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I Believed (Life – Share Your Story)

I was ancient, old; losing my window of opportunity and the pressure was that of an obese American’s blood. I was 25; being shunned by my parents for moving out without a husband. I was aiming for the stars with my career ambitions. My parents were aiming for the basket with their “burden.” I had a casual conversation with an old acquaintance or a part-time friend. I mentioned it to two very close friends of mine, who shook me verbally and put the thought in my head.

“Hello, you have an opportunity right in front of you. Clearly he likes you. He is a doctor and decent looking. What’s wrong with him?”
Those were the words which opened my mind and heart and I put all faith in Allah. I foresaw this as a moment of, “it was meant to be”. Somewhere in the years past, we had made a verbal commitment. If we’re 25 and not married, we shall marry one another. I felt he came into my world once again to answer my parent’s prayers and cease their struggle to find me a suitable husband.

I put aside any physical perceptions (or the lack of feeling like I was truly in love) with the ambition that love will develop. My naïve thoughts of this notion, as if I was referring to an embryo in my womb, took me to a place far darker than I ever expected. He was nice and his family showed signs of love. After a huge 5 event, 2 year process; I moved to New Jersey from California. I picked up my heart and mind, leaving behind my soul.

The first incident was on our “honeymoon”. He lashed out at me screaming. When I showed no reaction, he began to throw things at me and later pinned me down to the bed. You might think he must have had a reason. but believe me When I say, ‘HE DIDN’T’. This process was short and traumatizing. For the following 3 weeks, it was smooth. I never spoke of this event or ever brought it back up. The next incident took place in his parent basement, where we lived. This time it was a simple argument, between a husband and wife. Little did I know how impact-full a mother in laws involvement could be. As we were discussing, she came down to “mediate”. This women has another son, however this one, the doctor, was her golden child, self-admitted king – in her eyes. From that moment to the next two and half months it was a constant war between her and her opinion of me and how she felt I treated her son.
I wasn’t up to par with her standards: I cooked, I cleaned, I worked and I paid for almost everything I bought myself. I went to all the silly dinners where I had to put on the performance of a lifetime as I was tortured with the hours of verbal communication that was a depiction of Einstein’s definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.

It seemed to be their motto on communication. Just review it over and over and over again. They were lost in their own minds, trying to find a way out. My silence wasn’t tolerated. I was forced to speak, forced to answer. Of course, after hours of lies and repetition, I too lost my temper at times. During month 3 (also happened to be during Ramadan) we had multiple fights that led to him to either suffocating me with a pillow, throwing things at me, shoving me to the ground, pinning me to the bed, chasing after me as I tried to escape his verbal abuse – coupled with his mothers, as she would refuse to speak to me even if he and I made up.

I realized there is a simple answer to my problem. Isthikharah! I prayed five nights in a row and my dreams, and actual incidents post prayer, were so vivid and clear. Allah couldn’t have made it any easier. The straw that broke my back was not the lies, from both his mother, brother or himself; not the constant mental torture or accusations of being bipolar from his entire household; nor the fact that his brother in law called me a bitch because water fell on his laptop that he left in my room, as his brother attacked me and I fought back with a glass of water. Not even the endless browsing of paid memberships sites such as “Adult Friend Finder” and others. It wasn’t even the shocking moment when I stepped on the scale to check my depleting weight from 110 to 95lbs. It was the atrocious classless act of spitting on me multiple times! It was heinous; I was well above and beyond that. The ego had flown too far!
I knew my plans to escape wouldn’t come easy, as they once before had demanded everything I owned as I attempted packing to go home when we fought.

It was clear I would have to leave with a strategic plan. I had a job working for $11.00 an hour. I had depleted my savings while I was looking for a job. I found a sublet with another Muslim girl. She happened to work in the building right next to mine. In all of Manhattan, it was a gesture from Allah to feel comfortable, to move forward. She was even of the same race. The situation was great. I moved out and met another man. Months later we are now married and Alhamdulillah happy. For that short time I almost lost myself. I was being convinced I was crazy or that I was wrong. They were turning me into a monster. I had a great support system, my family fully included, that gave me the strength to pull out before it was too late.

If you feel Allah is truly testing you it shouldn’t last forever. He is waiting for you to reach out to him. Isthikharah is the most powerful tool in decision making. It takes strength to pray isthikharah. Was I afraid Allah would send me signs of positivity, to ask me to stay, and make it work? Absolutely. You simply have to believe in Allah.

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One Comment

  • Reka Ferencz

    It started off as any typical abusive relationship: prince charming – handsome, tall and funny, bombarded me with affection, gifts and attention until by the time the red flags started to pop up, it was too late. I was in love and totally ignored them. Finding out his relationship with his ex-wife got to the point where they were taking pictures of their bruises, wasn’t enough for me to make me run.
    I am a 30-year-old woman who spent the last 3 years of her life in an on-off abusive relationship. I won’t list all the things that happened but instead how I managed to get out and not go back for the 100th time.
    Unless it is physical abuse, it is hard to recognise that you are being abused. You are in love, he makes you think it’s all your fault, your self-esteem is virtually gone and you try to make him happy no matter what but somehow nothing works. People don’t see the bruises on your soul, on your heart. They just think you are snappy, rude and distant for no other reason than character fault. By this point you barely have any friends left thanks to all the emotional blackmail and jealousy.
    After a holiday that went terribly wrong and just confirmed my suspicion that my physical safety might be in danger next to him, I turned to Dr. Google. Started to fill out questionnaires, read all the warning signs, blogs – I was shocked. As I found out, I was abused and I didn’t know it.
    Realizing that it is happening to you is half the success. I started to educate myself on this matter. YouTube, Ted talks, movies, books, statistics, whatever I found. I made it my second full time job.
    I ended up having a separate folder in my phone for screenshots, I had Sally Challen’s picture as my screensaver so when I looked at my phone I could imagine her saying “get out before it’s too late”.
    I was lucky enough to have two friends who didn’t get offended by my disappearance but understood what I went through and listened and listened and had the patience to deal with my meltdowns over again. I owe them my sanity.
    Every time a nice memory popped up in my head, I said to myself “it was just love bomb. It was to make you stick around for the abuse.”
    On a monthly basis I started to write a diary of how I mentally, physically feel. As the months were passing, reading back now I can see how I got better and better. How I went from emotionally numb and barely able to eat to smiling for no reason. The lack of constant explosions, the lack of feeling like being on a war line in a hyper alert state made me bounce off the walls from happiness. Suddenly I had all this energy. My phone pinged and my heart didn’t sink, waiting for him to sarcastically say “oh, someone is popular today”.
    Another important thing was to let go the anger and hate. I try not to look at it as he robbed me off of 3 years. He is not evil just ill. The chances of him having a healthy, happy relationship are slimmer than I will ever get. I try to see it as a valuable lesson. As a person, after all this – I feel like I’m much stronger and wiser than I was when I met him. Standing up for myself gave me a self-respect that I lacked. I am also glad to know about all this for the sake of people in my life, I feel like now I can read the signs I didn’t know existed before and my knowledge of it might come handy to someone else in the future.
    My next step is – finding out why I go for the “bad guys”. We all have a type. My type has always been the loudmouthed, opinionated, risk taker who people usually call “the toxic alpha”. Quoting Mary J Blige, “Bad boys aint no good, Good boys aint no fun” – I’m not saying is true but certainly what applies in my case. The bad guys been fun. That impulsive high energy channelled in the right direction is exciting and makes your adrenaline hit the sky. Am I drawn to danger? Do I have some issues I don’t know about and have to work on to not end up in the same situation? Is it possible to find a guy who makes my eyes roll back from pleasure instead of boredom and he won’t scream my head off one hour later for missing the right floor with the elevator? I know really nice people that say they always end up in the friend zone and I am guilty of doing that. They always end up fixing my laptop and being a shoulder to cry on. I know they are the good ones but I just don’t have the same attraction for them – this is going to be the homework of my life.
    If you are stuck in an abusive or toxic relationship – please do believe me, the grass really is greener on this side. I know you are scared to leave but right now is this the life you really want to live? I know it’s a nightmare and the honeymoon phase make it so addictive but once you got out, you will laugh and cry in the same time. You will find yourself in place you forgot existed. It’s not your fault. Don’t let anyone steal your sunshine.
    R x

    October 1, 2019 - at 7:59 pm

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