July 7, 2010

NO READING ALLOWED *warning child abuse*

Can you believe I wasn't allowed to read as a child?  Yup.  My mom took away radio, tv, toys ANYTHING that could bring me entertainment or joy because she could.  I still don't understand the mentality or what she thought she could achieve by doing so but she did and took great pleasure in it.  Notice how I didn't mention phone, internet or computer.  That's because we didn't have any (except the phone) and if we did am sure I wouldn't have been allowed to touch them either.  I NEVER received calls at home because if I ever gave out my number to girlfriends I would get a beating and possible end up with a broken bone or two.    Matter of fact when I was just entering the school system in the USA her advice would be "don't make any friends and don't talk to anyone."

Anyway my life was so miserable with having to work for her 8 hrs a day, taking care of my bros, laundry, cooking and so on I discovered books.  They were absolutely MAGICAL.  They gave me the opportunity to escape my world and enter a better world where children were loved and cuddled.  I became a speed reader.  I think my most memorable achievement was reading Gone with the Wind in less than 2 days, that was about 1000+ pages while still getting my 8 hrs at the factory, school and everything else.   My mom discovered I was using books to stay sane so she started throwing them out, whether they belonged to me or the library.

Without the books I became more depressed and it was during this time that I considered suicide. I may have mentioned it before in one of my posts but I used to go to sleep with a knife under my pillow.  The plan was for my bros to go to sleep I would slit my wrist (couldn't hurt more than a broken bone right?) and just bleed out.  But once I would wait for everyone to go to sleep I was fully awake and the next thing I knew it was morning and my outlook was "what now?"  There was no joy.  I used to plead with God that if he loved me he would take my soul and not return it in the morning.  When I used to wake up I felt even more depressed because that was a sign He didn't love me.  

I learned that I could read my books with the moon's light and I became a happier child.  I devoured books but there was a down side.  I started loosing my eyesight to the point I couldn't see pass a certain point and after 5 or so years of failing eye exams child protection services threatened my mom with child neglect charges.  She was ANGRY because she thought I wanted the glasses to look cool.  WHAT KID in the late 90's early 00's thought prescription glasses were cool? But anyway alhamdulillah she was scared enough of jail time for her to buy me the glasses because at the rate my eyesight was deteriorating I would be WAY PASS legally blind right now.

I stopped reading once I left my house and started college.  I had no time between my minimum wage job, school and being hospitalized every 3 months for nearly dying.  I started reading again in 2007 (4 years later) because I was suffering from severe social anxieties so I would be in my house for days without going anywhere and my husband started demanding I go out.  Since I NEED a destination as I hate wandering without a purpose he suggested I check out the library.  I did and I started learning A LOT, how to incorporate a biz, the by laws of it and all kinds of things.  Plus the library near my house was SOOOOOOOO well stocked mashaAllah that I feel you can come out of there with a full degree in whatever topic you may like. SubhanaAllah they had almost every subject out there and if they didn't they had this inter/intra library loan thing were you could request it and by the end of the week it would be waiting for you at your local branch.  Your library card worked all over the state and you could even borrow from the Yale, Uconn and Hartford seminary without a problem (with these though you had to go through your library).  Gosh I wish I still lived there.

Right before my son was born I started reading up on parenting styles and basically anything that may help me break the cycle of abuse.  After my son started being more active I stopped reading all together because I simply had NO time.  I preferred to catch on my ZZZs instead of catching up on my reading.

Since I have been taking my little guy to the library to pick out his books I checked out a couple.  So far I finished reading Girls on the Edge by Leonard Sax (loved it) and The Secret History of the American Empire by John Perkins (LOVED IT).  John Perkins is also the author of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man that I was required to read in college by one of my professors that marched to Guantanamo.  It was an eye opener for me and it was when I started to view my world and my role in it differently.

I just started reading the autobiography of Gabriel García Márquez (there are supposed to be 3 books so am on book 1) one of my old time favorite Latino authors but I found it in English which is aight.  He is just absolutely awesome in whatever language his writings have been translated to.  The final book that I plan on reading is Jenny McCarthy's Mother Warriors because I like learning about experiences others have had. Just because her experiences with Autism aren't inline with the norm they still merit attention.  We don't know much about this spectrum to just categorical dismiss her experiences.  So far Alhamdulillah my son doesn't seem to be showing any signs of any developmental delays but as a parent I feel that we should read about things that are affecting children at alarming rates.  We owe it to our children.

Currently Reading...

Living to Tell the Tale

Mother Warriors: A Nation of Parents Healing Autism Against All Odds


Girls on the Edge: The Four Factors Driving the New Crisis for Girls-Sexual Identity, the Cyberbubble, Obsessions, Environmental Toxins

The Secret History of the American Empire: The Truth About Economic Hit Men, Jackals, and How to Change the World

What are you guys currently reading? or have read in the past 6 months?


.::Tuttie::. said...

btw I should have mentioned that I read both books this week and it felt sooooo good. Welcome back old friend. :)

The Mujahada in Prada said...

aSalaam uAlaikum!
Just came across your blog and love it mash'Allah. It makes me so sad to think a mother could purposefully deprive her child of something as important as reading or as fundamental as happiness. Alhamdulillah you seem determined to break that cycle, and with Allah's help I'm sure you will.
I have a young daughter and other than reading books to her I don't have much time to read for pleasure because I also have my own business and am in school. The last book I read for pleasure was Honeymoon in Tehran by Azadeh Moaveni. Mash'Allah it was an excellent book and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in reading a non-fiction account of the culture and political happenings in Iran.
Insh'Allah you will continue to take time for yourself to read! Keep up the posting and please check out my blog when you have a chance. www.veiledcouture.blogspot.com.

CareMuslimah said...

Salam alaykum sister in Islam.

Alhamdulillah you found joy in books. Everytime you share a bit of your life I end up shocked beyond my mind. May Allah grants us the wisdom to be good parents to our (in my case, future) kids inshallah.

Lately I read "A nation of sheep" by Andre P. Napolitano. I had to write a report on it, it was alright. I'm reading the Sealed Nectar (Biography of the Prophet -swt-), and I'm interest in catching up with my reading, because I haven't read (real books) in the longest time. I usually wander around blogs, articles, e-books, etc.

Gabriel García Márquez is great. One of my favorite books by him (Doce cuentos peregrinos) will always be in my heart.

I hope you're doing alright inshallah. I'll keep you in my duas. Salam