Sixteen days. Sixteen stories about Her from my diary.

Day 4: Helan

Helan is a teacher, and a mother of three. She is a beautiful woman in her early thirties. Helan, has the Kurdish eyebrows, expressive brown eyes, and the most beautiful humble facial features. In fact, she can turn heads with her beauty, presence and the effort she puts into presenting herself.

From a distant Helan has what many would say the perfect life. A lovely home in an affluent neighbourhood, a stable job, children, money, help at home with the house work, beauty, education- she even has the car, the jewellery and what many consider the jackpot husband.

Photo: Raz Xaidan, you can find Raz and her phenomenal art work here and here

On various occasions Helan had felt ‘something’ that she could never describe. She did not have any proof, but always said ‘there is something.’ It became an addiction to find a proof for that ‘something’, the gut feeling that kept her awake night after night.

She did not have any proof, but always said ‘there is something.’

She had the urge to be able to check her husband’s phone. A dangerous feeling for any married woman. No one would ever guess the deep wounds she holds from day to day. For only she knows of the affairs of her husband.

By day, Helan has a job, she is a mother in the afternoons and her detective job begins after the children are asleep every night. Putting pieces of puzzles together, a lie here, a social media post there, a hint from a comment here, refusing a phone call there, work excuses here… and the puzzle is put together!

Soon she was even following up with the women he was ‘seeing’. Watching their social media platforms closely, taking every attempt to check his phone, and emails to double check if it was really a work trip, or he was ‘with her’.

She had confronted him on various occasions, on the one occasion he admitted (could not deny because the proof was in her hand) that it was a mistake, and apologised. One various other occasions he denied, even the one time all the puzzle parts came together that he had been on a holiday with another female, and brought back an expensive piece of jewellery from the Duty Free for Helan.

“you come back, but without the kids.”

When tears and frustration could not solve her issue, Helan approached her family, and initiated a conversation of a potential divorce. Her dad replied, “you come back, but without the kids.” Her brothers accepted the divorce on the condition that she knew she could not have her current luxuries and lifestyle if she was to come back to her family’s home, and living alone was not an option. She also knew very well that custody of the children will be challenging.

Today, Helan still lives with her husband. She still stalks his social media platforms, his friends and the conversations he has in the other room. She is coming to live with the reality, to accept it. Because in her own words “for me, there is no turning back.”

I wonder until when, I wonder why turning back is so difficult, I wonder why not reach out for marriage counselling on behalf of the husband before resorting to an affair. I wonder why a woman cannot separate, and be a mother of three in this society with her head held high without the label of ‘divorced’. I wonder and wonder…

Violence is not just affecting the vulnerable, uneducated, tribally rooted women, it knocks on the doors of women in all walks of life in different ways.

#16Days #16DaysOfActivism

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