If you knew me personally, you would have never imagined that this would be my story, but I own every word of it and am proud of the scar that it left me with.
I am strong, stubborn, and fully independent. I work in a male-dominated industry and I succeeded. I moved to Cairo when I was 25 and started building my career. I got married, and I came into the marriage with an “equal” mindset.
On the wedding night, he could not penetrate me. His first reaction was to blame it on my body. This is where my fault comes in. He came up with a fabrication that there is something wrong with my body!
How come I did not know my body? I did not even know how many “openings” I have down there. He suggested that I go to a gynecologist, who did not explain anything to me at all. She made me lay down on the bed, and did not warn me before all of a sudden, she aggressively stuck her finger in me.
“Salektahalak”– she said. Then she asked him if I ever bled when he was trying to sleep with me. You are a woman! How could you do that to me without my consent? All you cared about is to ask him if I bled or not? The same night he asked me to give it another try, and it did not work. Although I was traumatized and did say no, he went on manipulating me saying men have needs.
For two years he brainwashed me that my vagina is sealed! I lived with shame until I moved to a foreign country. I made a best friend who I opened up to, and she explained to me that this is physically impossible, and she gave me a doctor’s contact.
The doctor told me that if sex is painful, then we can discuss this together. I never felt any pain, I never actually felt anything. After lots of correct questions, she explained that there might be a problem with his erection. She explained to me what “hard” means! Yes! How would I know how hard it should be? Her questions opened my eyes. She did a pap test and showed me that even this huge instrument she is testing with is getting in, smoothly!
When I confronted him, he was in denial. He claimed that he went to a doctor and that he took pills, but again nothing worked. For six months, he never brought the subject up. Whenever I tried to open the subject, he would claim he is busy. Finally, I asked for a break and wanted to move out until both of us are ready to be back into the relationship.
He hit me and accused me of cheating on him.
He went on telling his friends that I cheated on him with no evidence. When I got divorced, I realized that lots of my friends went through the exact same trauma I went through!
It has been three years now since I got my freedom from this abusive relationship. I now know my body. I know what I like and don’t like.
To all women, please study your body! Being ignorant about sex and our bodies is on us. Don’t wait for some boy to mansplain anything to you. Knowledge is our salvation. Abuse can be emotional as well.
Men have needs, and women have needs, too. Don’t compromise your needs and never suppress them.
Claim your rights while people are on good terms because divorces can be ugly.
Nothing is taboo when it comes to you. Be a free healthy woman.
The perfect man for you won’t be intimated by your power. Boys want another mother, but men want a partner.
If you are in an abusive situation, please reach out to the National Council for Women. Hotline: 15115
And if you want to share your survival story, please send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org