Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Female abuser

Last night as I got home from work, I sat on my bed contemplating my horrible day. My head was pulsating with an urgency, signaling the ever present headache. I reach out to grab my bottle of water and a couple tablets of my topamax. I knew it was no use because the migraine was going to be full fledged within an hour, but that didn't deter me from being optimistic. My head had barely touched the pillow when I heard raised voices from the living room. Not wanting to get up from sheer lack of energy, I listened to canopy ensuing between my younger brother and my younger sister. I told myself that they were old enough to resolve their differences without me getting involved each time. "Leylaaaaaaaaaa! Leeeeeeyla!" screamed my older sister as the tumbling of bodies echoed throughout the hallway. Pissed and irritated I get my butt out of bed to play the mediator. This was not a good day for me and I was stupid enough to believe I would find peace in this house. I walk into the living room to find my younger sister lying on the floor ,my older sister's body shielding her from the blows my brother was throwing. I almost burst out laughing but realize the seriousness of the situation and take action instead. I quickly maneuver my body in between my brother and my sisters. Planting my weight against the sofa I pushed him off them and turned my steely eyes to him. "What in the Hell do you think you are doing?" I yell. My older sister helps the younger one up and they all start speaking at the same time. I turn to the younger girl and tell her to shut up because her voice grates against my nerves. Facing the 5 ft 9 " teenager who seems to be ready to pounce on me, I ask my question again this time counting off my exasperation at this show of idiocracy.

The argument begun with my sister donning a pair of jeans and my brother, "the wadaad", ordering her not to step out the house with the jeans on. I smile as I listen to how passionately he positions his argument. Meanwhile, the chickenhead is slowly seeing that she will come out on the rosy side of things and start clucking her head off. I let her blow off stem for a while and pretty soon a shouting match ensues between her and her assailant. She turns on her heels and grabs the phone threatening to dial 911. He beats his chest and states he is not scared of 911 because his religion assures him he is right. My older sister looks to me for intervention and I can't be bothered to mother these two adolescents. I claim my phone back from the chickenhead and tell her to sit down and let me deal with this. She doesn't pay me any attention and keeps grating on my nerves with her shrill voice. **Slap**, I let my palm make my point, she instantly shuts up and sits down.

I turn my attention back to the so called "man" of the house. I lay down reasons why he can't raise a hand to her. She has parents who are living and breathing, she is not your wife nor your daughter, she is her own person and the most you can do is advice her on her course of action. "You and your western values, who do you think you are?" he throws it back in my face. I calmly look him in the eye and smirk, "I am the one who pays for your roof and your food." He opens his mouth to retort something but instead chooses to go to the bathroom to take a shower. I breath deeply as I try to fight the urge to punch the stupid out of him. I face my younger sister, by now she has a golf sized bulge on her head. I grab an ice pack from the freezer and slap it in her hand, after which I go off on her. I tell her how dumb she is that she can talk back to people but can't defend herself against a beating. She is asinine because this is the second time I bailed her out of an ass-whuping, courtesy of my brothers, due to her afka dheer. The last time she ended up with a grapefruit sized knob on her head. I shake my head at her and tell her to lie down. I grab my phone and proceed to let their mother know what happened and let her deal with the punishment.

The rest of the night went by relatively quiet. I sat up in my bed trying to nurse my migraine when my other sister came in from her night classes. I share with her the events of the night and we share a good laugh over how childish the squabble was, but we both understand there is a deeper issue we need to address; our brother's aggression against women. He seems angry at the world and more at women than anything. I can't seem to find an inlet in his psyche that I can penetrate and explore why he feels the way he does. My sister and I talk about the numerous ass whupping I used to deliver to my older brother everytime he felt an urge to exercise control. I used to be a tom-boy in my hey days and didn't take crap from anyone especially a man. If he could swing from the branches, so could I. If he could dive from the highest diving board, so could I. If he scored so many goals in soccer, I would work to score twice as much as he did. I was competitive and brazen. My best friends were male and I formulated my male ego, but I digress. My uncle had christened me Tyson. I had the knack of showing my frustration by punching something or somebody, but if I recall right he called me Tyson because one time my brother and I had a fight and my brother tried to defend himself by tangling my body with his and scratching my arms and face to stop the flurry of fists. I ended up doing more damage than he did, plus he left evidence of his attack while mine melted into his skin tone. The next day, my dad watched me out of the corner of his eyes noticing the scratch marks. That evening as my brother walked in from masjid, my dad lay in wait for him with a TV-VCR wire. I felt sorry for my brother at that time, but I remember thinking that he was learning a critical lesson and that was never to lay a hand on a woman. I can't help but make a comparison. I wish my younger brother could learn his lesson now otherwise I fear he will carry this mentality with him throughtout his life. The mentality that he is the man and therefore all should do as he wants. That he free to punish whenever & whoever he feels like. I am now scared of leaving the younger ones in his care due to his aggression.


Anonymous said...

If it's any consolation at all, my younger brother outgrew the wadaad/angry boy/ testerone-fried brain phase of his life. The teen years are not so easy, and sometimes more difficult for guys. Everything is so black or white, people good or bad. The frontal cortex soon catches up with the facial hair and height.

SleepDepraved said...

^^^You up late or you an insomniac? I worry he will not outgrow this anger because it might stem from his parent's separation. It is his crutch and I can't figure out to what degree it affects his outlook of life, or for that matter us (the females in the house). One time during an arguement he blamed me for his parent's separation and called me the devil but later apologized. I wasn't mad at him because it give me a glimpse of what he is going through and hiding from the world. I am just tired these days, I feel worn out from playing all these roles. The lines are all blurred out that I can't tell when I'm a sister, mother, friend, father or discipliner and frankly I don't think they can either.

Anonymous said...

OK, Tyson, got the point. Words not punches here, you hear?

PS: Good luck sister. Your role as mother hen isn't that easy to cope with. I am sure you would manage!

SleepDepraved said...

^^I am a pacifist these days with violent thoughts. I need more than luck, I need insight in the psyche of a male teenager! Do they have books on that?

Anonymous said...

Total insomniac,SD. Most nights I'm lucky if I fall asleep at 3a.m.

It sounds like there's a lot more going on with the young man. The wadaad phase, I found, in adolescent boys tends to provide clarity and order when both seem to be lacking in their problems. I would be very worn out too if I were taking on these multiple roles. I hope for your sake and his that he finds peace as he gets older. My brother's life got much worse before it got better and it is a hell of a ride for everyone.

wasmaniac said...

...She has parents who are living and breathing, she is not your wife nor your daughter...

so you support wife beating?!

SleepDepraved said...

Aya Oh cool, I got a fellow insomniac in the blogosphere. Are you telling me I have a rocky road ahead of me? Don't scare me otherwise I might just give in to the temptation of buying him a one way ticket to Africa and let his father deal with him.

Wasmaniac I don't support wife beating. If you read my conclusion thats the reason I'm scared of this mentality he is developing.

Firefly said...

It sounds like a difficult situation. I completely understand why you want to nip his attitude in the bud, too many boys grow up thinking they own the women in their lives and can do whatever they please to them as long as they feel they are 'in the right'. Too many times, Somali parents let their sons get away with abusing their sisters.

At the same time, as both Aya and you point out, there seems to be a lot more going on with him. I don't really have any experience dealing with teenage boys, I failed miserably when I tried to befriend and help one of my cousins, who was going down a not-so-good path. But my other cousin was able to help him more, because she was a bit of a tomboy and they used to play football and go see matches together, and he opened up to her a bit.

You mention an older brother? Is he around? Could he possibly interact with him more and find out what he's going through? If not, I think you and your sisters will have to figure out a way to get through to him, even if that means the 'chicken head' will have to appease him a bit for now. If that doesn't work, then the ticket to Africa and his dad might succeed where others have failed.

SleepDepraved said...

Big brother went down a path that disconnected him from the family. He just comes around when he is in a ditch. I guess I just have to be patient and see what happens.

Anonymous said...

SleepD: sounds like a difficult situation to be in......I pray that Allah eases your affairs inshaAllah...ameen.

I coudn't give you much advice on the situation, other than having patience (which you are fully aware of) and making some dua....inshaAllah things will change.....

I guess your bro is just going through a rough time and he needs your support and I'm sure you will be there for him......may Allah make this phase he is going through a short one with as little trouble as possible....ameen

He seems to be on the right path.....he just needs to be less violent and employ other ways of giving his sista naseeha.....inshaAllah kheyr

Anonymous said...

Beautiful advise Native Female, i was going to suggest the same, his heart seems in the right place, but his actions are wrong. Perhaps you should talk to him, i mean real talk not an ego infested exchange (it's real hard with young teenagers), let him tell you what he thinks he is trying to achieve with his style of action. I guess i'm saying listen out for the real issue.

The Rendezvous said...

The issues involved here are far more than the sis who started wearing a "pair of jeans"..

The brother may have got irritated by her wearing jeans and no other "Islamic" cover, I mean Something that can cover her islamically..

But if she can wear jeans and still wear her abaya or some clothing which will cover her..I don't see why he should be angry..He may have talked to her about these issues for sometime and she refused to listen his advise..

But still why should everyone call 911 whenever there is a small problem that a family can manage to solve..Imagine a sister to call 911 against her brother..

.....Called me Tyson because one time my brother and I had a fight and my brother tried to defend himself by tangling my body with his and scratching my arms and face to stop the flurry of fists.


Shafi Said said...

SD Your brother has every right to tell your sister to dress more modestly - it is his duty. You can say i am old-fashioned but my sister is my duty - though i could never afford to ever lay a hand on her i would severly reprimand her.
With your brother, i believe it is not even to do with him being or turning into a woman beater, but merely protecting his sister just as you are protecting her!

SleepDepraved said...

Native & A/Karim thanks for the advice. I just hate feeling helpless and prefer dealing with a problem equipped with a plan.

Rendezvous, she does wear abaya over her jeans when she goes out. Hell I wear sweatpants when I am in a hurry and just don an abaya over it. So his anger came from something else unless he has seen her take off her abaya outside which I haven't and I don't think neither has he since they go to different schools in different areas of town.

Shafi granted his heart is in the right place, his reasoning was flawed. He is the only male in a house inhabited by six females. I understand that can be hard on a boy who is trying to formulate who he is, but this outward aggression against women is something instilled in him from Africa. I have my reasons why I think that, but suffice it to say he lived with a cousin of mine who is a certified sexist. Two months after he moved to the US it was inevitable that I had a run in with his attitude. I told him off and that lil kid actually stood up to me and tried to square off. He thought I would cower away but when he didn't see any reaction from me other than my mean streak emerging, he has made an effort to respect the boundaries I set out. Its the other people in the house that he usually ends up having squabbles with. My 10 year old sister shakes like a leaf when he speaks to her. Now, you tell me in all fairness, what kind of relationship are you expecting him to have with females in his life if he doesn't veer off this path??

Flower.of.Chaos said...

SD, in my humble opinion, hitting and physical abuse is a complete no no. Under no circumstance should that be condoned, cabaya or no cabaya, jeans or no jeans. There is nothing that can be gained by force than cant be by reason. Simple as that.

Work on drilling that simple logic into the boy. And make sure neither of you lay a finger on the chicken again (thats so out of line people!).

SleepDepraved said...

^^^My slap was to calm her clucking noh. The chicken was getting on my nerves. Haven't you ever being slapped to calm you down? Then I suggest never to come close to me when you are fretting and yelling about something.

**Walks away laughing**

Idil said...

lets see my older brother trys to play wadaad a while ago but then he gave it up because u cant do something and then forbid me to do the same, so now were on even terms, but maybe you can talk to your brother one and one and see what his problem is, maybe a female did him wrong? or something

Anonymous said...

My name is Mary Davis and i would like to show you my personal experience with Topamax.

I am 46 years old. Have been on Topamax for 30 days now. I would not take this for migraines. I've tried everything for migraines but this was by far the worst experience I've had with any medication. I'm sticking with my Imitrex injections.

I have experienced some of these side effects -
I had the tingling feeling in my hands and feet. But I also kept having memory issues. Friends kept teasing me and saying I was on Dopamax. I thought it would get better. One day I started having constant seizures and ended up in Neurology ICU for five days. Almost killed me! It wasn't until they had me completely off Topamax that I finally became coherent. I remember nothing while in the hospital ICU. I was totally out of it.

I hope this information will be useful to others,
Mary Davis

Topamax Side Effects