First, my father hits me up. I haven’t talked to him in at least six years. Out of the blue, he messages me on Facebook. How is that possible? I blocked him on there. And last I talked to him, his message to me was the same:
“I never imagined that your intelligence would lead you to abandon your veil and modesty and to follow satan. Life is short and what’s in store in the afterlife is much better and everlasting. Who is that in your photo? Is he your husband and is he a muslim? I pray for your repentance.”
No, “Hi there my daughter! I haven’t talked to you in years. How are you? I miss you. What are you doing with your life? How is your career going?” None of that. Because he doesn’t care about his daughter, he only cares about how she will tarnish his already tarnished image.
Then an uncle I haven’t seen or talked to in over eight years, and have never had a relationship with, hits me up on Facebook. (What is up with these relatives and Facebook?)
His message is the same, and much more hurtful: “A black slave is even too much for you (because you deserve nothing), change your name because hell needs more of your kind and his kind for preferring him over your own dad!”
No, “Hey it’s your uncle in Jordan! How are you? It’s been so long! My kids are in college now! What are you doing with your life? Catch me up on everything you’ve been up to! Who is this handsome man in your pictures? I hope you’re happy together!” Nope, none of that.
My sister recently posted a selfie on Facebook- just a regular one shoulders up with beautiful smile. The same uncle sent her this: “I’m not honored to know someone who mistreats their parents, and those who mistreat their own, will not be of any good to others. You bit the hand that fed you (aka father).” (We’ve both blocked this uncle since these attacks.)
It just boggles my mind that people who have nothing to do with me or my sister think they have every right to shame us. They were never there for us, so they do not deserve the right to even offer advice. The only thing I can do now is try to live my life and ignore the haters. Even if they are my own flesh and blood. There is no reasoning with them. They’ve never changed and never will.
Promise to myself: I will not be shamed, anymore than I already have, into doing things because “they” tell me. I will not be controlled by misogynistic, racist and sexist men any longer who twist their faith to suit them (I know my religion does not condone any of this behavior). I will continue to be empowered through my faith and lead my life as holistically and lovingly as possible.