Sunday, August 31, 2008
I am CryingI am crying. Actually crying. Every time I look at the photo of us on our wedding day that I have on the desk here I start crying again. Not a soft cry - but the sort one makes when one has lost someone due to death... you know the wail - but I'm not wailing - no sound is coming out, just my mouth opens and air comes out but no sound and tears are falling down my cheeks and my heart feels like it is breaking.
I am grieving. It hurts so bad you know. So bad.
Every time I look at the photo I see him and am confronted with the horrible memories that feel like they are happening right now and then I go through this thing where I miss him so badly, I miss those times he laughed with me and treated me so nicely and I just want to disappear and not expierience this pain any more.
His hands, his god-damned hands! Him hitting me, slapping me, holding my wrists together so I couldn't get away, him holding my upper arms like vices, him punching me, his hands... hurting me and there is nothing I can do. Absolutely nothing. I am too small, I am too little, he is big and I can't move... and when I beg him to stop he hits me over and over again until I obey and be quiet and listen to him. I used to love his hands, big hands, the hands of a man. But I grew to fear those hands and what they could do. I grew to wish he'd die and I'd be free of the pain he'd bring on me when he'd come home at night, but there is nothing you can do. Nothing.
I hated the way he'd grab me and drag me into the bedroom and I tried to resist sometimes and be hit repeatedly for my resistance, and other times I'd just beg him to please give me some time to finish the cooking or to get son to sleep or whatever, sometimes I'd beg him just to be patient please ya habibi - I am really tired, I've been working all day and I didn't get any sleep last night because daughter was sick, please ya habibi, please let me just go to bed and sleep. But he'd either force me, or I'd eventually agree to it because it would be less painful if I just agreed than being forced - or sometimes he'd give in and wouldn't make me do it but rather would go off with his friends all night and be angry with me for weeks in punishment and wouldn't allow me anywhere near him, or would make my life a misery by talking about getting a second wife because hey this wife he already had was hopeless in bed.
The humiliation, the shame, the anger that I tried to repress day and day on end by cutting myself and biting my arms and not eating and by listening to those angry voices inside my head that told me that it was all my fault and I should try harder to make him happy and that he deserved better and he was right, I wasn't a good wife, look at me - I couldn't even cook as good as those arab women!
The dread as the time approached for him to come home, the absolute dread and fear and panic... Would he be angry today? Would he like the way I'd dressed up for him or would he be unhappy with it? Would he be happy with the maftoul today or would he yell at me and tell me that my maftoul is disgusting and that he felt like eating moulikhiyah today not maftoul - and he would be going out shortly so I'd better have it ready by then.
The endless trying so hard to become better and better, convincing myself that if I just try harder he'd be happy with me, that maybe I could if I became a better person and cooked and cleaned and performed better in the bedroom and was a better muslim and spoke more respectfully and did not talk in his presence except to answer his questions and to give him the feeling that he was the king of his house that maybe, just maybe he'd be happy and would smile at me and eat the food and not yell at me today. Not hit me today. Not slam me against the wall or slap the back of my head, or kick me or hold me down and force me. Maybe he'd be gentle with me today. Maybe just maybe he'd forget all the other women in the world and wouldn't ask me to find him a second wife and talk about how wonderful it would be to have four breasts to fondle instead of just two... Maybe he'd hug me and maybe just maybe everything would be ok.
And I'd blame myself, I was too ungrateful to him - after all he worked so hard every day to bring home money - and he was exposed to all those women wearing mini-skirts coming to buy milk and whatnot - so who could blame him for talking in the evening about their legs and breasts and how much those evil women want him so bad... It was my fault for feeling jealous - why should I feel that way when it was only natural for men to want women constantly so get over yourself woman! Blame, blame, blame, and it never seemed to end, all directed towards myself.
Our first kiss - my first real kiss that was consensual - it was gross and amazing at the same time, I couldn't forget the feeling for the week we were parted after that kiss. I was in heaven, I thought now I can have my own family and a man who loves me and whom I can care for. He laughed about our first kiss, about my inexperience, and also the first time he was with me he laughed about how shy I was. His little girl he called me, he said that I did not look much older than an eleven or twelve year old girl and that I behaved like a virgin although he spoke with disgust about how he would've had more enjoyment if I hadn't've been raped by my uncle as a child. He spoke of these things after he'd been with me and I'd go really quiet as I didn't want to talk about it. I was ashamed that I hadn't been the virgin he so much wanted when we married, and that I was damaged goods for him. He'd talk about it unashamedly, and would mention that I was too "loose" because of my lack of virginity and I'd just turn my face away from him and feel like crying but would say nothing... this went on for along time after the first time - up until I became pregnant with daughter (seven or so months after our marriage) and he seemed obsessed with this. It hurt so much as I felt like the fact that I'd been raped by my uncle didn't upset him because he loved me - but rather because he'd wanted a virgin girl to sleep with rather than a girl who'd been interferred with.
One time I tried to escape from him, he was angry and I'd left daughter in the lounge room with him because I thought he was going to kill me - I was pregnant with son and fortunately managed to get into the bedroom before him and shut the door. He was trying to force the door open and I was pushing the handle up so he couldn't open the door with my shoulder. He'd punched me in the tummy although I feel it wasn't on purpose as he loves his kids, I think he was just trying to punish me you know because I'd been disrespectful to him I think. So, I was in the bedroom and he was in the other room trying to force the door open, pounding on the door for me to open it, threatening me, and then it went quiet, I thought maybe he was playing tricks on me, so I stayed in place and a minute or so later he tried the door again and shouted at me. Over and over again, he yelled at me that the most patient wins, and then I heard the front door slam and thought maybe he'd gone so I waited a while and then opened the door slowly and he came slamming into me from seemingly out of nowhere. He slammed his hands against my chest so I fell backwards and then he hit me over and over again and kicked me up the backside. I was so scared you know - I didn't know what he'd do to me he was so angry - when he gets angry his face goes really red and then white and he looks so calm but in reality he is really angry and can punch and hit and kick over and over and over again while he looks so calm and collected like someone who knows exactly what he is doing. He asked me who was the man of the house, who was the man? I should talk to him like he is the man of the house not like a man speaks to a man but like the wife speaks to her husband... I was causing our daughter to grow up to marry and divorce - that she'd become disrespectful to her husband like me and then we'd have to look after her when her husband divorced her and it'd be all my fault blah blah blah...
He eventually calmed down. I started having severe brackston hicks but by midnight they were gone. I was so stressed, I wanted to go to the hospital to have the baby checked as i was worried that some of the hits that had come on my stomache must've injured my son, but he wouldn't hear of my going there - that I was worrying for nothing, that the baby would be fine.
The next day he called his boss to ask him to get his wife to come and spend some time with me as I was "sick", but I pretended I wasn't there when she knocked and when my husband called my mobile demanding to know where I'd been - what I'd been doing - I told him that I was really tired and had had more contractions so had laid down and fell asleep and hadn't heard any knocking. I don't think he believed me, but he came home early that day and treated me nicely by coming home with charcol chicken and tabouli and chips and speaking so nicely to me calling me his "sanfoori" that he loved me, that I needed to stop stressing so much or else the baby could be born early.
Sometimes he hit me when I was getting food for daughter, on occassion his hits directed at me hit her, his pushing me while she clung onto my dress would make her go flying as well. He sometimes lost his temper with her - especially regarding issues relating to the deen when she wouldn't say Fatiha with him or wouldn't sing the mujahideen nasheed with him, or would eat with her left hand he'd slap her face or arms or would push her and yell at her and she'd come crying to me saying, "Mama, baba hit me!" and I was at loss what to do. What to do? If I comforted her he got mad at me and sometimes hit her again & me as well, but if I told her to go tell her father she didn't like what he was doing he'd tell me I was disrespecting him - that I should've told her to obey her baba. I did tell her to listen to him - but I didn't think it was ok to slap a toddler on the face especially not so hard as to leave red fingerprints across her cheeks. And regardless of what he'd said - I was not going to say to her that it was ok for him to do that - it was not ok and I wasn't going to justify his behaviour for him or remove the responsibility for him.
His beard was lovely to snuggle into, and have those hairs of his beard tickle my cheek and neck. I loved it when he'd sing the arabic love songs to me, and when he'd recite arabic love poems to me. I loved all those things. What happened to those beautiful moments? What happened to those love songs he'd sing to me and those times he'd put his hand through my hair and tell me I was like a maha (deer) and was his water (he said water because he'd said that you can't survive without water)...? What happened? Why did I have to go and ruin it all by letting him see the imperfect girl he'd married. The girl who'd accidently laugh in public and have him grab my shoulder with his hand and me wince with pain but being quiet because of his anger while he snarls at me not to make any noise because the men can hear me. The girl who couldn't get all the toys off of the floor before he got home from work because I was trying to cook dinner and look after a toddler at the same time and he'd come in and get angry because of this. The girl who couldn't read qu'ran the way he wanted, who didn't pray every single prayer there ever was because hey she was human and didn't have the capability to do so. The girl who never could make him happy.
Oh god, I'm crying again.
I would cry because I didn't want to break his heart because I knew that one day I'd have to leave him as I just couldn't imagine myself in his country with no way to get out except through him. I couldn't imagine myself having to live with the threat of Israel right next door while he would fight with hamas... I couldn't bear the thought - and I grieved for him - how it would hurt him to lose me I know, who would care for him as much as I did? How would he find his socks in the mornings? How would he survive the harsh world out there where the women are all over him and he might commit fashiha and condemn his soul to hell forever? And what if he actually committed suicide like he'd threatened to do so on numerous occassions should I leave? How could I live with myself if he did something like that?
I'd wonder how I could escape... I tried to come up with a plan and wondered how I'd gather the resolve to stay away from him while I didn't think I could cope on my own with my two kids...
But here I am, and I have survived and I hope will continue to do so.
It hurts you know - but that is what grief is, it hurts and while you hurt you are able to get through it and heal and grow from the experiences.
Anyways, will go to bed now, am tired enough to sleep,
ttfn - Ta ta for now,