The stupidest thing I ever did was to let a man make me feel substandard. It’s true what they say, you know in your heart he isn’t right in some way and you just put it down to fears or thinking “he will never treat me like that”. They get under your skin and use your weakness against you, the tears that they once could not bear to see falling from your eyes now has no effect on them. Now they tell you that you are moody and dramatic – they should see how they behave when they are ill! It’s simple, they get bored and that is supposed to be your problem which you are meant to fix; Allah only knows how they have the time to get bored when they should be thinking about their Akhira and impending death! But this shows something clearly, their focus is not on their Deen, and is someone like that really right for you anyway? Would you want someone like that teaching your son how to be a man? One sod is enough, do you really want to hate that you gave birth to another?! This is a blog written full of anger at how I see my sisters – good sisters being mistreated by men. I wish I could just say “ukhti it’s going to get better” but unless they believe it this wont have any effect on them.
I wasted years being put down by a man who is so not worth it, getting beaten up, being told it was my fault and that he was a good dad so who would think badly of him? And it’s true, I was blamed; I was the one who was always picking fights and angry and he was great and could do no wrong. I was told wanting my husband’s attention was wrong and I should just squander his money. My mental health suffered enormously and all of a sudden the bubbly girl I once was faded inside me and I was left a shadow of who I was. All of the fights weakened me, the endless crying left dark circles round my tired eyes, my poor kids suffered. I was desperately unhappy and the truth is I only stayed because I was too afraid to make it alone.
How can I tell you sisters that I would do it all over again and bear every moment of pain and abuse if it meant I could have the light and peace in my heart that I have now? For over 15 years sisters I have felt empty inside and depressed like there was something wrong with me; I never believed people when they praised me I put myself down. I made so much dua and I used to cry wondering why it never seemingly got answered and that things actually got worse and worse. I thought I was being punished, whilst my life was going downhill his was going up, it was all in the open, clear for everyone to see my humiliation. I couldn’t see my life getting better, couldn’t see me raising my children alone but slowly sisters, things did change. I got a place and the first second-hand TV I bought meant so much to me because it was something that no-one could take away from me; he couldn’t come and demand it back and he couldn’t throw me out of this house. I finally understood that a house can be a home and I worked hard to make my home beautiful and now mashallah every single person that has seen my home praises it due to its beauty and cleanliness. I started bonding with my children better and had the time to analyse where I was going wrong in my parenting. Before, all my time has been spent fighting with my ex or crying over being hit, my life was upside down and there was no stability. My daughter now had this defensiveness about her when it came to me and this loyalty that touched me so very deeply; she would say to her brother “who looks after you when you are ill and plays with you and makes cakes and buys you toys? It’s mama, not him” I had always wanted someone to defend me so seeing it was this little 6-year-old made me feel so special and loved that I cannot express it in words. I gained my independence gradually and it boosted my confidence, I had no man to dress up for but I could do it for my kids; when my son told me one day that he would marry me because I was so beautiful I was couldn’t stop smiling! I am a strict mum but I am a fun mum too and me and the kids would do lots of silly things together which made us all laugh. I started realising my talents and wrote a lot, I tried to teach the kids as much as I could about our religion and education explaining things clearly so that even their teachers were impressed. One of my most proudest moments was when my daughter wore a hijab for the first time; I know how bad things had been when they were bad and how low I felt so to see myself being able to pull it together long enough to encourage my daughter to do such an amazing thing lifted my spirits and made me so thankful to Allah.
I know I have changed from who I was and changed for the better and I know he has changed for the worst, people now come up to me telling me they had me wrong and how his respect has gone, someone once told me that you can tell if Allah is displeased with someone because their respect lessens. Before I was arrogant and assumed I was in control of my life, I knew what I had to do but didn’t want to do it; if I wasn’t willing to please Allah then how could I expect Him to help me? My life changed a few weeks ago when I decided to help others in the best way I knew how, by forming a support group and being there for sisters. I want them to know they are not alone and that I love them all for the sake of Allah and themselves; I may not understand each situation entirely but I understand pain and loneliness. Wallahi now, I don’t feel that emptiness in my heart even when I have a stressful day, I feel well in myself and what no therapist could do, Allah (swt) did do for me out of His Mercy. If I could do it, then so can every one of you because Allah is closer to you than your jugular, and He loves you more than a mother loves her child. I am confident know, and I have faith in myself and when I screw up I have sabr with myself and remember that Allah loves repentance and us asking Him for His help. I acknowledge my life has not been an easy one and though I could be much better I remind myself that at least I am trying and that my intention counts for a lot in Allah’s eyes. I have respect for elders and those more knowledgable than me but I do not think that they are necessarily better than me and I do not put myself down now and every time I do feel low I remember it is shaytaan just trying to get to me again like my ex did so I supplicate and seek refuge with Allah from him and mashallah it works quite a lot!
I am not that broken girl I was anymore, scared and alone; I have Allah now by my side cushioning all the blows that life tries to deliver and I feel protected, for the one who has none has Allah. And I’ll tell you one other thing, if my ex ever tries to touch me again I’ll make sure I give better than I got and with interest – life has bullied me enough, now I’m fighting back. 😉