Tag Archives: Abusive Relationship

Relationships & Predatory Men – Protect Yourself

“I wonder why we take from our women
Why we rape our women, do we hate our women?
I think it’s time to kill for our women
Time to heal our women, be real to our women
And if we don’t we’ll have a race of babies
That will hate the ladies that make the babies”
-Tupac, Keep Ya Head Up, 1993

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The inspiration for this post came from meeting an unfortunate woman today whose story made my blood boil. It reminded me my own abuse experience and the experiences of so many women I’ve met. It is my duty to create awareness so that others don’t have to experience what we have gone through..

Anyone who comes from vulnerable circumstances (ie: broken, unstable or neglectful families, trauma and/or exploitation) is, unfortunately, at risk for exploitation.  Almost all prostitutes come from difficult circumstances. These circumstances are the prime “push” factor that push us towards sex work. And sadly, these life experiences can also make us targets for predators. For me, I was lucky that I developed ‘thick skin’ from a young age and learnt to be resilient to indecent men. I previously had long term relationships with kind and caring men, and therefore I felt I had a good sense of judgement on others. But unfortunately, I was not immune and ended up in an abusive relationship which broke off early last year. In the aftermath, I asked many questions about how I allowed such a hostile person into my life. What made me overlook all the red flags? I had such strict standards for myself, how did I allow myself to settle for such horrible treatment? I realized that I was vulnerable, and I was exploited for it. I mistakenly thought that I was not vulnerable because I was strong minded and my own boss. The truth is: women are less safe when their only defender is themselves. In fact, anyone is less safe when they are left to fend for themselves, because humans by nature are meant to be social. An animal wandering off alone in the woods is at more risk of being attacked than one who wanders with their flock. The purpose of this post is to create awareness, which can help other women protect themselves and be more vigilant about who they let into their lives.

Disclaimer: I am NOT a feminist. I would never endorse the idea that ALL men are bad. Good men do exist indeed. But women need to be warned about the increasing phenomenon of certain men who’s intent is to harm and exploit women. For instance, there are popular men groups on the internet that discuss tactics of using women for the sole purpose of sex. In an age of internet anonymity and the breakdown of strong communities, it is easier for predators to exploit the vulnerable and not face any backlash.

Who is a Coward?

To exploit or harm another person is severe enough, but to harm or exploit a person in a vulnerable position makes one an utmost COWARD. A vulnerable person is one who has weak or little support from family and the wider society, and/or they are too young or physically weak to defend themselves. Vulnerability doe NOT mean one is weak-minded or submissive. I consider myself very strong and resilient, yet I was vulnerable in the sense that I only had myself to rely on for everything.

Cowardly abusers exploit for the very fact that their victims have no protectors. In other words, this kind of abuser likely won‘t dare to harm a woman who has a strong kin, because a strong kin would mean a Father, Uncles and Brothers would take justice if anyone tried to harm their womenfolk. In my experience, my abuser harmed me because he knew he would face no backlash from any male family members or any community. He wouldn’t do the same to a woman with a strong family backing, because he would be worried about ruining his public image. A great way to determine ones true character is to see how they treat others behind closed doors — a lot of people who appear “nice” in public can behave indecently in private (where they can’t get caught). 

As my blog has highlighted in recent posts, I was in an abusive relationship. Even after an abusive relationship ends, the psychological effects of abuse linger. The following website quotes the experience of the aftermath of abuse:

“Even after leaving the relationship, women described experiencing panic attacks, had flashbacks or nightmares, self-harmed, and suffered from post-traumatic stress syndrome. This could make it difficult to socialise or trust other people.”
-Read more: (http://www.healthtalk.org/peoples-experiences/domestic-violence-abuse/womens-experiences-domestic-violence-and-abuse/impact-domestic-violence-and-abuse-womens-mental-health#ixzz5mxgxhcbU )

After my experience, I came to realize that what happened to me is becoming common. Indeed there are people who simply make mistakes, feel remorse and actively change. But in some cases, including my own, there are people who can destroy or attempt to destroy the well being of others and have absolutely zero guilt or remorse. 

Since my experience, I have crossed paths with other women whom also were exploited and abused by partners. As I came to know their stories, I realized that these women and myself lacked awareness of what healthy love meant. Our crime was having an open heart. I fear for any woman to experience what these women and I experienced, so it is my duty to warn others. I have seen suicide and lives ruined from abuse and exploitation that happens in the name of fraudulent love.

Today, my heart broke again and I was fuming with anger after I met a woman who has recently been separated from an abusive partner. I went to the masjid (an Islamic place of worship) and I reunited with Samia, a woman I hadn’t seen in nearly 6 years. In those 6 years, she had two beautiful children. The last time I saw her, she was optimistic, fresh-faced, hard-working at a great job and freshly converted to Islam. She is now divorced, on welfare, and emotionally destroyed from an abusive, garbage-excuse-of-a-human husband. Her eyes were swollen (likely from endless tears). I recognized those lost, sullen, terrified eyes that reminded me of the heart-broken women I met when I used to work in a brothel. When she told me her story, I realized her ex-husband was very similar to my abusive ex. A narcissistic abuser — used the same tactics of lovebombing, devaluation, psychological manipulation, and discard. And then she told me her story: she grew up in a broken home, an absent Father and emotionally absent family. As result, she grew up with a big heart yearning for love. She was exploited for her vulnerability. Her story is one that I see time and time again —- a vulnerable woman who just wants to be loved and feel secure (and sadly, she attracted a predator who exploited her loving heart).

Maslows-Hierarchy-of-Needs

Why is it that vulnerable women (or vulnerable people, in general) crave for love and belonging? That is because it’s a core basic need of the human condition. According to the renowned psychologist Abraham Maslow, a human must have their basic needs (see the diagram above) met before they can pursue their full-potential. After our physiological needs for food, water and sleep, a human needs to feel they belong to a group and feel loved and secure. When the basic need of wholesome love and belonging  is not met, depression and despair is inevitable. As a result, many will resort to drugs and other vices to cope with this despair.

The good news is that difficult circumstances and experiences can be healed and mended. It takes a lot of patience, however. What’s crucial to improving ones life is getting support from wholesome people and gaining a sense of belonging. There is a beautiful metaphor that says we humans are all tulip buds, and we just need the right conditions to bloom (ie: enough water and sunlight). If one comes from difficult circumstances, then have hope that your outcomes can change as long as you fill your life with wholesome things that can make you bloom.

Don’t Ignore the Red Flags

*Understand that “normal” individuals can be sociopaths (lack empathy) and be abusive behind closed doors: These days, modern day villains are not the scary-looking characters we see in fairy tales. They are often “normal” individuals found in everyday life. I would recommended one to always have their guard up and not to be trusting so easily. It takes a LONG time to really know someones character.

*Understand the Importance of Social CredentialsWhen meeting random people, it is crucial to obtain social references on that person. This is especially important when meeting random people that have no connection to ones own family or friend circle. In other words, its important that a person has people in the community that can vouch for that persons credibility. I ignored this when I was with my abusive ex. When I met my ex, I realized I knew no one else to speak on his behalf. He had no close friends at all. His acquaintances were always random people. He also changed jobs every year and therefore he had no consistency in anything. Those factors, alone, were red flags that I should have paid more attention too. The lesson to be learnt here is to make sure that anyone in your life has other friends or community members that can act as their social reference.  

*Understand what healthy love is, and that love is about action (not words): A person claiming to love you without showing it in their actions is a major red flag. Words are meaningless without action. There is a great film about a woman who was exploited by a so-called lover, which highlights the covert, manipulative ways men use ‘love’ to get sex from a woman. The film is called Wajma, An Afghan Love Story (Film is here on Youtube). 

*Stay away from shallow people who objectify others and yourself: One of the most dehumanizing feelings is when someone looks at you as an object (where your mind is completely irrelevant). There are hurtful individuals out there who evaluate women in the most dehumanizing ways — whom are convinced a woman’s worth is based on her sexual organs and appearance. Even more sad is that many women with low self-esteem are pandering to these dehumanizing trends. My abusive ex tried really hard to break down my self-esteem by picking at my flaws. Despite I know my worth is much more than the external, I almost started to believe my inner qualities mattered less. When my abuser couldn’t crush my self-esteem, he then tried to crush my soul by manipulating my heart and emotions. Abusers are competitive, shallow and envious, which is yet another major red flag I ignored.

*Speak out and Don’t be Silent: Silence allows predators to thrive. Do whatever you can to ensure that an exploitative/abusive person cannot put others at risk. Call the police, inform members in the community — anything!

If you are a man who wants to help, then speak out against men who exploit women in overt and covert ways. Be an older, protective brother to women who don’t have the protection of brothers. Creeps are actually ruining things for decent men. How? When a woman is harmed by a predator, she is more likely to be guarded towards most men. She might be susceptible to feminist propaganda that will teach her to mistrust ALL men (and that’s not the answer). We need more wholesome unity, not disunity between men and women.


 

Warning Signs of an Abusive Relationship:

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Tupac’s Keep ya Head Up (1993), a power song in support of vulnerable women from difficult circumstances. Tupac represented a time when Hip Hop was about unity and positive growth. Whereas now, mainstream hip hop has been hijacked and is about destroying humanity, glamorizing evil and promoting sociopathy.

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To my Dear Readers: What is your advice to young women and men? What is your experience with an abuser? What are some RED FLAGS for you? Please share your thoughts.

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Filed under Relationships

Abuse: Left on my Wedding Day

The point of this post is not to slander, it is to create awareness of abusive relationships. It is my hope that my experiences will be a learning lesson for others.

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I will start off by advising my readers: NEVER EVER Fall for Words or Promises that bare no fruits or action. To my young ladies, never EVER believe a man loves you if he is depriving you of significance or dignity. A man who truly loves you will show it with action. Love is so abused in today’s times and as Sheikh Mufti Menk says, “Often, ‘I love you’ these days is actually ‘I want to use you.‘”

My life as a sex worker has brought me, unintentionally, into a lot of unholy experiences. Even though my only intention in the sex industry was survival (I never wanted any part in the personal lives of my clients), I was still involved in a process that hurt others and myself.

It was never my choice to be in the sex trade — its a psychological trap. I thought love was the cure, but I was wrong. The one who claimed to love me reminded me nearly daily that I was hopeless — it made him feel powerful to drain any ounce of joy I had left. He would further get angry at me if I defended myself or called him out on his false promises.

I am sure the ones I have hurt will be happy to know that my life is meaningless and I will forever be deprived of wholesome love. I am unable to trust. I was a fool to hope or dream before. Love has hurt to the extent that I no longer welcome it in my life — this journey of life will always be lonely. Alhamdulilah.

Two days ago, I was abandoned on the day of my Marriage (Nikkah – Islamic marriage).

Almost one year prior in February 2017, I was abandoned previously by the same man. Despite he effortlessly left me alone without a concern for my well-being, he came back to me later in 2017. Some words he said were:

“In all honesty I was/am prepared to abandon anyone who disagrees with our union.”

“Somehow you are still in the same place you were a few months ago and I’m still madly in love with you. If nothing has changed in your situation have you at least come to grips with the mistake we have made?(exiting from each others lives)”

I never exited from his life. I was ready to start a halal life. It was him who essentially told me that I was unwanted and that he won’t fight for us anymore. I was abandoned. To cope, I had to actually write large memos all over my home to stop myself from falling into a debilitating depression. I had to remind myself, He never loved me. Love would not let me walk away alone and helpless, love would not leave me to be single and open for other men to take my hand. It was false love.” 

When he tried to come back to me late last year, he spoke beautiful words to me. I agreed to meet him. He spent an entire evening apologizing to me — he brought a diary which supposedly had poems written about me, and us. For a short lived period, he was kind to me. He even then read out 25 things he loves about me. He apologized for abandoning me. He apologized for mistreating me. He told me nothing else in the world matters anymore and gave me the impression that he would fight against all barriers to be with me. He spoke beautiful words about how it was his goal to get me out of the sex industry. And because I had empathy for his ‘issues’, I wanted so badly to believe he was sincere — I took him back after months of his proclamations of love. Very shortly after, it was apparent that all of his remorse was words only.

“Go back to fucking other men!” “You will never change” “I love you! I will get help!” “I won’t abandon you again.”

It was not as if my expectations were unreasonable. I made it so simple — too simple. And yet, shortly after I took him back, he began reverting back to his old ways. It is clear now, given the way he treated me and spoke to me, that I was a burden for him. There was no loving support, nor a hand to hold mine and tell me, “I am here, you are loved, your worries are mine and I will protect you.” There was no Mirza who came on a horse to take me away. I am no Sahiba.

He had also won me back with sweet words in previous years, only to leave me broken and abandoned. All the times he had abandoned me, I began to see a pattern of his — the only reasoning for his behavior was that he was using me. He knew that I would give in and give my body willingly if I believed he loved me. His efforts and kindness were always short lived and he changed drastically once he got what he wanted. Whenever he came back, he convinced me that he did, in fact, love me for who I was — yet I questioned this ‘love’ once he reverted back to his bullying and abuse. He thrived off bullying me. Each time he abandoned me or pushed me away to the point where I had to leave him, I was broken even more.

Then, I stopped giving my body, because his patterns showed that he was manipulating my heart to get sex. He denied it. But then, later, he would blame me for his sexual frustration. He would blame me for asking for nikkah (marriage). He would constantly accuse me of cheating or blow up at me for being a sex worker. He would blame me for defending myself. And then he would abandon me always once I was drained and emotionally destroyed. He never cared, he never loved. I was never wanted. He became very angry once things started getting serious, because it meant he actually had to start taking action and responsibility for me –which he never did. I can accept if someone doesn’t want me, but he convinced me otherwise and he promised marriage.

My doubts were real and now confirmed. I was not a human to this person. I was an object. All of my emotions and well being never meant anything. I was a sex object. I, as a person, was never wanted — in fact, I was a burden. I was promised love and protection, promised a halal life — I was made to dream, and I was abandoned effortlessly not once, but multiple times. Indeed, I am a fool for believing a person would not behave so cruelly.

3 Days Before the Marriage:

The happiest day of a woman’s life, right?

I don’t even know why I am doing it. I have a faint, childish hope that the one who once claimed to love me…..that he will actually start loving me. But I know better also, I know that hoping and dreaming is pointless for me.

And days away, it will be a nikkah. No ceremony. Just in front of Allah. And it may not even happen — things have always been fragile and insecure with this person.

There is no excitement, nor will their ever be. Though the nikkah is between two people, I am the only one who has pushed for it. The other party is making it very obvious that it is unwanted and it is a burden. In fact, I have just been told that no consummation will occur, as it will be easier to divorce me this way. No celebration. Nothing. All the promises and hopes that once filled my head have amounted to nothing. I am an utter fool. Last week, I wanted to feel excited for something. I thought about what I will wear, about what food to bring to the mosque, about staying in a hotel, about photos, about a new life! — what a fool I am.

Only tears of pain and fear have resulted from the unwanted date to come in a few days….it was only wanted by me. But it is okay. I ask myself why I have this foolish hope — hope that doesn’t exist at all.

And I am told to write a promise letter. I wasn’t told, I was threatened.  I am to promise  that I will stop being the whore that I was and to ‘prove’ that I am capable of not whoring myself. I am not trusted, and reminded every day of how untrustworthy I am. Despite he should be the one begging for my forgiveness, despite he came back to me after neglecting me, despite he said he accepted me and nothing else matters… here I am now, proving that I deserve his love. 

I know I have made mistakes too, which is why I made excuses for his lack of effort in making me significant — he is also hurting. But how am I suppose to remain stoic when someone keeps punishing me for things that is in the past? He came back to me fully knowing of what had happened in the past, and he even admitted it was not correct in how he treated me in the past as a result. Why I am still being punished despite I have left my life of sin? Everything I have done is out of love. All I wanted was a halal outlet to give love, and yet he keeps delaying and denying that to me as a Muslim woman.  If God can forgive me, why can’t he also forgive me? Does he not see my heart? Does he not see all the small things I have done to show that my heart is sincere and loyal to him? Why else would I have done the things I did except out of love? Yet at every moment, he couldn’t stop finding reasons to pick on me. This made me go into self-defence mode, and in order to guard my heart from being hurt like before, I very bluntly told him that I fear he is using me and I will not tolerate that. Why couldn’t he just take my hands and say, “Okay, no more. I will start loving you now.” Why couldn’t he make the correlation that loving me, making me halal and building me up would in turn make me trust me him and therefore treat him as the respectful man he wanted to be? All the energy he had to be angry at me, why couldn’t he just tunnel that energy into love instead?

All these thoughts make my cry, because at this point I am hopeless, not by choice. I never wanted things to be this way. But sadly, what I envisioned is not going to happen. All the anticipation, the hopes…have died. And for what? Pride? Power? Proving a point? Astagfiroulla. 

One Day Before the Marriage:

Tomorrow will be a cruel joke. He promised to marry me before the end of 2017. But he broke that promise, and I gave him yet another chance. Then, he promised to marry me on this date, which is tomorrow.

Tomorrow, I will show up alone, abandoned… I know it.

No glow in my face. Too much tears, trauma, lack of sleep, too much sleep, fears and internal pain. I have been telling him for months, “Please have the courtesy of telling me if I am wanted or not, don’t leave me in limbo.” 

He has abandoned me many times. It happened before, it can happened again.

Tomorrow, I will come alone to the Masjid to cry. Cry to Allah. I only have Allah.

There is no excitement. I have been ridiculed and emotionally abused for the past two weeks, let alone the past couple of years. Why? Because I questioned why he keeps delaying giving me significance, and I question why he keeps fighting with me for all the reasons he once apologized for. He gets furious when I ask for significance — as if it is a terrible burden for him. And when I point out how his promises have amounted to nothing, he gets more furious.

In a moment of anger, two weeks ago, I snapped and called him a hypocrite. The definition of a hypocrite I was referring to was the following: (1) When He speaks, He speaks Lies (2) When he makes a promise, he breaks it and (3) When he is trusted, he betrays his trust. His typical pattern was to be consistently mean to me until I snapped. And I snapped two weeks ago. I broke down. I then stood up for myself and said “When a man loves a woman, he will not treat her this way! This is unacceptable. I have known men who would never behave this way and I have been treated better.”

That made him extremely angry, and for that, I was belittled every single day up until now. I made excuses for him. Just let him vent his anger at me. He convinced me that I deserve his anger and wrath. I shouldn’t have called him out. I shouldn’t have told him I have been treated better. I made excuses for him. Despite he has actually broken promises, betrayed trust, abandoned me before, and was delaying marriage for no reason, it was still my fault. Suddenly now, I was apologizing and worried for him — despite he has broken me and he will end up hurting me tomorrow. I know it. 

The Day of the Marriage

I was dumped two hours before we were proposed to do the nikkah at the Mosque. 

Today was my wedding day. It never happened. It was supposed to happen around 7pm just after Isha prayers.

Earlier today, in the morning, I had to attend a family members graduation ceremony. Everyone was filled with happiness and joy. I wanted so badly to be happy with my family too. But just as everyone was jumping and cheering for joy, I started crying out loud and ran to the washroom to lock myself and cry. Shaking. Nobody noticed, I wouldn’t let anyone notice. During the whole graduation ceremony, he was texting me hostile and abusive messages — once again, I let him just vent his anger to me, even though I know it’s not acceptable. I began crying because I knew he was only going to hurt me — I was crying because everything he promised me was now clearly a lie. I was duped. I was crying because I never believed that someone who loved me could hurt me like this. He came back to me, he apologized and now he is doing exactly what he said he wouldn’t do. I have never broken down in public like that and felt such tremendous fear. 

Then I dried my tears, yet my eyes were red. I was shaking. I wanted to disappear, but I was stuck in a crowd of happy people celebrating. And then, at last, I ran to my car and parked in an isolated area to cry. My family needed me to drive others, so I wiped my tears again and picked them up. How could I explain to them why I just disappeared on such a joyous occasion?

I made an excuse that I was having really bad allergies, which is why I my eyes were red and my nose was sniffling.

Yesterday was the same. I was heart broken in tears. Like a fool, I still tried to remain optimistic about the wedding. I knew he was going to hurt me, but I still had a faint hope that he wasn’t such a monster to actually abandon me after leading me on for all this time. Yesterday, I got sweets and a gift for the caretaker at the Masjid. Meanwhile, I was bombarded with angry, abusive text messages from him. He was behaving as he had in the past — blaming me for his anger. I kept pleading with him to just be honest with me, I have been pleading with him for months, “Don’t lead me on!” “Why did you come back to me and make all these promises then?” That day, I cried in my car for almost 2 hours. Each tear I thought about all the sweet nothings he used to tell me. And then I reminded myself of how foolish I am to even hope for anything. How cruel to tell a prostitute to hope, when hope is against her. 

“We will go ring shopping.”

“What do you think about moving to this city together babe?”

“Let’s move in a new place together babe, a new start”

But as always, at every step I was let down. It is not as if I was expecting. I know all too well not to expect. This was the bare minimum. He would make me dream, only to snatch it from me and then emotionally abuse me for asking “Why not?”

He kept calling me hours up until the nikkah. He was fuming with anger, and I have no idea why. He said it was all my fault at why he was angry. I was told with fuming anger, “LISTEN I WILL ONLY MARRY YOU IF YOU AGREE TO LISTEN TO EVERYTHING I SAY. IF I SAY JUMP YOU WILL JUMP OKAY? I WILL NOT TOLERATE YOU NOT LISTENING TO ME ANYMORE! I SWEAR TO GOD I WILL BEAT YOU IF YOU PROVOKE ME AFTER MARRIAGE, DO YOU UNDERSTAND??!!” Usually, I defended myself, but there was no point. I was broken. I listened to him belittle me the whole day — I agreed to everything he said, even his threats. And then finally, two hours before the nikkah, he tells me he cannot do it and says “Goodbye.”

I decided to go to the Masjid anyways. I wore my new abaya. I did my make up. I showed up at the masjid alone. I knew I would be alone. I needed to feel close to Allah. 

I got to the Masjid in the evening. The few sisters who remained at the Masjid were informed that it was the day of my Nikkah. I came in, and the sister greeted me with a big smile. I was greeted and told how pretty I looked. The sisters looked at me with excitement. The sister who organized my nikkah looked at me with bright eyes and a big smile, “I have just told the other sisters that it’s your nikkah today!” My eyes water and I just look down and said, “No. Nothing.” The other sisters came to me also with excitement, and tears filled my eyes. We all said, “Alhamdulilah” Praise to Allah. 


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Final Notes: One reason the film Pakeezah is a favorite of mine and brings tears is because it addresses the main conflict for a prostitute: our innocent yearning for love and the bitter realization that we can never have love.

At the end of the film, Pakeezah is not only defeated, but traumatized. She cannot stop hearing imaginary voices of outsiders calling her derogatory terms, reminding her that she will never be anything but a whore. In tears, she realizes her fate:

Yes. My vagabond dead body has returned to be buried in this colorful tomb (she has return to the brothel)

Yes. Every whore is a dead body. I am a dead body and you are too. (She says to a fellow courtesan)

The marketplace (brothel district) is a graveyard.. of women whose’s souls are dead but the bodies remain alive

These mansions (homes or brothels) are our tombs, in which the living coffins of we dead women are kept after being decorated.

Our coffins are left open so that....*she gasps in tears*

I am a restless dead body in one such open coffin, which is lured by life again and again..

..But now, I’ve got fed up with of my waywardness and this treachery on the part of life. I’ve got tired of it. 

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From all this pain, I say Alhamdulilah (All praise belongs to Allah). There were many lessons that had to be learnt from this. Trials invoke one to only hope and strive for Allah, the Creator. From this pain, I have learnt my only true protector is Allah.

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Filed under Dealing with Depression, Emotional Aspects Related to Escorting