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Overshadow

 

2008 Saudi Arabia

A desolate and lonely desert wove its way through tiny towns where necessary stops were made for fuel. Tones of brown and red rolled over dunes that swirled in the mid afternoon heat. Seats were laid down and made into a large bed of blankets, pillows and clothing. Although he made several trips each year the children and I had not been to Damascus for a while and Taita (grandmother) had been asking to see our youngest child, Ibrahim. The used vehicle that had been questionable was now seen as a blessing and nothing more was said.

In the months that lead to this trip our household was eerily wrapped in a temporary calm. Talk of visiting Uncles and cousins gave rise to a cheery and reminiscent atmosphere. He was not allowed to take the company car out of Saudi and so he started looking for a suitable vehicle. When asked about my preferences I had only one request and that was that there would be enough seats to accommodate every person.

With each day his frustration mounted as he viewed numerous vans, cars and SUVs until he found the perfect fit. It was a used passenger van with extra seats and amenities, tinted windows, a television and plush carpeting, but most importantly plenty of seating for our family of nine. He took us to see the van that promised to be the beginning of this last trip to Syria. A guarded excitement found its way into our home as we discussed the comfort and luxury that would ease this long and arduous journey.

The next day his plans changed and he announced that this was a frivolous vehicle that would not be used when we returned. That evening he took us to see the SUV he had chosen and asked for my approval.  I pointed to the lack of seating and when confronted, calmly stood my ground.  He asked one more time if this would be a good purchase and if I would agree, but the same words emanated from my mouth, no. It was hard for him to contain his temper and although I was scared I felt proud of myself for having my own opinion. His thobe (men’s long white robe) swished past me and he stomped towards the car,entering and starting it while the children piled in. Only little D and I remained standing, waiting to take our seats. I plopped her onto a seat and felt the crunch and grind of a tire roll over my foot.  The children let out a gasp and called for baba (father) to STOP; he ignored this and kept driving as I hopped into place.

The car fell silent after doors were shut and a measure of safety was secured. Each child glanced my way and the usual tears welled up but this time they were allowed to drip down my nose and onto ragged lips that had been sealed in desperation. The sting of humiliation was too much and no eye contact was returned, afraid that sobbing would be uncontrollable. My instructions were always clear and meant that the children were to remain calm and never intervene.  Physical pain became insignificant and was overshadowed by the feeling that once again I was somehow an accomplice in this vicious cycle that was brought against me.

 

 

 

125 Comments Post a comment
  1. It seems so very isolated Lynz. It makes me happy to see you with your family gathered around.

    Liked by 2 people

    February 2, 2018
  2. Carmen #

    What that man needed was a furious arse-kicking. How it must bother you to relay these words, Lynn. I know many have told you this, but you are a marvel. Sending cyber hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    February 2, 2018
    • Thank you so much dear Carmen! I could not write this until now, too much shame and guilt! Thank you for your support! xoxo

      Like

      February 2, 2018
  3. Oh Lynn. I know this is part of your soon to come book. At least I hope it is. You were and are so brave! ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    February 2, 2018
    • Thank you Kat. As you know it is a humiliation and not fun to tell, but seems to help in some ways. To say ok it happened, and to hear noone blame me!!xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

      February 2, 2018
      • Your title complicit seems to say you think of yourself in such a way…but my dear, one cannot be complicit at the heavy hands of an abusive tyrant. ❤️

        Liked by 3 people

        February 2, 2018
        • Yes you are so right! But it seems a strange thing when you are in it, the abuser pushes you to agree and you feel off kilter and soon feel it is your doing. I have just recently left this feeling and do not feel it was me. xoxoxo

          Liked by 3 people

          February 2, 2018
          • Oh I do understand what you are saying and there was a time when I too felt as if I actually provoked the abuse I was receiving. It is a vicious cycle that keeps us trapped until we realize nothing we do or don’t do will change the behavior of an abuser. Much love and continued healing to you! ❤️

            Liked by 2 people

            February 2, 2018
          • yes so very true!!! Thank you dear Kat! You are an amazing friend. xoxo

            Liked by 1 person

            February 2, 2018
  4. ‘eerily wrapped in a temporary calm’ had me waiting for the inevitable storm. How you remained trapped in that for so long is terrifying in itself.

    Liked by 1 person

    February 2, 2018
  5. Oh, Lynn – this is just awful. As I am with every story you share, I’m so glad you are now here with us instead of continuing to live the way you once did.

    Liked by 2 people

    February 2, 2018
  6. Look at what you’ve done–survived, thrived, and had the courage to write about it! I celebrate you, Lyn!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    February 2, 2018
  7. Oh my heart bleeds for what you went through ! So very glad that you are out and that you are working through the pain!
    No guilt should you feel but I know the victim feels that so often! That’s why the abuser has such control. 😦
    Love and hugs! And prayers as you keep healing!

    Liked by 1 person

    February 2, 2018
  8. I shake my head to hear about your troubles, Lynn. Again, I am so glad you are out of there.
    Leslie

    Liked by 1 person

    February 2, 2018
  9. Isolation, geographic and emotional, is like living in the abyss. You are a survivor. 🌟

    Liked by 1 person

    February 2, 2018
  10. The more I read about your monster, the more I hope that karma will hit hard, sister…..
    I can imagine that trapping very well, you didn’t have a chance to do anything, no matter what you could mind at, without being stopped in one or another way.
    I’m so happy to see, how far you have come after living your nightmare. One good thing, when we get away is, all can only be better from now on. And you don’t even live in same country, which is the best for you and the kids. It should help you to feel more safe now.
    Huge hugs for you ❤

    Liked by 3 people

    February 2, 2018
  11. How horrible and horrifying, Lynn. What an awful mean man. In contrast to your gentle loving nature, he’s ever more the tyrant. I saw in your comments that you felt guilt and shame, but never forget that you were valiantly protecting your children, and look at the beautiful people they’ve become – that is 100% your doing. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    February 2, 2018
  12. Thank you! Love new friends, truly my pleasure🦋👏

    Like

    February 2, 2018
  13. I understand the feeling of complicity Lynn and that is what bullies rely on. All sorts of abuse goes unreported because the abused feels it to be their fault. How strong you were, and are, and how supportive your children were then and have been since. What a wonderful family you now have, and so many of us are thankful for that. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    February 2, 2018
    • Thank you so much Peter! I always appreciate your insight and your kind comments! Thank you for reading and supporting me xx

      Liked by 1 person

      February 2, 2018
  14. In any other country he would have been arrested for abuse.

    Liked by 1 person

    February 2, 2018
  15. The only way to take comfort is to remember you are no longer there. It’s how I read this…constantly reminding myself.

    Liked by 1 person

    February 2, 2018
    • Thanks so much Colleen! xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox I loved your post on shame and leaving it behind!!

      Like

      February 2, 2018
      • Thank you. We do not need to carry something that was not ours to pick up. You are so strong Lynn.

        Liked by 1 person

        February 3, 2018
        • This is very true, it spoke to me for sure! Thanks Colleen xoxo I am trying

          Like

          February 3, 2018
          • You are trying, and succeeding. Look at all of those beautiful successes. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

            February 3, 2018
          • Thank you Colleen! I know you understand and I love your inspiration. Thank you for reminding me xxx

            Liked by 1 person

            February 3, 2018
  16. Oh no, the stories you reveal become even more horrible although I already knew you went through hell! Physical pain is terrible but the humiliation that goes along with it multiplies the pain. Huge hugs, dear Lynn 💖

    Liked by 1 person

    February 2, 2018
  17. He was indeed always a menacing shadow following you and the children around. You are so brave to confront and share these horrors…sending hugs, K.

    Liked by 1 person

    February 2, 2018
  18. OMG, he ran over your foot! Was your foot broken? You are reliving this as you write it; the feeling is with that much clarity. How can you forget these things? You simply cannot.

    Liked by 1 person

    February 2, 2018
  19. Thank goodness you escaped. 💝💜

    Liked by 1 person

    February 2, 2018
  20. I am surprised you stayed put for so many years and happy you left.

    Liked by 1 person

    February 2, 2018
  21. I have just read your story and could not possibly comprehend what it must have been like for you. It takes great strength to share this terrible experience

    Liked by 1 person

    February 2, 2018
  22. balindsey2015 #

    He is and was an utter bastard to you Lyn. Your survival is miraculous. I’m so glad you escaped with your life, not to mention your family. You are a very brave woman.

    Liked by 1 person

    February 2, 2018
  23. Sending you healing for all of this that you went through

    Liked by 1 person

    February 2, 2018
  24. You should have most certainly not have felt humiliated but wronged against what a b******d I certainly hope Karma has or does it’s job. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    February 2, 2018
  25. skd #

    Love and hugs to you dear Lyn. You are made of steel. You are an amazing mother. I respect how you have instructed the kids to keep calm. Lots of good wishes to you and your family💖

    Liked by 1 person

    February 3, 2018
  26. Shame and guilt on your part was and should be non-existent. He’s the one that should be burdened with shame and guilt. Yes, I agree with another’s comment, he needs a good arse-kicking.

    Liked by 1 person

    February 3, 2018
  27. He is a mean man! So glad you and your children are away from him! xoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    February 3, 2018
  28. I am so relieved you got out away Lynn. Thank goodness you and your children are safe.

    Liked by 1 person

    February 3, 2018
  29. Lynn, I’m so happy that’s no longer part of your life! Thanks for sharing your story. I hope it helps you get all these difficult feelings out. XOXO

    Liked by 1 person

    February 3, 2018
  30. I have no words for this thing that I can’t even call human. And I am deeply proud of your strength to finally break free of this demon. Your book will be a powerful source for others in your situation. XOXOXO!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    February 3, 2018
  31. Lynn, it breaks my heart that you have endured this other life compared to what you grew up with. And yet – I know the huge blessings that came from it are your amazing children. I am sorry for the pain you have endured and will be constantly praying for your healing. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    February 3, 2018
  32. Thank goodness you are where you are now, free surrounded by a strong and loving family. That is all to your credit. The power of bullies is to make the other person feel shame, as if it’s their fault. Absolute horrible and so hard to overcome. It seems you have and for that I am happy. I think you need to write about this for your own sake, to clarify it for yourself. Does it take its toll on you emotionally recalling, retelling it all? Big hugs xxxx

    Like

    February 3, 2018
    • Thanks so much dear Annika! Well for a long time I could not tell this story and many others. I also cut pictures that I shared so noone would see our bed pads and the way we lived. Piece by piece I feel safe to share here!! My friends here are so kind and do not judge. I assumed everyone would blame me and feel I was a bad person and mother. I think writing might produce anxiety but I am not sure!It’s hard to tell if it is about what I am writing or something else.

      Liked by 1 person

      February 3, 2018
  33. His cruelty is sickening. I’m proud of you for standing your ground. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    February 3, 2018
  34. Hugs sweet friend. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    February 4, 2018
  35. Such a terrifying existence…
    But look how strong you are now, with a fabulous family who look up to you with such love and pride.
    x 💖 x

    Liked by 1 person

    February 4, 2018
  36. MY heart aches for you as you relieve these horrific memories….such a buthead he was and still is….your powerful Lynn and have all the self confidence to rule the world….screw him and his nasty attitude….love you sister….xxkat

    Liked by 1 person

    February 4, 2018
  37. Wtf, he ran over your foot?? Unbelievable.

    Liked by 1 person

    February 4, 2018
  38. Wow Lynz. What a heartbreaking story. You endured so much. Keep looking up as your ontinuas to move in the right direction .

    Liked by 1 person

    February 4, 2018
  39. Wow Lynz. What a heartbreaking story. You endured so much. Contnue to remain strong as you move forward and don’t look back. Gary

    Liked by 1 person

    February 4, 2018
  40. What a sadist! You have such a way with words I felt like I was there with you. That man was a master of head games and held you and your children hostage. My heart breaks from knowing you all went through this torture. I was so into the preparations for the trip and was excited at the prospect of the van I didn’t see him running over your foot coming though I could feel his anger. I still cannot comprehend how people can be so hurtful to other people to the point where it’s their norm.

    Liked by 1 person

    February 5, 2018
  41. I am so sorry you were made to feel this way, you and your children were and are very brave and I am so glad you can now let it all out and let go of the breath you were holding in all those years.

    Liked by 1 person

    February 7, 2018
  42. Horrible man. Thank heaven your foot is OK. That you had to go through this terrible abuse and the kids had to see it is so awful. You have nothing to be ashamed of! You did everything you could at that time under those circumstances. I imagine you were willing to take the abuse so your children wouldn’t be harmed. You are so, so brave.

    Liked by 1 person

    February 8, 2018
  43. Just terrible. I’m glad you are back in the states. This was awful for you and your kids to go through. No one should treat anyone that way.

    Liked by 1 person

    February 23, 2018
  44. Hello

    Like

    March 26, 2018
  45. Your not to blame xx This was a man who had to control you no matter what. I cry silent tears for what you had to endure.

    Liked by 1 person

    April 21, 2018

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