I was never the victim in their eyes

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I was so confident something would happen.  I’m not quite sure what exactly, but something.  Sat in a circle on our chairs everyone’s faces were dark with the weight of what they knew.  Confronted I was sure he would deny it all, so I took a great leap of faith with my counsellor by my side.  Only 15 years old, and while some may call it naive, I saw courage and strength.  My counsellor had prepared me, and thought it was very optimistic that all of the family were so interested.  And so the moment came, someone asked, ” Did you abuse her then, did you sexually abuse her”?

You could cut the air with a knife.  I don’t remember anyone sitting next to me, however I do remember the faces in the room.  Waiting for his answer was like a man standing in front of me with a gun, would he fire a blank, kill me or walk away.  “yes he said I did”.  Quite a lot of people burst into tears, including his wife, who I felt it most for, If I’d have kept quite I wouldn’t have put her through so much.  The echoes of the past that still live with me today.

So what next?  How did this family react, did they react even? The answer is a shocking NO.  NOTHING, no shouting, no beating no screaming.  For me it just seemed like business as usual, and little did I know what lay ahead of me.  All the preparing my counsellor did went down the drain. Cause what took me years to learn is that been abused was the least of my worries.  It was how my family responded that lead me further into a world of abuse, vulnerability, guilt, denial, acceptance and forgiveness to free myself from a harsh reality.  I never was a victim in their eyes.

The 2nd wife, sabotage, secrets and spirituality

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Some say its fine, whilst concealing a venom about sharing their husband.  They marry as 2nd wives holding no protest to the circumstances.  Whilst in some cases they prepare for battle to be the best of wives to the point of elimination of the 1st party.

I’ve heard testimony upon testimony of wives who have felt ill treated because a second wife has been discovered or simply exhausts the righteousness and piety of the wife that does volunteer into such a marriage.  As my own journey of been a Muslimah plateaus I’ve discovered a dark side in the world of Islamic polygamous marriage as my dependency on a group of people loosens.

For Many Muslims who embark on what may be considered as a puritanical version of Islam they are all pointed in one direction, Salafi Publications.

At first I too held them with the highest regard, but this changed very quickly as I soon became exposed to personal trials and trials of others that were left in dismay as their eagerness to be on the right path was abused.

Probably one of my controversial posts yet, but with women been abused, children witnessing this chaos in the name of Islam, speaking out is the least I can do.

The journey of the woman that is guided to Islam but their self worth and self respect is low is unfortunately prey to a bunch of brothers who abuse their power.  The evidence is seen in the mental health of the woman and children who are simply left to pick up the pieces of their lives.

The journey of the man however is a very different one, they can marry, impregnate, abuse and divorce the a woman, only to go on and do the same, while the woman is left divorced, with children and financially at a disadvantage as she swims against the current that pulls her under.  Is this Islam you wonder?  No! This is merely a bunch of men who read out of the books of scholars and then go on to marry of women who have fallen in love with the eloquence of their speech.  This woman doesn’t have the opportunity to discover a true picture of a man from the brotherhood because his dirty marks from past relationships are covered up by those who choose to remain silent in the name of righteousness?

The Secrets that are concealed between them are such that sisters would go behind the backs of one another having secret marriages, forfeiting their financial rights dismissing their husbands duty to provide while the government pays for them to swim in a pool which is nothing but an illusion of bliss.

Finally there remains the spiritual enlightenment that is maintained by the one that guides us to this beautiful religion (Allah SWT).  Had I remained attached to those I’m told are closest to the truth I’d probably be an atheist.  Fortunately for me through prayer and guidance I’ve been blessed with the company of those that have also embarked upon the same ship I had previously sailed on.  With their own tales to tell Allah has brought us together reaffirming that depending upon Quran and Sunnah is not our fault, it was moving with a small group of people who clearly have lost sight of how those in power should manage a community that will go on to either sing their praises or close a door to them.

The intention behind this post was not to avert people from Islam or a particular aqeedah (belief), it was in fact to remind people that obedience is to Allah and not mankind.  When the truth is revealed to you Allah has told us to Complain to him and not the people, so that is what I did.  In doing so Allah blessed me with those that have asserted my faith, however I’ve also established that my silence was a crime as it just made room for those to abuse to keep on abusing, so May Allah accept this as my act of Ibadah (worship) speaking out in the hope of reminding my dear women and sister of Islam, that if all isn’t right, and you’ve exhausted your patience, do not oppress your self by remaining silent, seek justice, even if it is against yourself.

“Truly you DO NOT BELIEVE until you love for your brother what you love for yourself”

The truth about my abuse

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10631314_10202078060266189_8995595798187752408_oThe seed was planted the moment my childhood was interfered with.  And whilst for some the source of all their suffering was found with the aid of loved ones like family, for me and like many others, I had to travel this journey alone.

Just when I thought my life was at its worst, something would always come along a push me even further into despair, grief, anguish and leave me anticipating my next move.  I recall so many times I was so broken that all I could do was cry and then when I had no energy for that, be still.

Many times I’d swim in an ocean of disbelief trying desperately to figure out why those around me that would witness or play a part in ‘the abuse’ and wouldn’t do what seemed obvious to most.

My family failed to respond to my cry about abuse despite the abuser admitting it.  This planted another seed that would need to be found and also left me open to entering into an abusive relationships which would leave me open to another seed been planted that I’d eventually have to find.

The planting of a seed seems to be the only analogy fit to describe the process one must endure once they take full responsibility to free themselves from the bad seeds in their garden that make achieving success twice as hard for those that don’t have them.

Fast forward I’ve managed to find those seeds with full acknowledgement of the people along the way that failed to help me do this despite me been taught they have the answers.  Family, friends, intoxicants, communities, organisations and finally religion have all revealed to me the truth behind abuse.

Life teaches us that all of the above will give us the resolve to life’s woes, when in fact the greatest healer I found was turning inwards.  Empowering myself to take full responsibility to access the questions the little girl that was once full of joy and happiness lost.

Only when I visited this place through writing, meditating and spiritual intervention did I find the place that I once lived in as a little girl called ‘happiness’.

My story has travelled far by the Grace of God and I give thanks that I’m able to share my story, and just that act in itself has revealed to me the many women who have contacted me to say thanks.

I continue to speak out on this topic realising that until those of us capable of doing so can share why it is we as ‘the abused’ continue to be neglected because people don’t know how to manage these issues correctly, nothing will change.

Be part of the Solution and not the problem, ‘Break the silence’.

Why I’m in the papers

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In the space of a month I’ve had the opportunity to be featured in Sisters Mag, Shakti Women (women to watch), Brit Asia TV, Asian World Newspaper and quite recently Eastern Eye Newspaper. Although my public work was more of the attraction I chose to extend this opportunity further in the hope of achieving something greater than anticipated.

From as early as I can remember, abuse has always challenged me to move forward. For years I’d go to counsellors trying to get to the root of my misery in the hope of achieving my happy every after. Never did I stop and acknowledge what exactly I was hoping to gain.

I remember the moment it all dawned on me. I was curled up in a ball, sleepless, speechless, lifeless. I took out a book that I’d bought and open it up. I smoothed out its brand new pages, ‘The Free Writing Journal’, I took a deep breath and began writing.

3 Years later I make it my living to go out to schools and teach children about Identity and Abuse, both areas of my life that had me falling into black holes of despair and misery. I had to be a clown before I could retire from the stage and return in full glory embracing every part of me good and bad.

When I take to the stage many wriggle in their seats, puzzled by appearance, curious as to whether I can do what I claim. Singing is what I do, and alongside my own joy I appear to have captured the emotions of my audience. In doing so I share one of the darkest parts of my life in the hope that others can find the light a lot sooner than I.

I am Shalina
I am a Muslim
I am a Woman
I am a single mother
I am British
I am an Artist

Allahu Akbar (God is the Greatest)

Crisis Analysis: When Divorce Brings Freedom

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iamshalina:

I was given the amazing opportunity to share my journey after divorce. Check it out :)

Originally posted on Lexical Scribe:

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As the opening entry to our Crisis Analysis series: The Divorced Muslim Woman, we talk to Shalina Litt. Shalina is a Muslimah who found both strength and freedom through her divorce. Unfortunately, most divorces are seen as a breakdown of marriage resulting from faults on both sides. Now, whilst this may be the case in some divorces, it is not the truth for all. 

Shalina shares her story – how walking away from her marriage lead her to start an exciting new chapter in her life…

Getting Divorced Was The Best Thing I Ever Did
Shalina Litt

If I told you he stamped on my head and I still stayed married to him, you’d think I was crazy.  What did it take for me to finally walk away? I lost my baby. For me, that was when the case was closed. I asked for my khula [divorce], full of emotion. At…

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