August 13, 2009

PART III: Soy Musulmana Conversion/Reversion


There was these two Turkish sisters (and I mean blood sisters) one started wearing the hijab when she turned 13 and the other didn't. The one that was closest to me in age (16 years old) was a nasty b!tch to me and others. She was really smart (I mean she was a genius mashaAllah), talented actress and was drop dead gorgeous with selective manners. Her youngest sister was not so lucky in the looks department but was SOOOO sweet I honestly forgot about it until I would see them together and see the huge difference between the two.

So I don't know why I sat next to the younger sister one day and out of nowhere I asked her if she was Muslim. She said yes so I asked her for a copy of the Qur'an. I am a huge history and biology fan which is what I double majored in uni. So she brings what I think is the Qur'an but it basically was 15-30 pg booklet about the Qur'an (but I didn't know any better at the time). She tells me I can't touch it until I wash myself, please don't write in it, don't put it on the floor and finally please give it back to me when you are done. After that whole lists of DON'Ts I honestly lost all interest and I took it just because I don't know how to say no and I had been the one to ask for it.

So I politely wait 3 days and I give it back to her not wanting to discuss it as I hadn't read it. Life moves on and I am talking to my history professor telling him I would love to work for the National Security Agency as a codebreaker and I want to learn Arabic as I thought it was a fascinating language. He tells me that there is a mosque 10 blocks from the school and he is sure they would be more than glad to teach me if I am interested. I pass on the idea only because at the time I was living/working with my mom and I had no free time but I made a mental note to go as soon as I could.


I am 17 years old about 3-4 month until I turn 18. Around this time my mom and I had a showdown (that's for another post), department of youth and family services makes their last appearance in my life and they FINALLY decide that (after 10 years documenting abuse) that there is enough abuse to remove me and my bros from the household. I lie. My mom was nasty to me but she was great with my brothers. Last thing I wanted was for my beloved bros to be put in foster care and potentially be abused so I lied about how my nose was broken or how I was so bruised plus this was in May and by September I would be in college, right? wrong.

My mom decides not to give me my acceptance letters from the universities and colleges I applied to and in the mean time I feel like a colossal failure. She decided that I don't need to go to college instead what I need to do is moved to Florida with her and help her get her life together again and start her factory there. So after loosing out on a couple of FULL scholarships to study whatever the hell I pleased I decide to make the best of it. There is always next year. *sigh* despite what people say about teenagers I think they all want to be accepted and generally do want to please their parents.

We move to Florida it's her birthday (my birthday is 6 days later in July) her 'new' friends are in our apartment for the small get together. It's my turn to bring her gift so I bring it to her she opens it and flings it to the side and starts on a tirade to her new friends about how horrible I am sprinkled with what a slut I am. That hurt like a mother... because I was broke and had spent money on that gift and it was so humiliating to have been rejected so publicly and with people I just met.

I still suck it up and decide that I needed to get a job outside her factory. She finds out and goes ballistic telling me I am not allowed to eat her food, or use her water, matter fact don't even use her toilet (insert profanity here). I still brush it aside until she says this with a grin of satisfaction, "When I spoke to your social worker, I told him that if you accuse (her current husband) of rape or molestation, that you are lying!" She seemed so happy that she had "beaten" me to the punch.

I LOST IT. She knew what had happened to me as a child by people SHE had chosen and by her saying that statement she basically went for my soul there. I would never accuse an innocent person of something so horrible.

I had lost out on scholarships because of her and I decided that I would not take it any longer. I tell her that when I turn 18 I will move out (that is 5 days away). She laughs and taunts me. So I go on a hunger strike for 5 days and I had already called greyhound (couldn't afford plane tickets) and discovered that I couldn't leave on the 19th as it fell on a Saturday and it was just as expensive as a plane ticket). SO I had to wait until Monday and by then I had tracked down the nearest fast food chain and used their toilets and bought me some cheap food that I rationed. Stupid Florida. Nothing is in walking distance.

So Monday arrives and I call my stepfather (my bros dad) who raised me from age 8-14 and I called dad, to let him know I am on my way and if he could rent me a room. His answer, "Let me think about it." Sure you do that. Disappointed I start making out for the door and my mom says that once I step outside her house I am not welcomed back anymore. I shrug and get my butt a taxi and I am on my way to the a greyhound station. Almost free.

On the way back to the tristate area I get pink eye (on both eyes), discover it is contagious after reading my anatomy book and I had already rubbed my other eye. Get in to an accident because morons were playing "too fast and too furious" with the bus driver and cut so sharply we hit them. My trip was supposed to take less than 24hrs but instead it takes 33+ in the summer heat!!

I arrive in the tristate area, I am finally truly free. I am also freaking homeless with biology books and a huge overstuffed black Labrador toy and some clothes. My friend from high school decides to take pity on me and I am allowed to stay with them. I call my mom to let her know I arrived (*sigh* the woman has more control over me than I would like to admit) and I hang up. I take the first university that would take me and off I go. I say "take me" because I am still considered a dependent unless I am
  1. 25 years old
  2. have a kid
  3. get married
  4. join the military as active duty
  5. divorce my mom in court
My life as a human being begins. sorta.

(to be continued...)


muslimah said...

i fed your fishes.

And yes moms have absolute control.
And as kids we defend them saying, that their lives wasnt so easy, so we cant blame them for F up our lives.
And we lie, with an excuse to protect others, when really we dont want anyone to know how bad our lives are.
And doctor phil (sorry but i love him) said that children dont tell others that they have been sexually abused untill they feel safe.
Like for example if you would have told social services about your abuse, how could you even be sure that they would help you? So instead if risking humiliation and the risk of having OFFENDED ones mother, we lie, you lied. And was at least a little bit safe.
Kids are clever you know!

love you sis. xx

Zee said...

Salam alaikom I have been reading your blog for some time and commenting for the first time..
This was extremely touching..I have no words to describe what I felt when I read it..
"It's my turn to bring her gift so I bring it to her she opens it and flings it to the side and starts on a tirade to her new friends about how horrible I am sprinkled with what a slut I am."...this one just formed a knot in my throat.
Congratulations for being a fighter and coming to have been a winner all along:)
I once read a book titled "The Long Road Home" by Danielle Steel about a girl being abused by her mother..I never believed that such mothers actually exist in real life too..May Allah help them all.
Sorry for the long commentario.

.::Tuttie::. said...

Wa salaam,

@ Firdous JazakaAllah khayr for feeding my fish :). yeah kids lie because they still love their parents even when the parents are abusing them. *sigh*

@ Zee Some days I am able to read about abuse or books about children being abused but other days it breaks me down. There is a book called a A Child Called "It": One Child's Courage to Survive by David Pelzer. He had it rough. His mother was a little more extreme than mine. jazakAllah khayr for the kindness guys.