Please Note: The following post contains disturbing scenes!!! Sensitive readers are not advised to scroll down!!!
Once upon a time I used to smile and laugh… I could talk your ears off. I was a happy-go-lucky kind of girl, didn’t have a care in the world. But not any more…. my past has changed me. I became miserable and full of hate. I abhored being in a roomful of happy people. I felt lifeless, as if that incident sucked the soul from my core. I didn’t understand then, that it was a test from Allah.
This is my story:
Growing up wasn’t easy. I lost my beloved father at a very young age. I know from family members that he treated my mother like a queen.
My mother remarried. He was nice in the beginning, but soon enough he began showing his true colours. He was a drug addict and would do anything for a hit. If he could have sold us also, I’m sure he would have. He would take all my mother’s money, not bothering whether we had enough food to eat or clothes that fit. There were many days that we went by hungry. My siblings and I became used to it, our bodies became immune to the gnawing hunger that clung to us, sometimes for days.
He began beating my mother up. It became an everyday occurrence. It reached to a stage, where if he didn’t hit her, the day wouldn’t feel normal. Then she fell pregnant with his child. That didn’t stop him. He continued beating her mercilessly. Soon, he started hitting us also. My mother tried to stop him from doing that, but he would turn his anger back to her, so she stopped trying to help us.
We wouldn’t go to school for days on end because of the blue and black marks he would leave us with. We grew immune to his beating too. We prepared for it by wearing extra layers of clothing just so it wouldn’t hurt so much. Not that it helped.
Their child was born. Shukr to Allah, the drugs stopped. But the beating continued. At times my mother would leave us at family or friends, but he would always find us and the hiding was the worst. He was in jail quite often, but he was bailed out by family or my mother.
I was about nine years old when he stared sexually abusing me. At first I didn’t even realise what he was doing. He would touch my butt or my breasts. I was young and innocent. I didn’t know any better. I didn’t know that what he was doing was wrong. My mother didn’t teach us about all this stuff. It got worse. He would come into the shower and watch me. If I tried to lock the door he would bang on it and create a scene. My mother worked so there was no supervision during the day. I was alone and afraid. I had enough of my own by then to understand that this was wrong, but who could I tell? I would look for friends to come home with me after school so that I wouldn’t have to be alone with him, but more often, no one would come.
He began inserting his finger inside me. It hurt and I would cry, but he would yell at me. He would send me to his room to “fetch something” but would follow me there and touch me. Other times he would open his pants and tell me to touch him “there”. When I refused he would grab my hand and make me touch him. He would lay next to me in bed and rub himself against me, until i was forced to jump out of the bed.
One day he forced his mouth on mine. My mother saw him holding me, but she didn’t say anything. The next morning I overheard her telling my someone that I was “trying tricks with her husband”. I was so hurt, but didn’t bother defending myself. I didn’t see the point. She wouldn’t believe me. I was now the girl trying to steal her husband. Everyday my life was getting worse.
And even though all of this happened, I was in no way prepared for what happened next. I didn’t think he would actually do something so vile. I was only twelve years old at that time, playing outside with the local kids like every other normal child. He was angry when he saw me playing with the boys. He chased them all away and demanded that I go inside the house. Once behind closed doors, he hit me with a thick iron pipe and ordered me to go to his room. I don’t think I was ever so scared in my life as I was on that day. My body was literally shaking. He came in, closed the door and pulled off my clothes. He still had the pipe in his hand while he removed his own clothes and raped me. I wanted to scream and shout but whenever I tried to open my mouth, he lifted the pipe and threatened to use it. When he was done, he laughed at me and teased me. I cried until I couldn’t cry no more. I felt so numb. I went to bath and scrubbed myself so hard, wishing that it was dream and that it never happened. I felt helpless.I was alive on the outside and dead inside. When my mother came home from work that evening, I was so afraid to tell her. She would blame me again. I wasn’t talking to anyone, but tears were falling out on their own accord. I couldn’t control it. In front of everyone he had the nerve to ask me what was wrong. I replied that I was feeling sick.
Eventually, I did tell my mother. She remained silent, but I do remember her being in shock. We waited for him for him to leave, so that my mother and I could talk properly. She wanted to call the cops. I refused. I was too afraid of what he would do. After about one or two weeks he touched me again. This time I did tell my mother. She called the cops. two female cops came. They questioned me, and when they were done I heard them talking in hushed tones that it was “rape”. I did hear about rape before, but I never really understood what it meant. All I knew was that it was something serious. They arrested him. That day is so clearly embedded in my mind, it feels as though it just happened yesterday. I will never forget his bloodshot eyes, or the look in his face. He was angry and disappointed and embarrassed. And I knew that he wasn’t done. He would get revenge when he came out. When we went home that day, I couldn’t even sleep. His family had heard that he was in jail, and why. They came to our house and swore us, especially me. They asked me why I was making things up, and why did I lie. That demanded that I retract my statement and have him released. My mother tried to make them understand what he did, but they just continued yelling, so she gave up. They bailed him out after about a week and he came back home. He was calm for while, but I knew he’d never change. This was just the calm before the storm.
I woke up to screaming one night. I watched him beating my mother, asking her how she could have listened to me and believe that he was the liar. She apologised, repeatedly, saying that she would never do it again.
I was supposed to go to court and fight the case, but I didn’t. He told me he’s going to win the case, that I shouldn’t even bother because he has the best lawyer. My mother told me the same thing, that my lawyer didn’t stand a chance against his. She said that I should think about my siblings, and what this would do to them and stop being selfish. So I called it off. I refused to testify against him. I had no support. How could I fight with no one on my side? He never touched me again.
I was called so many different nasty name. Liar, slut, rubbish, scum…. I was given constant lectures about how accusation is haraam, and how I was going to get punished. I even remember my mother telling one of my teachers that she didn’t believe me, and that I made it all up. Her husband would never touch me. I’m very forward, so maybe I did something with a boy from school. That tore me apart inside. I hated myself and I hated my body. I hated everything and everyone. I couldn’t laugh any more, or even smile. My own family didn’t stand by me. My siblings wanted to know why I didn’t defend myself. No one took the time to sit down with me and ask me what happened. They just said that they didn’t want to get involved and they didn’t want to know anything. If I cried they would get angry. When my step-father came back home, everyone was acting all happy, eating together, while I sat alone and ate. They made me feel like everything was my fault, and I was a piece of trash. I went into a state of denial. I began to convince myself that it didn’t even happen. I believed that it never happened.
I have seen so many counsellors, that after a while I even knew what they were going to say to me. I hated living in the same house with that man, looking at his face everyday, and acting like nothing happened. As i grew older, I realised that my mother wanted him more than she wanted me, her own daughter, he own flesh and blood. Whenever he left, she’d always call him back home. A lot of people told me that I shouldn’t hate my mother because when I get married one day and have kids of my own, I would understand. I am married now, and Alhamdulillah, Allah has blessed us with a beautiful baby. I am a mother now and I don’t understand! I would never want my child to go through what I went through. NEVER! I’m not going to lie, and say that I’m over it now, because I’m not. That day haunts me over and over. Yes, I forgave him and accepted what had happened, because I know for sure that Allah is Just, and if not in this world then definitely in the hereafter. My step-father will be dealt with. Allah was with me. He was always with me, even when no one else was. I still do see my family, but we don’t ever mention what happened, not even a whisper. It is as if it never occurred.
When I got married I understood most of the things he would do to me, back then I was too small and naive. I still have nightmares. Sometimes I think about the past and fall apart inside. But I want to be stronger. I now have a loving husband, and a gorgeous child. I have a reason to get up in the morning.
I decided to tell my story, not because I need or want sympathy, but because I want to tell all women out there who went through any kind of abuse, and those who are still going through it:
YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
I know you feel like you’re the only person in the world suffering so badly, but are NOT! There are people out there who do care. And Allah is always, always there. Stay strong!!! You are loved and you are special.
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