October 28, 2009

The Aftermath

I converted on April 11th 2006 as you probably already know from reading my conversion posts. I didn't plan on taking my shahada that day but I did and I never looked back. I took my shahada @ Isha time and when I came home Isha was the first prayer I prayed. I prayed fajr on time the next day as well. Around asr time the next day I return to NJIT's Islam Awareness Week and a sister presents me with a hijab (that I literally wore almost that WHOLE summer until I purchased/ was gifted more hijabs).

Life as a convert was pretty sweet, my mother didn't have any problems, my friends gave me "whatever" attitude and weren't challenging me, my work teaching ESL was fulfilling, life overall was good. I started going to the masjid (discovered a masjid where the majority are hispanics *swoons*) and I started hearing convert horror stories. One sister was underage when she took her shahada and her parents freaked out and had her institutionalize for being 'crazy'. Another sister went homeless after her parents kicked her out and suffered a lot of humiliation. Another sister's parents disowned her and hadn't spoken to her in at least one year (at that time). Just absolutely crazy stuff happening to them.

As the sisters would tell their stories other sisters would say something like "You will be rewarded for your trials just ask Allah swt, you conversion is real because of all the trials you are facing." So I started wondering if my conversion counted seeing as I had virtually no hardships. During this time I would make dua for something and bam it would happen. Sometimes I never even had to voice it.

As soon as I started having such thoughts my life turned upside down. I lost my job and I was already living paycheck to paycheck and I couldn't find a job. My best friends, people that I had grown up with and when I left my mother they were my family. I actually loved them more than my own mother. Yeah, them, they abandoned me. Wouldn't pick up my calls, stopped responding to emails and they where never home when someone did pick up the phone. I got the message and stopped trying. I had NO friends even my acquaintances LEFT me. Shoot, even the Muslims I met on Islam awareness week bounced and left me on my own. My roomates started getting on my nerves with them bringing guys over our house and I could HEAR them doing stuff *gross*. I bumped in to more naked guys as I was making my way to the bathroom than I care to remember *eww* (there were 4 single 20 something year olds women so do the math). In my defense it was dark and I was sleepy. My roommates would mock my hijab and call me names *sigh*. I became 3 months LATE in rent payments.

I started to have a breakdown. I was depressed and my only consolation were my prayers. I would cry in prayer asking Allah swt to please grant me a family. I wanted halal companionship and an easy halal lifestyle. After making such supplications for a while I started meeting people. I found out my old best friends had gone to dominican republic for vacation like we had planned but totally cut me out. It hurt bad. This is when I started to ask the 2 sisters I had just met about getting married. You can read my marriage interviews and story here.

what I did notice that changed drastically once I became Muslim were my interactions with women. I LOVED IT! There was very little backbiting and virtually NO drama. I think it has something to do with the no dating thing. Seeing that there are no males to compete over. It was great. One of the problems I had before Islam was that I related better with men and had more male friends than women. That changed for the better. I love my sisterhood in Islam. I love you guys, I mean girls.

***If you are squeamish about child abuse stop reading right here***
I also became reacquainted with my femininity and sexuality that I had suppressed for years. First I became reacquainted with my girly side (even though my hijab style was usually grunge (read: lazy hijabi). Once I got married it was on to my sexuality. I suppressed that because of the child abused I endured. Being raped as a child really did a number on my pysche and it made it very difficulty for me to be emotionally and physically intimate. SubhanaAllah being married to such a kind and handsome man helped me heal. My violent flashbacks stopped occurring. I mean it was as if the moment I got married the switch was turned off. It was that drastic.

When I became Muslim I felt renewed as a person and when I got married I felt that the last piece was put in place. I still have years of repressed memories to deal with but it is soo much easier now when I have a supportive person next to me. If you read how I married my hubs you would know how unbelievably attracted I was to him (still am). I think my attraction to him made it easy for me to relate to him.
A month after I became Muslim I went to Honduras to teach. I'll post about that tomorrow inshaAllah.


LK said...

What happened to all those girls with their families and friends is exactly what I am afraid of. I'm glad you had a happy ending though.

.::Tuttie::. said...

they are fine now. their parents/family members were just trying to force them to be the img they always envisioned them to be. It's a test. a hard one. it was a temper tantrum thrown by adults who didn't know how to deal with someone who they loved but had 'rejected' their way of life and therefore rejected them.

but in the end we will answer to God and NO ONE will be with you in your grave. Your only company will be your good deeds, your prayers, your charity, your fasting. so choose.

Stacy aka Fahiima said...

You have truly been blessed! I hope you never lose the awe you feel for the family that Allah has now given you.

Sarah said...

mashAllah tuttie glad your affairs have turned around for you. May Allah protect you and your family inshaAllah :)

AlabasterMuslim said...

I'm so happy that after all the pain and suffering you have endured, things have turned around for the better alhamdullilah and inshallah they will continue to get better/stay better! Ameen!
Don't forget to write about your trip to honduras to teach!!!

NtN said...

MashaAllah Tuttie, you got thrown a hardball and you came through it beautifully :) May Allah SWT continue to bless you and your family!

(LK, while some reject, it's usually because they feel disrespected in some way. My mom tried to disown me for a few months, but we've worked things out since then and are closer than ever, alhamdulillah.)