"We waited seven years to be officially engaged. We lived in different cities. His family was against it from the beginning. They told me I'm too old for him; that I should find someone and get away. I tried to leave him many times. I thought I'd rather leave him than live in this battlefield. He wouldn't have it. He said 'I will come and propose; a second or third time if I must. With or without my family'. We got married on paper without his family knowing but my parents insisted he tell them. His dad pushed him to divorce me. Told him 'If you really want her, divorce her, and we will go with you to do it right'. In our culture, doing things the right way is extremely important. I was in a mall when he called and said to meet him at the court the next day to divorce. I told my parents I asked him to divorce me. My dad said it was the best choice I'd made. I was broken. I had to hold it inside. That night, I went to a graduation party; I sang, I read some of my poetry. I went to the bathroom and cried.
After one month of being divorced, his family all came. Everything was agreed upon with my family before they got here. I was worried but thought it might actually happen. Then, my mom spoke to them like trash on purpose. I was so angry. She didn't value my opinion or feelings. She just wanted to prove her point. My mom gave his family the ammunition they were looking for. And that was the end.
I went to Malaysia. It was dramatic. I was depressed. I didn't want to talk about it. I went to the mountains. I wanted to shout. LOUD. But, couples kept asking me to take their photos. They were trying to freeze this moment and I was trying to freeze my pain. I couldn't help it, I called him. He'd left for Jordan, like I'd left for Malaysia. It wasn't us talking. It was the pain. Blame. The love was silent and the anger was louder. He threatened to get married; said they'd found two women for him already. I told him to stop calling, even though, I felt if I stayed with him that he wouldn't follow his family. Maybe he was just angry, you know? But, he was serious. And I was finally done.
I realized I needed to think about me, my skills, my career. I needed to get back to the me I loved. He'd changed me into someone I hated. That's when I decided to go to Turkey. I went to get my CELTA . It was mandatory to renew my contract with the University to continue my career. I worked two jobs to save the money. Everything I was doing was to heal.
So, I went to Istanbul. I needed that space, escape and something to wipe the slate clean. I was so busy there; it made me feel relieved. I no longer needed words from him to feel less weak. I knew those thoughts of 'I'm broken and weak' weren't true. I went to Istanbul by myself and my English language skills as a non-native Arab woman were phenomenal. I felt so successful and secure to keep the job I loved. I didn't think about him anymore. I felt like I was able to overcome my pain and trauma with my time in Istanbul. It was a new beginning. It was when I knew I'd be ok without him.
I'm still healing. I don't want anyone else. I don't know when - but I have a new job in a new city; a new life. I'm so excited. Since I moved, I've had a strong feeling that something good will happen. It's for a reason. I'll find it. I'm writing a novel actually. It's a reflection of my life and this story. It's helping me heal. Right now, I'm afraid it will bring him back so I'm not writing so much. But, when I'm ok, I'll finish it."
The woman in this story has asked to remain anonymous to protect her identity and family.
Edited by Erika Linae |Founder & Editor|