HE accused my 16 year old virginal mother of maliciously impregnating herself.
HE demanded she abort but changed his mind on hearing two heartbeats instead of one.
HE read the Azaan into my ears and shaved the baby bird down on my head.
HE said to speak against my elders meant I was evil and a slap on my 3 year old face would rectify this.
HE said I couldn’t wear shorts cos my five year old legs were too tempting.
HE said I could not play sport cos the shape of my vulva was on display.
HE said a bike would damage my virginity.
HE said to speak to boys was confirmation I was a slag
HE said I mustn’t speak to the white kids cos then I was just as bad as them.
HE said I must learn this alien language and chant with perfect enunciation and THEN God would love me.
HE said if I refused I would burn in Hell’s eternal fires.
HE said the angels on my shoulders would weigh my heart against my deeds and then I would be judged.
HE said I was mother’s daughter which of course was proof that I was a slag.
HE said that I purposely lost the £5 I was supposed to give to the mosque.
HE watched in delight as my family slapped me in front of him.
HE said I was the best in my Arabic class. Maybe that’s why HE would slap me across my developing chest. Maybe that’s why HE would run his hand along the length of my thigh.
HE said I wasn’t the pretty twin but more academic instead. My puppy fat was confirmation of this.
HE said I was an ‘earthquake’ a ‘bulldozer’ and ‘the Himalayas’ when my body went through the first change.
HE said I was hairy and ugly and a bit mannish with my deep husky voice.
HE said I would burn in Hell-fire for wearing my fashionable cross.
HE said someone ought to teach me a lesson for eating the wrong kind of meat.
HE gave me a glare when I ordered my alcopop and the look that said he’d see me later when I questioned the pint in his hand.
HE responded he ‘didn’t remember’ when I said I would make him pay for what he had done to me.
HE blamed it all on my fantastical teenage head.
HE laughed as he fought us children off and away from our mother.
HE thought it was funny when we sprang to her defence.
HE said I would burn in hell when I challenged God and spat that he really didn’t exist.
HE said he’d have to teach me a lesson, I said “come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough”.
HE yelped in pain when I bit him on the nose and it hurt when the punches rained down but inside I was smiling because I had finally hurt HIM. HE was getting weaker.
Or I was getting stronger.
HE tried to knock down the door to my safe place and I called the police on him instead. HE was told to leave or HE would be going to jail so HE did but HE never let me forget this.
HE tried to kiss me when I was just 15. HE told me no one would believe me if I ever told the truth.
HE said he’d heard I was a slag so HE thought HE’d give it a go.
HE found me with some of my innocence intact and proceeded to chip away at what was left.
HE would cry and beg forgiveness for attempting to penetrate me without my consent.
HE used me, pushed me around, and turned all my friends against me.
HE told me I wasn’t pretty enough to be his main girl. HE said it was my own entire fault.
HE said his mother was a ‘vessel’.
HE would ‘share’ me one day with his friend. HE didn’t even deny it when I said that it was rape.
HE knew I was broken and that’s the only reason HE made any impact at all. If I saw HIM now, I would laugh in his face.
HE would promise the world but never deliver.
HE would tell me I was the prettiest girl in the room but at home he’d treat me like shit.
HE said I was mediocre and I’d never be anything but a girl from The Rock.
HE said work was more important, his friends were too and I would just have to like it or lump it.
HE said I was a slag, a whore and all the other things too.
HE said I was only good for a shag.
HE said my illness was all in my head. The mind being a powerful tool.
HE said he wouldn’t pander to me any more (there was pandering?)
HE would let his friends intimidate me.
HE didn’t bat an eyelid when some of them rubbed up against me, at full mast.
HE said I was lying when I disclosed advances from one of his other freak friends.
HE made me feel unsafe and uncared for.
HE denies it to this day. (There’s a pattern emerging here)
HE said he loved me but that wasn’t enough. HE said God’s love meant more.
HE said I was alright now I was on the ‘white side’.
HE said now he’d tried Asian, he’d never go back.
HE said he was only joking when he called me a slag and would apologise every time he’d say it but this wouldn’t stop him from saying it again.
HE tried to force me to do a job he thought would be good for me. A nursery nurse to his SAC.
HE said I was silly for thinking I was a feminist because I didn’t hate men.
HE said for us to be together, I’d have to follow him wherever his career took him.
HE didn’t like it when I said no.
HE would snarl and shout and make me feel small.
HE would scan my entire body for rogue solitary hairs and grimace as if they were the most disgusting thing he’d ever seen.
HE kept company with people who thought of me as nothing more than a Paki.
HE didn’t like being challenged. One day HE simply refused to pick up the phone.
I sold the diamond ring HE gave me.
HE said I wasn’t in any physical pain, despite the two operations I’d had on my back.
HE said I should think before I speak, my life’s woes were none of his business. HE just didn’t want to know.
HE said he understood my request for an open relationship but then changed his mind.
HE was either my lover exclusively or a therapist shagging some random girl.
HE has been standing over my shoulder, breathing down my neck before I was even born.
HE defines my role, my character, my options and my path.
HE’s not allowed into my life anymore but still, he lingers.
HE’s on my TV, on my street, in my dreams.
HE is always the same; it doesn’t matter what colour he is or how tall he might be.
HE is patriarchy and HE oppresses me.