Stories From Isolation: Farida’s Story

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  My name is Farida Umar I am from katsina,I got married to Usman Salisu june of 2016. We met when I was in my final year in the ABU  where Ii was studying chemical engineering. It was actually love at first sight he was exactly my type tall dark and handsome.He was so nice to every member of my family they all loved him almost as much as I did. I come from a well to do  family and we reside in Abuja, 

   My mother is the only wife and I am the last child all my siblings are boys, so of course I am the pampered one, my mum always tells me the story of how she married my dad when he had nothing and they grew up together and made their wealth together and i can see how much he appreciates and values her and her inputs in our family.

When i told my parents about Usman they were very happy because he seemed like a very good person and no one had anything bad to say about him. Usman on the other hand had it rough he was the bread winner of his family as he is the first child and his father is late, he has seven siblings and he takes care of all of their needs to the best of his ability, i have never once seen him complain about their demands.

   When finally preparations for our marriage began that was when Usman finally took me to see his mother after begging him for months to take me to her and that was when i understood why he was putting it off, because i got the distinct impression that his mother does not like me, she wasn’t very welcoming but I understood that it wasn’t a part of our culture but another I sensed was the way she treated him, she acted like she was afraid to say too much,she asked him for approval for everything but I didn’t worry too much because every family communicates differently

   We finally got married and it was the best day of my life,little did I know that my nightmare is just a few months ahead because you see Usman was a banker and job was quite demanding and comes with a lot of traveling. I had always felt he was too free with women but I sttarted noticing changes with my husband when he got back from a trip from America two weeks after our wedding, he spent the whole night on his phone and when Ii asked him about it he said it was a work call,i didn’t believe him because I’ve known for sometime that my husband has a bit of a temper so sometimes I just let things go for peace to reign and i also didn’t want to believe my husband who loves me as much as he says he does is cheating on me, when i grew increasingly worried about his late night phone calls,Usman started coming home late in the night sometimes he doesn’t come home at all, this continued up to a point where i couldn’t take it anymore i now decided to confront him and i got a slap to the face in front of our two year old child for my efforts. I did not say anything to him, i just packed a few clothes for me and my baby and i went to my parents house the following day, because i promised myself even before i got married that i was not going to stay in an abusive marriage,When usman noticed i was not at home he called me up and i told him i am not coming back to him. He called everyday he begged and cried and said all sorts of things to get me to finally forgive him.

   I went back to him because I believe in second chances and I really still loved him so much but my nightmare did not end there because it is as if my coming back to him made him more brazen in his infidelity he infected me with an STD right after I had my baby, his excuse was I was at home for my biqi and he was lonely, he promised to do better and stay faithful seeing how I suffered before I got cured from the infection. I told my mother of this situation and my mother told me to always make him do tests after a few months especially if we have been apart for awhile,. At first he agreed but after the first test Usman started giving excuses and attitude, he was especially agree I involved my family in our issues and things even got worse. 

One day I even caught him with a girl at a hotel after telling me he had to travel for work that got me really pissed, I insisted he divorced me but of course he refused things got heated as we argued and I just started getting blows he beat me to his hearts content that day and later came to beg, he begged and cried saying “sharrin shaidan ne, Dan Allah ki yafe mun” .I didn’t tell anyone because I promised to keep my family and everyone out of the issue and since he was always promising to change I felt we can work through it, I had faith that I can change him, he just needed to manage his anger better but after a month it happened again so I told his mum the incident  but she was only able to apologize and tell me to not provoke him next time, even his younger brother had more empathy for me. So from then on I resolved to not involve myself in his affairs any longer and just take care to myself and my baby,I started a small online business and kept busy. He hardly touched me because he has refused to do the tests for a long time and I didn’t trust him so we went about our separate lives and although I knew he went outside to entertain himself I didn’t care anymore because now I despised him and I am actively looking for a way out of this marriage.

   A month ago Usman got a promotion and was transfered from Kaduna to Abuja and we had to move.It was a bitter sweet time because I was closer to my family but I knew that I needed to keep this dark secret hidden until I got out, I was just buying time for my business to grow so and also stay a few more years because people will judge me for getting divorced after just 3 years of marriage but unfortunately things are not getting any better especially since this lockdown started things went from bad to worse because he has no choice but to stay at home with me and his son,he has hit me 2 times already and he is always complaining about everything, he is like a locked up tiger prancing around with so much rage even our 1 year old child cannot escape his wrath.The only times we get peace is when he is working on his system, when I am in my room or when he is asleep, we started sleeping in separate rooms immediately we moved to Abuja and I make sure to lock my door at night,but yesterday he tried coming into the room at night and I refused, told him as long as I haven’t seen his test results he cannot come near me and that got him even angrier than normal. 

This morning when i woke up to make breakfast I noticed the way he kept on looking at me and I decided to quickly finish cooking and go back into my room so that he wouldn’t get any funny ideas little did i know that the worst is yet to come because as i was in the kitchen making breakfast Usman ambushed me and proceeded to beat me up tear my clothes and rape me in front of our two year old child who was crying and begging his father to stop and while he was raping me he kept on repeating the words [I OWN YOU]. 

   This is my nightmare now because i have nowhere to run to the whole place is on lockdown i am being degraded everyday in front of my child whom i hope doesn’t grow up with this stigma i have no where to go, i am being abused physically,mentally and emotionally and unfortunately i cannot escape my abuser. I know i am not the only woman who finds herself in this kind of situation where my Knight in shining armour turns into my worst nightmare but i promise to keep on fighting this because I don’t want to be another statistic.

By Zainab Abdulllahi

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