Unhappily Married to an Older Man

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.

I had Nadeen, and when she was two, I got pregnant again.
“Get an abortion. We’re not having more kids!”
I went to the doctor and got an abortion.

I didn’t even want this man.
I wanted to take my child and leave.
He used to tell me, “You don’t have the right to take your child away from me!”
I was about to get a divorce after my abortion,
And told him that I won’t get pregnant again.

Thank God, he didn’t pass away at my place.
If he had, they would’ve accused me of killing him.
He died at sea.
I asked them if I should go see him,
They said no.

Nadeen was attached to him,
She always went out with him.
“Are you leaving with me, Nadeen?” he used to ask her.
Five days after he died
I got a small oven so I could bake bread and make money.
To raise my child.

Neither of my parents offered to have me stay with them.
I stayed in my apartment and raised my child.
I wanted her to get an education,
But her friends filled her head with talk of marriage.
“You’re still so young!” I told her.
And she’d reply, “Do you want me to be an old spinster?”

She didn’t want to get an education,
She was occupied with other things.
When she got a suitor, her half-brothers didn’t approve.
She broke down.
Not a single brother stood by her.
They used to say unspeakable things.
No one stood by us except God.

My husband’s children abused me.
They beat me up, and threw me in the streets.
I’ve never been happy.

Warning The stories on our story archive could contain potentially sensitive and/or triggering material. If a story causes you discomfort or pain, please remember to breathe and check in with yourself before continuing or stop reading completely if necessary.