Update on the book

For the past few months Saleeha (oldest daughter) has been working on the book. She has organized, suggested and reviewed. I worked last year until I needed a big break but now that school is almost starting I will put my efforts back into finishing the book and first publishing a poetry book. I am new to all of this but feel that it is time! It is something that I have to do or need to do or just a part of the process of recovery but whatever it is, this is the time. Thank you for being there on this journey. Your love and support mean everything! 

Riyadh 2001

Jeans were seen as inappropriate and bad for the bones and female form. Silence gripped the room as he looked up and down rubbing hands across his face and then head, ultimately finding their resting place in his lap. The usual commentary repeated itself and unbeknownst to my scrambled brain, it made little difference what logic I attempted to pursue; she was young and did not have a womanly body, we lived on a western compound where all young girls were allowed to wear jeans and lastly there was no way to return these items. I finished my plea with a reminder that his children were modest beyond the norm and had never engaged in activities that would reflect poorly on him.  A roundabout discussion as to why my parents would bring such offensible items into our home and the improbable threat that he would actually speak with them, ended in tears. It was necessary to place myself on the side of caution and therefore I stood firmly with him. I knew there were only two options, we were either with him or against him. The jeans were rumpled into a ball and placed well away from view, hidden in a vast and endless cavern that contained forbidden actions, thoughts and words.

Her frail figure approached the table and placed the plastic sack down on a chair just beside me, tucking it under miscellaneous jackets, bags and items that were stacked in a pile. Her eyes shifted nervously at first forward and then a slight tilt of her head dared to look behind her. He was nowhere in sight that was the obvious and unspoken conclusion. The younger children voiced their irritation at this seemingly wasted trip to Faisaliah (one of the first malls in Riyadh). Clatter of shoes rubbing against the table jangled our nerves as Heme squirmed and rolled between the table, floor and chairs. The pants were eventually taken from the sack and handed over to my lap where I surveyed their color, length and ability to conceal her tiny figure.

Plain light blue, loose fitting and ordinary, they appeared to be the best that we could find and the only suitable option in this upscale, trendy mall. They looked to be perfect, a replacement for the shiny, fashionable jeans and shirt that Grama had recently brought from America. Grama and Grampa supplied all clothing and as far as she knew that is where necessities came from. A play station, toys, shoes, towels, mixers and of course clothing had become my parents “gift” to the children as well as to him. Dress pants, ties and shirts were purchased and put together into suitable and professional sets and then brought as yearly gifts in boxes that either preceded their visit or came along with them. This was undeniably the most helpful lifeline that we were blessed with but also came to be a sharp double edged sword, both welcomed and dreaded.

Little ones jumped to attention and sat upright, the girls fixed loose hairs and smoothed their abayas and I knew that this was it. He smiled and sat directly opposite my chair and I reciprocated with a grin and nervous laugh. Heme pestered and whined asking for ice cream, cheesecake and fries. I shushed him and placed him on my lap informing Baba (their father) that we had found the perfect pair of pants, a replacement for the distasteful and repulsive ones that had been the topic of discussion just days before. He waited patiently as I took them out and did my best to make them look mundane, unflattering and non-threatening. An exasperated sigh wisped between clenched teeth and parted lips, his eyes rolled back and forward and his hands rested in their place on his lap.

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37 thoughts on “Update on the book

  1. Oh I don’t like what I think is coming! I can just imagine your stomach and the kids so full of knots!
    So excited about your book coming out, I think it will touch many and a book of poetry too! That is awesome! Wishing you the best! It is hard work, but oh so very rewarding!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lyn, good luck on your book & poetry! The book is progressing nicely. Of course, anticipating his reaction will be horrible, no matter what you do! You lived in a war zone with HIM. So sad! 📚 Christine

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  3. I’m so glad to hear that your publishing journey is gaining ground, Lynn. I’m excited for you and have been waiting a long time for your book. My gosh, two books! ❤ And once again, the excerpt shows a man incapable of flexibility and generosity of spirit. I hope that as you write your story, this man is excised from your skin and his presence is replaced by love and kindness.

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  4. Lynz,

    I don’t know how you and your kids persevered all the abuse your went thru and the inability to live a carefree life where you could do things you wanted to without needing to get permission from your husband. Lie I know is so much better for you now! Good luck on finishing your book.

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  5. What a gift, that your daughter is helping with the editing and suggestions. I have no doubt how well this will be put together. I anticipate reading it. Mostly because I know the success you enjoy now, and the freedoms.

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  6. so excited about the book – so glad your daughter is helping – so angry every time I read these stories – so grateful for the happy ending!!!!! ❤

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  7. Lynn, I am so excited to read both of your books – you put so much of yourself into your poetry and your biographical writings. Despite the pain and suffering that led to so much of what you write, your writing is a true testament to you and everything you have dealt with and the life you have been able to create for yourself and your family.

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  8. You are a wonderful story teller, Lynn! I felt like I was there! I honestly don’t know how you were able to live with this man for so long! I’m so happy that you and the kids are back in the states now! xoxoxo

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  9. I am beyond delighted that you are going to publish a book of your poetry. You are gifted as a poet and I am certain your words will be well-received and joyfully bought by many.

    This piece grates my senses as surely as if I was running over them with the coarse side of a box-grater. I find myself on full alert, like a hound sensing a rabbit as you pick your way through his wants and demands and try to make things right again. Your poor parents, doing their best to bring some needed clothing into the house and it is not acceptable to him on what grounds? All the other girls but not his. And then the presentation of what might be acceptable to this nutter …. and the tension is like taut elastic. Your writing of this is brave and it is so alive that I squirm and shudder as I read it. Xoxo

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  10. I love reading your life’s story, even though I am pretty sure I would of decked him on occasion LOL I know that you were just trying to keep the calm and peace for your kids and yourself. Love reading about it, keep it up…XXXXXX

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  11. Keep writing! We are behind you as you heal and look forward to reading more of the account of your life with him. In this story I sense you are more your restored self than your old frightened self. Lynn, you are an amazingly courageous and gifted woman. ❤

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