Written by my beautiful, smart sister. Go and visit her blog —-> https://wp.me/paPKpU-i
"Healing doesn’t mean the damage stops existing, it means the damage no longer control our lives"
It all started with my mother. With her Iranian background, she was forced into marriage as a 13 year old, to a 10 year older man. Terrified of not knowing what’s going on, she even cried when they kissed cause she thought she might get pregnant. Having to act like a grown up woman at that age took hard on her life. She had me one month after her seventeenth birthday. She always tells me I was her doll – she played with me, talked to me, sang songs with me. By the age of 2 I spoke almost fully Farsi and sang all the kid songs you could think of. When I was 3, I stayed one day at my uncle’s house, because my mother was at the hospital. Her breast were "too big and appealing to other men", so she was forced by my father to have them reduced.
I grew up never knowing my father. Yes, we did have some fun moments in a way – I remember he used to get on his four and put me and my sister on his back and walk around and we loved it. He was a strict Muslim but I don’t really remember too much of it. What I do remember is all the shouting. As I grew up I noticed it more and more. As I grew up I found myself having more fear for him. When I was 7, my whole family converted to Christianity. Not that I knew much about religion at that age, but I had to follow along. My younger sister was 2. Again, it started with my mother. She was on her way to town – to get in front of a train to commit suicide. But somehow, instead of going towards the rails, something dragged her in to a gold shop. At first she was confused, but then looked around a bit and decided to walk out. As she opens the door, the man of the shop approached her. "Are you alright?", he asks her and she replies with "yes I just had a little look around". The man looks at her and says "God has told me you want to commit suicide and you can’t do that with the two daughters that you have" and of course, she bursts into tears. How could he know this? This was a big moment in her life and she went home and straight away told my father and his family that was visiting us from Iran. My father went to this shop to thank the owner and he introduced my family to his church. This is were it all began.
I started a Christian school at the age of 8. My father went from a strictly religious Muslim, to a strictly religious Christian. We had to get up nice and early for church every Sunday, otherwise he would beat us up, or just scream from his lungs to scare the shit out of us. I had friends, but as far as I know, I never really fit in. I never really understood the meaning of praying and singing with raised arms to some God, bur somehow, I followed along. Maybe one day I will understand. I grew into puberty very quickly. I had my first bra when I was only 8 and not long after, my period came along and my breast grew bigger. By the age of 13, people would think I’m no younger than 17. I started standing up for myself. The things my father would get angry about were ridiculous. He would pick me up from school and get furious if I was outside waiting with my two or three friends – only because they were all boys. Of course once I got in the car he would question it and of course, I would give an answer back with a frustration in my voice and explain that I can have whomever friend I want, even if it happens to be a boy. We were to have this discussion many more times and every time, his response was either a laugh in my face, or a slap at the back of my head. I started being more careful to be seen when I hang out with my friends, and he started to stalk and follow me more to see what I’m doing. I was scared of him most of the time. Sometimes I was waiting for him inside of school, sitting on benches with my friends, let’s say most of them were girls. He would always walk in with a big smile on his face, joking with everybody. My friends used to say "your dad is so awesome" and there I was sitting, putting on a fake smile and nodding.
At that church, there used to be a big youth conference, where people would come from all over the world to attend. I think I was 13 or 14 when I attended my first one but of course I found it extremely boring to sit at a ceremony and listen to someone talk for 2,3 hours. The concerts were cool though. I tried to kill the time by walking around in the church, with my friend. We would go in to shops, sit at the cafe or just hang out outside. At one of the ceremonies I was sitting inside, but had to go to the bathroom. My father would volunteer as a "security guard" by the doors, so when he saw me he asked me where I’m going and when I told him, he said to me to get back quickly. I go to the bathroom and as I get out, my friends are sitting at a cafe spot and waved me over. I went there and we had some good laughs and time flew by. The ceremony ended and my father was looking for me. I don’t know why, but I guess out of fear, as I see him get in to that salon we were in, I quickly hid under the table but he saw me and came up to us. He was very calm and again, as we get ready to leave, my friends told me how cool and funny he is. We get in the car and start arguing. Of course I argue back, because why do I have to be forced to do something I don’t want to do? He gets furious that I argue back, so all he does is laugh instead. We get home and I get out of the car and slam the door, acting like a frustrated teenager. When we get in to the house I do the same thing with my bedroom door. All I wanted was just to be left alone. Instead he bursts in. I honestly don’t remember much of this night, all I remember is that somehow I ended up on the floor and he was kicking me with pretty much all the power he’s got. What happened after is completely blank. He would be that kind of person that does something horrible, but the day after, everything would be back to normal as if nothing had happened.
One day, I finally told my mother to leave him, or I will run away from home. He never laid a hand on her, but he was verbally abusive. He would constantly push her down, call her mean things, tell her she looks like a balloon, because she happened to be overweight. She was scared of leaving him. After 18 years of marriage and after realising my seriousness about this matter, she decided to file for a divorce. Me, my mother and my then 10 year old sister moved to a different city, a few hours away. When we moved, I stopped answering his messages and calls, but of course, he would call with private number to see if I answered. Of course he would randomly show up at our school to check up on us. After a while, I started slowly talking to him again, thinking maybe things have changed. Now I wasn’t so scared anymore, because we lived in a different city and only went to visit him, so he will have no power to do any more harm. He didn’t and we had some good times with fun and laughter. What he started to do instead, was abandoning us. Prioritise church, his friends and the gym. He would leave us alone for a whole day and lie about where he was. He got chance after chance, to set his priorities straight and spend time with his two daughters when they took a 6 hour bus journey to go see him. He never changed. And I gave up.
Can people change? I’m not so sure. People are who they are and it’s up to them what they want to do with themselves. I know a lot of people, including my father, that refuse to see their faults. That refuse to see what’s right in front of them. They can’t apologise for their behaviour so they blame someone else.
I don’t have any fear for him anymore. What I do have is anxiety. What I do have is traumas and fears when someone raise their voice, or I see a fight. What I do have is post traumatic stress, that I am still trying to figure out how to beat. What I do have is shivers going through all my body, when my father, still up to this day, writes to me how much he loves me – with a one or two year gap in between his messages.
I often feel misunderstood. My anxiety takes over sometimes and it’s hard. It’s real fucking hard when you have no understanding from a partner, a friend, or even a coworker. I am one of the most social people you’d ever meet, but it’s really fucking hard when you try to express yourself when in a dip to someone that does not understand. I’m a "Highly Sensitive Person" and I am very connected to all of my emotions. The constant abandonment took its toll on me. I fear relationships I try to build. But I also fear when someone shouts at me and it only makes me shaky and I just want to escape from everything.
I know my healing journey has begun, but I also know I have a long way to go. With the right support from the right people, you can slowly build yourself up. With your own experiences in life, you can choose to grow and that’s exactly what I am doing. I have had enough people tell me how "easy it actually is", how to "just don’t give a fuck", how "there are other people that have had way worse lives than me". No it’s not that easy. No I can’t just don’t give a fuck. Yes I know there are people that have experienced far worse things, but this is me and this is my battle. This is how these experiences affected me. Do you think I want this? Do you think I want to have these struggles that come and go?
I started this blog for me. I started this blog in hope of being able to release my feelings. I’m a deep thinker and I want to have somewhere to write down my daily thoughts. So here I am, sharing every little piece of me…
No matter how many decades its gonna take us to walk as free tribes, and no matter how much we wish to be ourselves and live our lives. This is the truth about what this text describes - that no matter when, how or where we end up at, we should be ourselfs always in all ways, love, be loved, and be love.
Do you also know that butterflies can taste with their feet? One love.