Annesa Tabassum

Tue Jun 15 2021 04:00:00 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)


I remember thinking ‘this is so embarrassing.’ I fought my parents to get married, ignored all my friends who felt I was moving too fast, placed my faith in following the right path in Islam, and got married to avoid a haram relationship. I was 22, 100% certain I was in love, about to start my dream life, and was just severely beaten by my husband. What would people say? Would they laugh at me? Feel sorry for me? Anything but the latter. Please.

As I examined my face in the mirror, I panicked. I tried to figure out the fastest way to erase this and move on. After all, I was married and there was no going back. I had to figure out a way to move forward. The panic later turned to rage as I looked at my neck and hands. ‘I am too young for this shit,’ I screamed in my head. As if there was an age limit. ‘This is not how my life is supposed to go,’ I whispered to myself. I sat on that bathroom floor deciding if I should wear makeup before I went downstairs in front of my in-laws.

I scanned my memories trying to see where I went wrong. I thought about all the friends I had slowly cut off because I was persuaded that they weren’t truly my friends. I thought about the time I looked the other way when I was being yelled at because men are masculine, they get angry, and they are going to yell. It was normal right? I also thought about all the times he nearly hit me before we were married but always stopped himself, so I had no real reason to believe he could hurt me. I hoped this was a one-time thing but the reflection screaming back at me in the mirror was telling me this wouldn’t be the last time.

I was many things that morning. Most of all I was scared. You could call it courageous or brave, but I was just scared. So I left the bathroom without makeup on. Hoping that someone would help me.

Trauma, Women's Rights, Sexual Assault Awareness