I first found out about periods when I was around 11 years old.
We were in Saudi Arabia when I started noticing mama’s Always pads.
I didn’t understand what they were,
Or what they were used for.
All I knew was that they were mama’s,
And that she used them,
But I didn’t understand why.
Then she told me,
But I didn’t understand.
My father used to yell at me all the time.
For things like putting too much food on his plate,
Or him not liking the tea,
Or if the tea was cold.
He would even yell at me if I left the window open when it was cold outside.
I was supposed to figure out that he was cold on my own.
parents, domestic violence, gender violence
I got a scholarship and travelled to France.
I didn’t take any money from my father for 10 years.
I’m independent of him, thank God.
But when I came back,
He went back to being a typical Middle Eastern man.
He wasn’t worried about me while I was there.
But here, he would tell me to come home before dark.
What’s going on, old man?
I lived alone for two years,
So this came as a shock to me.
I did everything I wanted there.
I come from a conservative, traditional, and somewhat wealthy, capitalist family.
They appreciate a woman’s right to an education and a career, but only under the supervision of the family.
When it comes to marriage, it must be with the total consensus and control of the family.
It was 9 pm on a Thursday.
My mother gave money and sent me to buy a box of tissues.
Three guys appeared.
One of them was holding a knife.
He pressed it to my cheek and told me to walk without saying a word.
They took me to a strange area and called out to another guy to join them.
Then they took me to a warehouse and raped me,
One after the other.
gender violence; sexual violence; rape; parents; social pressure