My Mother Hates Me

We fell in love four months before the wedding.

And then the night came when we fought at the hairdresser’s,

And he swore I wouldn't leave the hairdresser’s without a veil on.

I started wearing the hijab after our engagement,

But I didn't even really want to wear it.

Anyway, I put on my veil and we left to go get our pictures taken.

And after that his sister had booked a boat for us.

We went and I looked upset,

So my aunt came over and helped us reconcile.

I got up and danced and had fun,

And then we started making our way home.

We reached our apartment.

My siblings stayed downstairs while I went up.

Anyway, we went up and started talking.

“Let's go and wash up and pray so that God makes everything go smoothly,” he said.

We prayed and then entered the bedroom.

He calmed me down a bit.

He instructed me to put on my nightgown.

I put it on, but I didn't want to leave the bedroom wearing nothing but it.

“Goddamn it,” he exclaimed, “Let’s try and get this done sometime today!”

“Your family’s waiting in the street!”

Anyway, we started having sex,

But he didn't know what he was supposed to do.

And I didn't know what I was meant to fill the bridal cloth with,

Or where it would come from.

We stayed like this until 6:00 am.

Anyway, he talked to his mother and my mother,

And told them we didn’t know how to do anything.

By then my entire family had come and filled up the street below.

They all stood downstairs and only my aunt and her daughter came up.

They were coming up the stairs, rolling up their sleeves.

I was so scared I thought I would piss myself.

And my aunt refused to do anything unless he was in the room!

Anyway, I followed their instructions and lied down on the bed.

My cousin held me down,

And my aunt wrapped the piece of cloth around her finger and shoved it in.

The first time I screamed, then she did it twice more.

Afterwards she said to him, “See? You’re the idiot.”

My father insisted on walking around,

And parading the piece of cloth down the street.

During my zaffa [wedding procession],

My aunt and cousin carried the piece of cloth with them.

One day my husband told me he needed my help with something.

We had been separated for two years,

So I told my aunt and she told me to go and see what he wanted.

We met in a cafeteria.

I paid.

Anyway, I had my suspicions but nothing would confirm them other than his words.

And when he told me,

I made him go and tell my aunt too.

It turned out he had been cheating on me with my own mother!

When I found out, I was in shock.

For about 3 weeks, I was traumatised and distressed,

Among other things.

This is what’s been making me sick,

And I can’t talk about it in front of anyone I know.

He had been cheating on me since the time I was pregnant with my son,

Ao they’d been having an affair for 8 years.

He said, “She bewitched me,”

And she does practice magic.

She would cast spells to break the ones his sister cast on me.

And they really were out to hurt me.

They would take the towels we used after sex and use them for their spells.

And my mother, too, has been practicing for a long time.

She would make me cast spells on my aunt and my father,

But I didn't know that this would hurt them.

I would listen to what she told me because she was my mother.

What shocked me most was that I didn't know my mom hated me this much,

Even now I still don’t want to blame her.

When I was pregnant with my son,

All three of us would sleep in the same bed.

And one time when I was pregnant,

He went outside to sleep next to my mother,

Who had been staying over.

And on top of all this,

One time, when I went and told her that,

I had beat up a client who had propositioned me for sex,

She yelled at me and told me I should have done it.

See, she used to do that back when she cleaned bachelor pads.

“We did everything in those apartments,” she said,

“And what’s wrong with that? We did what we had to to make a living.”

So you’re admitting you used to sleep with clients!

One of my clients lied to me.

He told me he needed help with his apartment and gave me 100 LE,

So I went and cleaned and cooked.

He returned to the apartment after I was done and was about to leave.

He tried to overpower me.

I punched him in the eye and he stopped.

He calmed down and said,

“I’ll give you 5,000 LE if you do it.

And if you don't trust me,

Bring someone else with you and give them the money,

Then tell them to leave.”

I later told my cousin everything.

“I’ll let you hear with your own ears what my mother will say,'' I said,

Turning on the speaker on my phone.

I knew exactly how my mother would react.

“Agree and get it over with,” mother replied,

“You’ll get much higher prices than I ever did.”

My cousin was in shock.

She kept telling me to stop talking and hang up.

“I wanted you to understand what I was going through,” I said,

“My mother encourages her daughter to walk down the path of sin,

And is upset when she turns down 5,000 LE.”

Sometimes I sit and think about why I refuse the offers.

It’s not tiring work and I’d have money.

But then I think, “How will I hide from God?”

It’s not me, and I don’t want to make God angry with me.

But my mother makes me feel guilty about it.

People think that when a woman leaves her husband,

She goes around sleeping with everyone!

“It’s been a year and a half since you left your husband,” my mother says,

“Don’t you miss having sex?!”

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