Can I Be “Me” ?

I remember my grandmother watching my sister and I as we bathed. I remember the day that she saw that I was growing hair ‘down there’. She asked angrily since when they are there. I didn’t understand. I grew ashamed. I hid my dirty pads, instead of putting them in the bin. I hid if I bathed, because I had it put in my head that I’m not pretty, so why bother on keeping appearances.

I started to live through books. In my imagination. I didn’t know who I was.

When I was 18 I got married. To a man who could have been my grandfather. He was 60. He disgusted me. By this time, my parents had disowned me. My father simply stole my inheritance, pocketed it all. My mother disowned me and sided with her husband of the time who preferred my sister. The golden child.

This man whom I married (not a proper husband), brought me to a foreign country where I couldn’t ever contact the few family members who didn’t hate me. He imprisoned me. Drugged me. Raped me. I had three children. Born of rape. He, grandson of prominent rabbis in Morocco, used Judaism only when convenient. And then used any religious act done by me, the Ashkie girl, against me calling me “crazy”.

He destroyed me slowly. First my innocence. Then my womanhood. Then he took my children.

I was given my gett after my entire youth destroyed. Wasted on a monster.

30 I married again. Not for love – despite what he thinks. Only to get my children back. Again, only an older person would want me. He’s 30 years my senior. It never happened, and my children could only grow up near me. Because the cancer is at it, I wanted to experience pregnancy normally. We went to the fertility specialist because this husband is impotent. I have no womanhood. It was killed. But I have my baby.

But now he is destroying me.

Taking away my identity.

When can I be “me”? Or will I simply never exist and perish.

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