maid,
Who took care of his mother.
I confronted him at first,
but he denied it.
The first time I was hit was by my brother Mohamed.
I was 14 years old.
I was flirting with a couple of boys.
I was wearing a skirt that day,
And I was standing by the door.
How dare I stand by the door like that?
My brother hit me with a hose across my chest.
I asked God for revenge.
He was imprisoned the following day.
domestic violence, physical violence, parents, marriage
I was playing down in the street the first time I was hit.
One of the girls I was playing with hit me.
I went to her house,
And started throwing rocks at it,
But she didn’t come out.
I went up to her house,
And her mother answered the door.
I went inside and started hitting her.
“Aren’t you a bold little girl?”
Her mother exclaimed.
My father was the first person to touch me.
I used to tell myself that I was imagining it.
When he’d touch me with his leg from behind,
I’d tell myself he was just being playful.
No one has ever experienced what my father put me through.
It’s such a difficult thing to live through,
When you’re a kid in first grade,
And your father takes you home from school,
And beats you with a spiked rod,
Nails penetrating your entire body.
It was a long walk home,
And I was being beaten up continuously,
blood gushing out of the wounds.
All of this for something I didn’t do.
Something that wasn’t my fault.
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.
My first divorce was because I wouldn't have sex with him,
But there were a lot of things I didn’t understand.
My family didn’t tell me anything.
I didn’t know anything at all.
To the extent that I wasn’t quite sure what the bridal cloth was for.
domestic violece; gender violence; physcial violence; sex; motherhood; addiction; social pressure; 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 didn’t have a childhood.
My mother burdened me with responsibilities very early on.
Women here work on the farm,
Milk the cows,
And feed the birds.
My mother would set off to do these things,
And when she’d come back,
She’d hit me.
“Why didn’t you make dinner?”
domestic violence; gender violence; sexual violence; physical violence; parents; child marriage; divorce; work